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home : sports : sports Thursday, November 23, 2017

10/18/2017 Email this articlePrint this article 
Pointers take defensive slugfest with Sabers

By Ross Eberhart
Sports editor

CENTER POINT - With rain showers keeping the field slick and thick, Friday's 3A District 4 battle between the Central DeWitt and Center Point-Urbana football teams was dominated by defense.

Neither squad was able to surpass 200 yards of total offense in the game, and the two teams averaged less than three yards per play.

And with yards hard to come by, it was important for both teams to turn their opportunities into points.

Unfortunately for the Sabers, only the Stormin' Pointers were able to accomplish that feat, scoring touchdowns in the first and fourth quarters to bring home a 13-0 victory.

The first Center Point-Urbana touchdown proved to be a result of field position.

The Stormin' Pointers gained just eight yards on their first drive, but a big punt pinned the Sabers at their own 12-yard line.

Central responded with a first down reception by Drew Deke, but soon was forced to give the ball back to Center Point-Urbana.

The next Stormin Pointers drive started near midfield and opened with Center Point's biggest gain of the night - a 20-yard rush.

The hosts marched the ball all the way to the Sabers 17-yardline before fumbling the ball away, with Zach Hinkle recovering.

Central, though, went three-and-out on its next drive, and a sack on third down meant the Sabers were punting from their own end zone.

As a result, the Stormin' Pointers took over at the Central 25, and this time took advantage with a two-yard touchdown run.

The Sabers came right back with their best drive of the game.

Sparked by a 50-yard pitch and catch from Drew McNamara to Max Cousins, the Sabers advanced to the Center Point-Urbana 30.

The Sabers got even closer when Deke converted a fourth down with a nine-yard reception, but could not answer the Pointers' touchdown with one of their own as a fourth down pass fell incomplete.

That proved to be the Sabers' best scoring chance of the first half, and Central went to the break trailing 7-0.

The Central defense made sure to keep the squad within striking distance, stopping the Stormin' Pointers on the goal line - they would ultimately miss a field goal - and forcing a quick punt during the third quarter.

Behind an 11-yard reception from Drew Kueter and a 23-yard rush by Easton Necker, the Sabers advanced the ball all the way to the Pointers' 20-yard line as the third quarter came to a close.

The Sabers, however, again could not finish the drive with points. A false start turned a 3rd-and-four into a 3rd-and-nine, and McNamara was sacked on fourth down to turn the ball over.

The hosts made sure the missed opportunity hurt, marching 66 yards in 13 plays - all runs - for their second touchdown of the game.

The Stormin' Pointers defense did the rest, ending one Central drive with an interception and stopping the other on downs to preserve the shutout.

McNamara completed five passes for 103 yards - his fourth 100-yard passing game of the season.

Cousins and Deke were his favorite targets, pulling in two passes apiece. Cousins used his 50-yard gain to finish with a career-high 65 yards, while Deke picked up 27 yards.

Senior Nick Smith, who returned to the field after missing the Maquoketa game with an injury, gained 48 yards on 10 carries.

Necker chipped in 27 yards and led the Sabers with 10 tackles on defense, including five solo tackles and a tackle for loss.

McNamara added six tackles - all solo - and so did Devin Koester, while Cousins had five stops and Smith and Soloman Frey both had quarterback sacks.

It was the second straight week in which the Sabers held a foe under 200 yards of total offense.

Central will return home to finish its season in a district contest with Clear Creek-Amana.

The Clippers are 2-6 this season with victories over Maquoketa and Center Point-Urbana, and just finished a three-game slate against the top-three teams in the district, during which they were outscored 111-13.

The Sabers will have revenge on their minds, as Clear Creek-Amana took last year's meeting, 42-6.

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