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|9/11/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
Williamsburg strikes late, knocks off Central 27-17
|With guard Chase Kraklio providing a crease, Central senior Jake Kagemann cuts inside during a run in the third quarter of the Sabers’ 27-17 setback to Williamsburg. Kagemann’s effort ended in a 19-yard touchdown that made it 17-7 Sabers, but the Raiders scored three times in the final 10 minutes of the game. Photos by Ross Eberhart|
By Ross Eberhart
It looked like the Central football team had picked up right where it left off.
After a first half in which they outgained Williamsburg 174-89 and held the ball for over 14 minutes, the Sabers were on the move again in the first drive of the third quarter.
The 10-play jaunt was punctuated by a touchdown run to make it 17-7, and it looked like the second half might also belong to the Sabers.
The Raiders had other ideas.
Keyed by the game's first turnover, Williamsburg scored two touchdowns in the span of four minutes and then tacked on one more late to stun the Sabers 27-17.
"Giving up a big play, turning the ball over and penalties all played a big part in losing the momentum in the second half," Central head coach Mike Miller said. "We feel if we can get better in those areas, we will be able to come out on top of the close games in the future."
Big plays were the name of the game for the Raiders, who earned the win despite running 16 fewer plays and being outgained by the Sabers.
Williamsburg, which had both of the game's takeaways, finished the contest with 311 yards - 127 of which (more than 40 percent) came on their four touchdown plays.
"I think we did a nice job of making them earn their yards offensively," Miller said. "I think the big plays eventually did lead to our demise, but I feel again if we can focus on improving our fundamentals, we have the potential to become a very successful defense."
It was the Sabers who came up with the first big play of the game as the Central defense stopped the Raiders twice on back-to-back short yardage situations (the latter on fourth-and-one) to force an end to Williamsburg's first drive.
The Saber offense followed with its own highlight as senior Jake Kagemann leapt and successfully muscled the ball away from a defender in better position for a 19-yard completion.
Two-straight Tyler Stillmunkes runs produced another first down at the Williamsburg 19-yard line before the drive stalled.
Central, though, trotted out sophomore placekicker Keegan Lass, who proceeded to boot a career-long 41-yard field goal to make it 3-0.
The two teams traded three-and-outs before Williamsburg struck through the air, using a 39-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jacob Donohoe to Aaron Schultz to pull in front. The extra point was good, and it was 7-3.
Central had an answer, and it came in the form of senior quarterback Marty Green, who began to find a crease in the Raider defense during Central's option attack.
Green carried the ball in three of the first four plays of the Sabers' next drive and all three went for first downs (the only play that did not involve Green keeping the ball was a run by Stillmunkes, who also picked up a first down).
One more Green rush (for nine yards) and two carries by Stillmunkes, plus a Williamsburg penalty moved the ball to the Raider nine-yard line.
Green began rushing with the ball on the next play as well, but then at the last moment pitched it to senior teammate Jake Feldpausch, who beat everyone to the end zone for a touchdown. Lass added the extra point, and it was 10-7.
"Our guys did a nice job of making adjustments," Miller said. "Williamsburg committed to stopping our dive back - fortunately for us, Marty was making the right read and running tough in between the tackles."
Williamsburg's next drive ended with a punt and Central had an opportunity to add to its lead.
Green found Kagemann again for a first down, while Stillmunkes added a six-yard gain on the ground. Central stuck to the ground for three more plays before the drive ultimately stalled, and a fourth down pass was knocked away with 15 seconds left in the first half.
The Sabers, though, got the ball to start the second half, and the team responded with its best drive of the game.
Green opened things up with three-straight runs that netted 20 yards, while Feldpausch picked up another first down with an eight-yard scamper.
Central was called for a penalty on its next play, but Green followed with four-straight carries to push the ball to the Williamsburg 22.
Fullback Mason Cousins bulled his way for three yards of his own, and Central faced a third-and-two situation.
With the Raiders likely expecting another triple option look, the Saber offense went another direction with Kagemann taking a counter handoff.
The play worked to perfection with Kagemann galloping 19 yards into the end zone for a touchdown. Lass added the point after, and the lead was 10.
Williamsburg answered the Sabers' lengthy drive with one that was even longer.
Doing all of their damage on the ground, the Raiders collected 55 yards in nine plays and faced a first-and-goal at the Central nine.
The Saber defense, though, came up big, causing two incompletions and stopping a Williamsburg run behind the line of scrimmage to force the Raiders to attempt a field goal.
The kick proved to be play number 13 of the drive and sailed wide left to keep the lead at 10.
A hold on first down stalled Central's ensuing possession before it even had a chance to start, and the Sabers were forced to punt the ball back.
This time, Williamsburg eschewed a long drive and instead came up with another big play through the air as Donohoe tossed a 46-yard touchdown pass to Schultz. The extra point try went awry, but the Raiders were back within four.
And the momentum was back on Williamsburg's side, especially when Central's next drive after the touchdown went backwards.
The Raiders could not capitalize on their next drive as three-straight incompletions led to a punt back to the Sabers.
The next Central drive, though, lasted a single play as Williamsburg forced and then recovered a fumble.
Three plays later, the Raiders were back in the end zone with Donohoe carrying five yards for a score. The point-after try was good, and now it was Williamsburg up 20-17.
Suddenly trailing, the Sabers went back to work. Feldpausch converted an important third-and-nine with a 20-yard run, while Stillmunkes broke his own long run (21 yards) to push the ball deep into Raider territory.
The Williamsburg defense, however, held firm, and Central faced a fourth down. Lass came on the field to attempt a game-tying field goal, but the kick was wide of the upright, and the Raiders stayed in front.
Williamsburg then proceeded to ice away the game, converting a pair of third downs on its ensuing drive. A play after the second conversion, Nick Spratt sprinted 37 yards for a touchdown that pushed the lead to 10.
The Sabers made one last push, but an interception ended the threat, and the Raiders were able to run out the clock on a 27-17 victory.
Green led the Central attack, piling up 123 yards on the ground, while Stillmunkes added 77 of his own. Feldpausch had 41 yards and Kagemann 23 with both scoring touchdowns.
Senior nose tackle Riley McDowell had a big night on the defensive side of the ball, recording 13 tackles with five solo stops. Drew Schroeder added eight tackles of his own (one solo), while Ryan Burke had seven (three solo).
The Sabers will open up district play with a big home contest with rival Maquoketa.
The two teams had a memorable meeting last season with Central keeping the Cardinals out of the end zone on three different red zone opportunities in the second half to preserve a 14-10 victory.
Maquoketa also will be looking to bounce back from a loss (in fact, all seven teams in 3A District 6 dropped their games last Friday) as they fell 31-10 to Western Dubuque.
"It is exciting to open up district play at home against a rival," Miller said. "I think our guys are anxious to get back on the field and improve on the areas we need to improve on."