Saturday, October 31, 2009

Shell-Shocked Tigers Fall to Stanberry 44-24

The Worth County Tigers fell in a hard way to Stanberry as they fell to the visiting Bulldogs 44-24 Friday. Worth County was unable to cope with either the experience (11 seniors for Stanberry, 4 for Worth County) or the speed of the Bulldogs. Having had a surprisingly easy time with North Andrew and having wins against North Nodaway and South Nodaway that were decided by halftime, Worth County was not used to playing against a quick team like Stanberry as they were repeatedly burned for big plays all night. With the loss, the Tigers will travel to Mound City this Friday at 7:00 for a return match with the Panthers. Coach Chuck Borey was not happy with what he saw as less than 100% effort from the team. However, he said that it made no difference as they would have had to play the Panthers anyway at their place regardless of the outcome. Stanberry will host Nodaway-Holt in the other district game in the bracket; should the Tigers beat Mound City at their field for the fifth straight time, Stanberry will host the Tigers at their place. Luck is on Worth County's side in another area as they have not lost two straight games since the 2004 season, when they lost their last two games of that season. The Tigers dug themselves into an 18-0 hole in the first quarter, very similar to what happened in their district match last year when they dug themselves into a 28-0 hole and had to fight back. Similar to last year, Worth County fought back to make a game out of it, only to get burned on a big play as they seemingly wore themselves out trying to get back into the game. With the loss, the Tigers fell into a three-way tie for first place in the 275 Conference with Stanberry and Mound City. Worth County got the ball to start the game, but could do nothing with it despite an offsides penalty by Stanberry and they were forced to punt. On the punt, the Tigers' long snapping woes from the last game countinued as a bad snap sailed over Zach Harmening's head in the wet field conditions; however, he was able to get to the ball and get the punt off, which rolled dead at the Stanberry 28. The Bulldogs took the opening drive for a ten play 52 yard drive for the first score. Conner Rosier got a first-down run up to the 38. A holding penalty set Stanberry back to the 32, but poor tackling enabled Rosier to spring loose for a 14-yard gain to the Tiger 34. Two cracks up the middle gave them another first down to the 30, and a counter to Gage moved it to the 20. Three plays later, Rosier got into the end zone for a 6-0 Stanberry lead with 5:24 left in the first quarter. Nothing to worry about -- the Tigers had trailed early against Nodaway-Holt and Craig/Fairfax and gave up an early score against West Nodaway as well. But the Tigers went three and out again aided by a sack after a pass was batted back in Zach Harmening's face and he was sacked for a 10-yard loss. This time, Stanberry only needed three plays to score despite another referee's hankie. Stanberry started off in good field position at the Tiger 35 and then Devin Gage took the ball 13 yards to the 22. Then, in a scene that would repeat itself for the rest of the evening, Bulldog quarterback Jason McQuinn took an option 19 yards down to the three as nobody covered him. This was an instance of Stanberry's experience paying off -- while Stanberry's players knew their assignments, Worth County's were repeatedly confused about responsibilities and would get beat for big plays as a result. A false start moved the ball back to the 8, but Devin Gage bounced outside on a dive play and nobody was home to cover him and he scored with 3:39 left to make it 12-0. That was nothing to worry about -- Worth County had dug themselves out of a 20-6 hole against Nodaway-Holt earlier in the year. But then, the Tigers dug themselves into a hole that was far too deep -- consecutive bad snaps led to Stanberry's third consecutive score as on fourth and 14, the second such snap sailed into the end zone and the speedy Stanberry players pounced on it for the score with 1:33 left to make it 18-0. Worth County needed a break to do so, but like last year, they made a game out of it. On the ensuing kickoff, two cracks by Barrett Baker went nowhere, but then Eli Mullock lined up in the shotgun formation and took the snap and outran everyone for a 60-yard score to put the Tigers on the board with 9.6 seconds left in the period. Stanberry then handed the Tigers another gift as they fumbled the ball on their first play from scrimmage to give the Tigers the ball at the Stanberry 18; Mullock recovered the fumble for the Tigers on the play. Two plays later, the line finally opened up a big hole for Mullock, who burst through for 11 yards down to the 5. Three consecutive offsides calls moved the ball to the one-inch line, where Zach Harmening's quarterback sneak made it 18-12 with 10:55 left in the second quarter. But Stanberry reestablished control of the game on their third play from scrimmage. This time, the Tigers had McQuinn covered perfectly but forgot to cover Devin Gage, who was off to the races for a 45-yard touchdown run with 9:34 left to make it 24-12. Worth County went three and out on their next possession as Harmening's pass was nearly intercepted and then two cracks by Eli Mullock could only net seven yards. But this time they held as Gage was stood up for no gain by Josh Wagner, who delivered a solid shot. Then, Brian Hall shot through and hit Jason McQuinn for a 4-yard loss on an option. Then, Stanberry tried another option but fumbled the pitch out of bounds and they were forced to punt. The Tigers threatened to score and make it a one-possession game, but they were denied; Worth County had three possessions where they took it in the red zone but failed to score. They dug themselves into a hole at their own 14 with a holding penalty, but a pass interference penalty on Stanberry gave them the ball at their own 32. Alex Harmening then took a flat pass 16 yards to the Stanberry 32. A holding penalty moved it back to the Worth County 38, but on third and 17, Josh Wagner, of all people, caught a 28-yard bomb that gave Worth County first and 10 at the Stanberry 11. But the Tigers stalled there as two cracks lost one yard. Zach Harmening scrambled for seven yards to the Stanberry 5, but on fourth and four, as they tried to isolate Barrett Baker in the left corner of the end zone, Harmening threw an interception that was returned to the 6. Stanberry initially started off very conservatively and intended to run out the clock as two cracks up the middle got nowhere, but then on their third down pass, Barrett Baker unsuccessfully tried for an interception that would have been a touchdown return, and Andy Luke caught a 12-yard pass to keep the drive alive with 47 seconds left in the half. Devin Gage took an option for 17 yards up to the Stanberry 38 and then Conner Rosier caught a 12-yard screen pass to the Tiger 29. But time was winding down and with 12 seconds left in the half, Stanberry tried a halfback pass as they pitched back to Tyler McQuinn, who aired it out into the end zone. But Eli Mullock picked it off and returned it to the 23. Mullock caught a pass for 12 yards before time ran out in the half. The second half started off well for Worth County as they pounced on a fumble on the opening kickoff and recovered the ball at the Stanberry 26. Three plays later, Eli Mullock went in shotgun on the swing motion play, took the snap, and headed around the end as he got a block from Dylan Kinsella to bring the Tigers within 24-18 with 11:17 left in the third quarter. Jason McQuinn took an option for 19 yards to the Worth County 37, but the Bulldogs stalled there. Two runs by Devin Gage only netted three yards and then Barrett Baker broke up a pass on third and seven. Stanberry elected to pin Worth County deep in their own territory instead of going for it and Worth County got the ensuing punt on their own 18. The move initially paid off as a fumble and a block in the back penalty moved the Tigers back to their own seven, but Zach Harmening rescued the drive as he aired it out to Alex Harmening for 29 yards to the Stanberry 36. On the next play, Eli Mullock took the handoff, swept to the right, and then reversed his field back to the left side and picked up 27 yards to the Stanberry 9 where Worth County had first and goal. But they stalled there as three carries by Mullock lost a yard and then Harmening's pass to Barrett Baker in the end zone was too far and Stanberry took over on downs.

Stanberry ran their way out of trouble as Rosier got a first down run to the 20 and then Gage took a pitch out to the 30 for 10 yards where he was stopped inches short. Two cracks failed to get the first down, but Stanberry went for it on fourth and inches and Jason McQuinn's sneak got them the critical fourth down conversion to the 35. Then, the Tigers began to break down on the option again as nobody covered McQuinn, who ripped off carries of 17 and 11 yards mixed in with three carries by Devin Gage for 10 yards. Finally, McQuinn got a keeper around the end to score with 11:02 left to make it 30-18.

A block in the back penalty put the Tigers in bad field position at their own 8, but they passed their way out of the hole as Zach Harmening aired it out to Barrett Baker for 39 yards to the Stanberry 33. Two plays later, Harmening aired it out to Alex Harmening for 29 yards down to the three and Eli Mullock got a block from Barrett Baker and scored up the middle to make it 30-24 with 9:47 left. But Stanberry struck right back; they were seemingly stalled on third and long at their own 14 when Jason McQuinn went on the option again. Once again, nobody covered him on the option and this time, he was off to the races for a 66-yard touchdown run that turned out to be the dagger for Stanberry as they went ahead 36-24.

Worth County went nowhere on their next series as a short pass to Alex Harmening and a sweep from Eli Mullock only netted four yards and then their third down pass was incomplete. With time running out in the game, Worth County elected to go for it, but another pass was incomplete and Stanberry took over on downs at the Tiger 19. They were thwarted and the Tigers got the ball back on downs, but then Devin Gage intercepted a pass on their first play from scrimmage and this time, Stanberry got their final score with 3:49 left, a 10-yard run from Conner Rosier. Andy Luke caught the extra point pass to make it 44-24. Worth County drove down the field in an effort to get a final score. They were buried on their own seven thanks to a block in the back penalty, but Barrett Baker caught a 29-yard screen pass and Zach Harmening aired it out to Cody Green for 31 yards down to the Stanberry 12. A pass interference penalty moved it to the six and then Alex Harmening caught a short pass that he ran down to the one. But they could not get in as Harmening lost two on a short pass and then two plays later, Zach Harmening threw a tipped ball that was picked off in the end zone.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tigers Hang 30 in First Quarter on Mustangs, Win 46-20

Worth County Tigers hung 30 points in the first quarter on North Nodaway as they contained a potent passing attack and beat the Mustangs 46-20 in a game that was not as close as the final score. North Nodaway scored all 20 points in the second half after Coach Chuck Borey had pulled out all of his starters and the Mustangs elected to keep playing after it was 46-0 and elected to keep all their starters in the game.

North Nodaway got the ball on their opening possession and with nothing to lose, began airing it out almost every single play. They had the arm to do it with as Mustang quarterback Jason DeMott was ranked fourth among eight-man quarterbacks by the St. Joseph News-Press. Tiger quarterback Zach Harmening (7 completions, 180 yards in one half) is ranked third. However, on their initial series at their own 15, the first snap sailed over DeMott's head and he had to throw it away. His second bomb was dropped and this third was broken up by Barrett Baker, forcing them to punt. "We did a good job getting pressure on DeMott," said Coach Borey. "Our ends were doing a good job putting pressure on him, and our backs were doing a good job covering their receivers." Fears that the Tigers would be short-handed because of the flu did not materialize. There were only 15 players at practice at one point during the week, but everyone got themselves healthy by game day. And despite North Nodaway leaving their starters in against Worth County's JV, the Tigers were able to come out of the game healthy as they prepare for their annual showdown with Stanberry this Friday at 7 at home.

Worth County got on the board right away thanks to a short field as a short kick gave them the ball on the North Nodaway 30. They got on the board on their very first play as Zach Harmening aired it out to Alex Harmening, back from a hip injury as Coach Chuck Borey had held him out of the South Nodaway game as a precautionary measure. Alex showed no ill effects as he outleaped a Mustang defender much bigger than he was and hauled it in just inside the right end zone marker for the score with 11:20. Alex Harmening also caught the extra point pass as he broke to the middle and caught a pass to make it 8-0.

Poor field position would doom any hopes of an upset by the Mustangs as well as poor special teams play. First of all, Cody Green stuffed a first down run and threw DeMott for a loss of two. Eli Mullock covered two DeMott bombs successfully and a false start moved it back to the 11. The ensuing punt was blocked by Brian Hall, who recovered the carom at the Mustang 8. Two plays later, the Tigers were in the end zone again as Barrett Baker did it in two cracks, the second a five-yard run helped by a block from Eli Mullock. Baker took the extra point handoff and leveled DeMott and barreled his way in for the two points to make it 16-0 with 9:39 left in the first quarter.

North Nodaway finally got into Tiger territory as DeMott aired it out to Cody Bix for 28 yards to the Tiger 31. But two running plays only netted five yards and then DeMott, going back for a pass, slipped and fell at the Tiger 34 for fourth and 13. On the ensuing play, a bad snap sailed over DeMott's head and Dallas Greenland collared him all the way back at the Mustang 25, where Worth County took over on downs. For the third consecutive series, the Tigers had the short field to work with and they used it as Zach Harmening went back as though to throw a short pass to the right side and faked the throw perfectly. He then handed it to Eli Mullock going around the left side for 16 yards down to the 9. On the next play, Worth County handed it off to Josh Wagner, who got a block from Barrett Baker and leveled a defender for Worth County's third score. J.J. Mullock and Dylan Kinsella opened a huge hole for Wagner on the extra point try and he ran through it for the two points to make it 24-0 with 6:56 left in the first quarter.

North Nodaway's troubles were not over in the first quarter as they tried to go to Jesse Birkenholz for a draw play, but Barrett Baker dropped him for a loss of 4 back to the Mustang 13. DeMott went back to pass on second and long, but his pass was too high for his receiver and then Eli Mullock sacked him to force North Nodaway to punt. But this time Worth County, despite getting the ball on the North Nodaway 20, could not convert as a fumble and a dropped pass gave North Nodaway the ball back on downs at their own 20.

The Mustangs tried the ground game with a little success; however, they stalled at midfield. Zack Gladman ran for a first down to the North Nodaway 32 and then DeMott found daylight and scrambled seven yards to the 39. But a quick pass went astray and then DeMott's fourth down pass short-hopped the receiver and Worth County once again had the ball in North Nodaway territory. This time, they were not to be denied. An offsides penalty moved the ball to the 34 and then Barrett Baker took a sweep nine yards to the North Nodaway 25. Baker's reverse only went for two yards to the 23, but then that set up the next play perfectly. This time, the Tigers faked the reverse and Zach Harmening found Eli Mullock over the middle for a strike in the end zone to make it 30-0 with 24 seconds left in the first quarter.

A botched snap put North Nodaway in the hole again as they were forced into second and long. An incomplete pass, a false start penalty, and another incomplete pass as the Mustangs were desperately trying to air it out to get back in the game set up fourth and 18. But this time, the Tigers gave them new life thanks to some poor tackling and a penalty. DeMott took the snap to punt and it was apparently going to be blocked. But DeMott juked some defenders who were grabbing at him instead of wrapping up and drew a 15-yard facemask penalty to give them new life at their own 35. A pair of carries by Zack Gladman and Travis Koster gave them a first down into Tiger territory at the 34, but then Josh Wagner and Brian Hall stopped Gladman for no gain to set up second and long. An incomplete pass was followed by a four-yard run from Gladman and DeMott's pass was short of the receiver and Worth County took over on downs at their own 30.

Barrett Baker caught a 34-yard pass over the middle to put Worth County into North Nodaway territory at the 28, but on third and three, a bad snap sailed over Zach Harmening's head and he had to eat the ball at the 40. Barrett Baker caught a short pass for what looked like a good gain on fourth down, but his knee hit the ground at the Tiger 38, where North Nodaway took over on downs. But Worth County stiffened up despite the short field as Cody Green dropped Gladman for a loss of two. A dropped pass set up third and long and then Josh Wagner ran down DeMott for a sack to force the Mustangs to punt.

The punt pinned the Tigers at their own 4, but they were able to pass their way out of trouble and score. First, Eli took a long pass and corralled it for 30 yards to the 34. A pair of false starts and a sack set up fourth and 18 at their own 28, but Worth County shifted from a conventional punt formation into a set with triple receivers at the last possible moment and Zach Harmening aired it out to Barrett Baker for 54 yards for a score with 1:59 left. Baker ran a counter sweep in for the extra points to make it 38-0. North Nodaway could only get to midfield before time expired at the half.

Barrett Baker took the first play of the second half and ran through a big hole created by Dylan Kinsella for Worth County's final tally with 11:46 left in the third quarter. Eli Mullock spun his way in for the extra points to make it 46-0.

An offsides penalty gave North Nodaway a first down and Travis Koster ran for another as North Nodaway kept their starters in while Coach Borey began subbing in his JV. But an interception thwarted the drive as Dallas Greenland picked off a tipped pass at the Tiger 34. Greenland got a 12-yard carry to the North Nodaway 34 and then the Tigers rescued second and long as Dallas Greenland picked up a six-yard carry, Jordan Harding got 4, and Adam Summers converted a fourth and one sneak for two yards to the 23. Greenland got 7 yards to the 15, but then Summers was sacked back to the 25. Jordan Harding caught a 12-yard screen pass to the 13 to set up fourth and one, but the Tigers tried to pass and it fell incomplete.

For the rest of the game, it was North Nodaway scoring at will with their starters against the Tiger JV in a scene that Coach Chuck Borey said was "not pretty at all." Zack Gladman ran for a 52-yard touchdown run with 8:37 left to get North Nodaway on the board; Gladman ran another one for 18 yards with 4:09 left for their second score, and then Jason DeMott returned a punt 50 yards for their final score of the evening with 1:37 left before Worth County knelt down for the win.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Less than Half of CDBG Surveys Filled Out

The Grant City Council learned at last Wednesday's meeting that less than half of the CDBG surveys that were sent out were returned. There were 284 surveys that were mailed out by the state and only 106 were returned to the city as of last Wednesday. Councilwoman Linda Phipps said that "people want the city to do stuff," but that if they wanted the city to take action to bring clean water to town, they had to fill out the form. CDBG rules require that the city cannot proceed with its grant application for funds for an 11-mile water line from the Middlefork Water Plant to Grant City that the city says will bring cleaner water to the town and replace a line that has had chronic problems and triggered several boil orders in the last year until 80% of the people surveyed have returned forms. Last spring, school was closed for a day because of a leak just north of Gentry that dropped water levels in Grant City too low. There have been several other leaks in the 11-mile water line and Public Works Director Carl Staton said that the problems were only going to get worse if the city did not act. Councilwoman Cathy James said that if people had questions or concerns about the proposed project that they should come to the meeting and get their concerns addressed. She explained that peoples' privacy was protected as neither the city nor the state knows who gets the surveys as they are sent out in a manner similar to how the Census Bureau mails out their forms.

The council met with representatives from Snyder & Associates to discuss the plans for the Downtown Renovation that will be paid for by a $367,500 appropriation from the Federal Government. The project will include sidewalk replacement, beautification, stormwater repair (including the northeast corner), ornamental lighting, and the removal of the existing sidewalk. The preliminary cost estimate for the project will be $334,000, which will vary based on the design and based on what the city wants to do and what they want to leave out. Since this is a federally funded project, the project must be compliant with the ADA, which means all cross-slopes must be under 2%. Trash receptacles and benches will be replaced with ones that match the new design.

A preliminary timeline was mapped out. The council will have a working session for this project November 10th at 6:30 to discuss it in more detail. At the beginning of December, there will be a public forum so that the designers can take into account public feedback. There will be meetings with business owners on the square to discuss the project as well. By February or March, the plan will be submitted to the Missouri Department of Transportation for their approval, and by May, the bids will be sent out. By June or July of next year, the construction will begin and by September, the project will be complete.

Vernon Coy of KCP&L was present to discuss the rewiring of the square, which he said would be done at a minimal cost to the city. He reported that there was not enough electricity to power up the Fall Festival; the lights on the south side of the square went out during the final night of the event. "Every year, we fight to keep the power during the Festival," he told the council. They would rearrange wiring so that they could handle the Fall Festival, the Worth County Smokeoff, and other such events. Coy said that he would get the county's permission to set up needed poles on the Courthouse lawn and that he would donate labor to the project; Councilman Dennis Downing agreed to donate some materials to the project.

The council voted to authorize Councilman Bruce Downing and Public Works Director Carl Staton to spend up to $8,400 to replace the 1979 flatbed truck that the city is currently using. Staton said that the current truck needs about $1,500 to $2,000 in front end parts and that it would not go more than 30 miles per hour on the highway.

Staton reported that work had started on the Nature Trail; the county donated their dozer for the project for two days. Staton reported that he had helped Guy Fletchall remove some abandoned gas lines, met with four engineers who were interested in working on the water main from Grant City to Middlefork Water Company, and winterized the pool. The council voted to replace a sewage pump at a cost of $1,950. For winter, they voted to purchase calcium chloride for the streets for $1,700, salt for another $1,700, and sand for $900 for a total of $4,300. Staton reported that he had gotten a complaint from a customer on a dead-end line about magnesium; he suggested that the line could be hooked up to the main for about $200, as it would involve trenching a line across the street to where the main is. He noted that dead-end lines tended to be trouble spots for magnesium buildups as it sets in low areas and builds up.

Councilwoman Cathy James relayed a request from her daughter Becky McElvain to set up an alert system similar to the one that the school uses to notify parents of cancellations to notify customers of boil orders. Clerk Ayvonne Morin agreed to look into the cost of setting up such a system. In the event of a boil order, the city notifies KAAN Radio, 97.1 The 'Ville, and KQ2 and posts a notice at the Post Office and City Hall.

The city learned that gas rates for this winter will be almost half of what they were last year.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shaun Burns Hits 18; NEN Junior High Boys Thrash Star 36-2

It was kind of hard to tell as Union Star, with only six players out, was totally outmatched. But Northeast's Junior High Boys showed that they had a small but athletic bunch on the floor as they ran past the Trojans 36-2 Monday. Shaun Burns, a small but athletic post player, led the way for Northeast, scoring 12 in the first quarter and 18 altogether as his teammates were feeding him the ball at will and letting him do the rest. "He's a very athletic player," said Coach Charley Burch. "He would normally be a 3-man, but he's the tallest kid we had out there." Steve Schulte, the younger brother of Jacqueline and Michelle, ran the point and constantly pushed the ball up the floor, got the ball to the open man, and played the same sort of relentless defense that his older sisters are known for. "He's the one who sets the show for the rest of the team," said Burch.

But while Northeast had an easy time of it Monday, Coach Burch said he wasn't promising an easy time of it the rest of the way. "We're going to have our hands full at Jefferson Thursday," he said. And he said that the scoring leaders would vary from night to night. He said the team needed to work on getting better on their press and finishing better. Union Star did not have a lot of size, meaning Northeast got a lot of second and third looks. "We can't expect those sorts of chances against taller and better teams," he said. "We have to knock down the shot the first time."

Shaun Burns opened the scoring with an inside shot with 5:30 left in the first and then Steve Schulte made a nifty move to the basket to draw the two-shot foul and hit both of his foul shots. For the rest of the quarter, Burns did all of the scoring. First, he scored inside off a Schulte feed, scored a layup after Schulte got a steal off the press, hit two more inside shots, the last coming off a high-low pass from Joel Scroggie. Burns finished with a driving layup to round out his eruption in the first quarter. That left Northeast with a 14-0 lead going into the second.

Some of the other players began to get in on the act in the second quarter. Austin Jones got a layup off a Brandon Auffert steal. Joel Scroggie then hit a pair of shots, one off a steal and one after he cleaned up after another steal as Northeast was jumping passes at will. Steve Schulte scored a driving layup and then Burns scored an inside shot off a feed from Austin Jones with 30 seconds left in the half to make it 24-0.

The avalanche continued in the third quarter. Brandon Auffert opened the scoring off a steal with 5:45 left, and then Garrett Jackson got on the board with a shot from the baseline. Shaun Burns then rounded out his scoring for the night with a steal and drive and then a putback to make it 32-0 after three quarters.

The only tense point was whether Northeast would keep a shutout, a rarity in basketball even at the junior high level. With the running clock going, Austin Jones scored off a steal with 3:59 left. It looked for a while like Northeast would keep the shutout, but finally, Kolby Barnett scored off a drive with 2:30 left in the game for Union Star to break the shutout. Brandon Auffert scored from outside after Austin Jones got an offensive board and a kickout with 1:55 left to round out the scoring for Northeast.

NEN Junior High Girls Can't Solve Trojan Size

Northeast Nodaway's Junior High girls couldn't solve the size of the Union Star Trojans and fell 20-14 Monday night. "They got off to a quick start and they never recovered," said Coach Ryan Davis. Davis said that his girls had their chances. "But we couldn't build on the late run that we had at the end of the first half," he said. He said that in order for his team to improve, they had to work the ball inside more and keep Taryn Farnan out of foul trouble; Farnan fouled out in the fourth quarter. Davis said that the problem in the fourth quarter was that they could never buy a stop and get the game down to a one-possession game; every time Northeast would cut it to 2 or 3, Union Star would answer.

Union Star opened the game by scoring the first seven points of the game in the first three minutes of the game; Davis said that his charges were not contesting the outside shots, meaning easy looks for Union Star. Northeast did not even get on the board until 43 seconds left in the first quarter, when Taryn Farnan stepped through a defender to draw a two-shot foul and hit one out of two. In the meantime, Northeast had trouble shooting over the twin post players Rylee and Timberlee Wilkerson and nothing was going in all night.

Rylee Wilkerson's inside shot with 1:53 left in the first half gave Union Star its biggest lead of the night at 13-3 before Northeast started coming back. A pair of steals from Claudia Wiederholt and Taryn Farnan and a pair of free throws from Farnan made it a more manageable 13-9 at the break.

Sarah Bliley hit from the left wing with 3:34 left to make it 13-11 in the third quarter after the first two and a half minutes were scoreless. Besides that, Northeast continued to have trouble shooting over the taller Trojan squad. Union Star countered with a baseline shot from Timberlee Wilkerson and a fast break from Morgan Steele to make it 17-12.

Coach Ryan Davis tried to work the ball into Farnan, but she could only manage an inside shot off an inbounds play with 5:03 left in the fourth to make it 17-14 before fouling out with seven points as she gave up several inches to the Wilkerson twins. "When she fouled out, that really hurt us," said Coach Davis. "We just have to do a better job playing as a team when that happens." Rylee Wilkerson countered with a fast break as Northeast overextended on the press trying to get the ball back and Timberlee banked in a free throw with 3:07 to round out the scoring for Union Star as it was that kind of night for them.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tigers Blank Winless South Nodaway 54-0 in Breather

Worth County's Tigers blanked South Nodaway 54-0 in a breather Friday night as they will now tune up for showdowns with North Nodaway and Stanberry. North Nodaway could play a spoiler; as Coach Chuck Borey observed to his players after the game, they took Worth County to overtime in 1995 despite having some players suspended for disciplinary reasons and took them to overtime again in 2004.

The Longhorns showed a lot more spirit than they normally have in the past in games against the Tigers and it showed on the opening play of the game as Cody Burden went for 24 yards right up the middle behind a line consisting of 285, 268, and 320 pounders. The drive stalled there, however, as Josh Wagner shot through on the next play and dropped Burden for a loss. On third down, Burden went on a play that looked like a sweep but he pulled up and threw a pass; however, that went astray. Wagner shot through again on third and long and dropped Burden for a loss of seven and South Nodaway was forced to punt.

Eli Mullock took a sweep 10 yards up to the 25 after Worth County got the ball at their own 15. Barrett Baker followed with a pitchout for another 13 up to the 37, and a pass interference call gave the Tigers first and 10 at the South Nodaway 27. On the next play, Barrett Baker took a sweep on a play that was designed to go left. He saw nothing was there and reversed his field back to the right, picked up a block from Brian Hall, and made it all the way down to the 8 for a 19-yard gain. Josh Wagner picked up the final eight yards, blowing right by the 268-pounders of the front line and going untouched for a 6-0 lead with 9:18 left in the first quarter.

Burden found a little daylight on the next series for South Nodaway, getting six yards in the first two plays, but a delay of game penalty made it third and 9 at their own 26. Burden tried a draw on third and 9 but was met by a curtain of Tiger defenders led by Brian Hall and Dylan Kinsella to set up fourth down. South Nodaway was setting up what looked like a possible fake punt, but a false start penalty spoiled the play and they were forced to punt to the Tigers, who started on their own 26. On their first play from scrimmage, Worth County emptied the backfield and Zach Harmening aired it out to Eli Mullock for a 54-yard pass to make it 12-0 with 6:44 left in the first quarter.

South Nodaway had some more tricks up their sleeve as one of their upbacks, the 6'7" 285 pound Zach Hilsabeck, returned the ensuing kickoff as the Longhorns were hoping to create some problems with open-field tackling. But Eli Mullock led a swarm of Tigers who brought him down at the 31. The Longhorns got an offsides penalty on first down, but still couldn't get the first down. They went with Tom Fletchall at quarterback this time and his run only netted two yards. His next run lost three as Josh Wagner and Brian Hall met him and dropped him for a loss to set up third and six. Fletchall's next carry could only net one yard and then South Nodaway elected to go for it on fourth and five from deep inside their own territory, but Brian Hall pressured Fletchall into a hurried throw and Barrett Baker was there to break it up.

For the second consecutive play, Worth County only needed one play to get into the end zone. Barrett Baker took a dive play, bounced his way to the outside, and outran everyone for a 36-yard score with 4:27 left. Josh Wagner ran in the extra points as he leveled a defender at the 2 and made it in to make it 20-0.

This time, South Nodaway tried Mitch Hilsabeck at quarterback for a play, but a holding penalty moved them back to the 16. Josh Wagner made a perfect open field tackle on Fletchall on the next play and then Dallas Greenland and Barrett Baker contained Cody Burden perfectly to set up third and 17. But then South Nodaway went to a spread formation with an empty backfield and put Tom Fletchall at quarterback; he ran for 14 to the 33 and for five more to the 38 to pick up the first down. The Longhorns continued to utilize the play and picked up another first down to the Tiger 26, but then Brian Hall and Josh Wagner met him and dropped him for a loss back to the 30 and an incomplete pass made it third and 14. Fletchall went back to pass again but this time, Eli Mullock jumped the route, bounced to the rightside, outran two tacklers, and returned it for the pick-6 with 11:41 left in the second quarter. J.J. Mullock caught the extra point pass on the guard eligible play to make it 28-0.

Zach Hilsabeck tried to return it again, but this time, Josh Wagner met him with a summersault tackle and the Longhorns set up shop at their own 28. Ethan Chesnut caught a short pass for 5 as South Nodaway tried to go to their passing game to get on the board. But Cody Green tipped the next pass and then Chesnut got open for a deep pass, but the Tigers came with a heavy rush and the pass went astray and South Nodaway was forced to punt.

For the third consecutive play, Worth County only needed one play to score. This time, Eli Mullock took a sweep down the right side, picked up blocks from Brian Hall and Josh Wagner, and was off to the races for a 64-yard run. Cody Green ran in the extra points with 10:35 left to make it 36-0.

Tom Fletchall tried a quick pass over the middle this time, but Jordan Harding and Josh Wagner were there to break it up. Two consecutive runs by the Longhorns went nowhere and they were forced to punt. But this time, they held Worth County thanks to two fumbles, a holding penalty, and an incomplete pass. Zach Harmening's spread draw on fourth and five from their own 26 fooled nobody and Harmening was tackled a yard short of the first down to give the Longhorns the ball on downs at the Tiger 31.

Cody Burden caught a short pass and turned it into a nine-yard gain thanks to poor tackling. But the Longhorns threw an incomplete pass and then a holding penalty wiped out a long run and forced third and 16. The Longhorns went back to their spread draw formation but this time, Coach Borey had made some adjustments, going with a four-man line and putting Barrett Baker on Fletchall. Baker met Fletchall for no gain and the Longhorns were forced to punt.

Barrett Baker caught a 10-yard pass to the Longhorn 26 and then took a sweep to the 32 for a six-yard gain. The ref tacked on a 15-yard facemask to the Tiger 33. Worth County seemingly stalled there as three plays only netted them two yards. But this time, Zach Harmening ran the spread draw perfectly for a first down to the Longhorn 20. Two plays later, he threw a strike to Eli Mullock for a score to make it 42-0 with 4:23 left in the half.

J.J. Mullock met Cody Burden for a one-yard gain and then Josh Wagner did a perfect stunt from his tackle position and ran down Burden after a two-yard gain. Wagner did the same thing to the other side and this time put on a heavy rush on Burden who barely got off the throw before being dropped behind the 5. On the ensuing punt, Jordan Harding ran down the right side, put a move on one of South Nodaway's big men, and ran down the tightrope for a touchdown with 2:48 left in the half to put Worth County over the 45-point limit.

South Nodaway went with Fletchall at quarterback this time, but he only picked up one yard on first down. After an incomplete pass, Dylan Kinsella stopped him after a two-yard gain and then Dallas Greenland played South Nodaway's fourth down pass perfectly and broke it up as the Longhorns elected to go for it rather than risk another touchdown return.

Coach Borey began subbing freely and Adam Summers, inserted at quarterback, took a sweep down the right side, leveled a would-be tackler, and bounced back to the middle for Worth County's final score of the evening with 1:10 left in the half to make it 54-0.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Senior Squad Plays Most Complete Game of Year; Shuts Out Albany 42-0

Worth County's 'Lil Tiger Senior Squad stood out from the rest of the teams playing Saturday afternoon. Most of the other teams struggled in the cold and it showed on the field as there were a ton of fumbles in the first game. But the Senior Squad thrived in the bitterly cold weather, routing Albany 42-0 in their most complete game of the year. Both teams were smarting from losses to I-35 last week; however, Coach Richard Baker gave credit to his assistants for working on the defense and getting them ready for Saturday's game. The juniors were routed 34-0; however, the seniors, after giving up 20 points in the first half against a squad that Coach Baker said was one of the most fundamentally sound he had ever seen, played up to I-35's level in the second half, losing 20-6.

The improvement was obvious across the board. Truman Moore was all over the field on defense with some major tackles for losses; Wade Rush (4 carries, 59 yards) was running as hard as he had all year; Brevyn Ross (17 carries, 237 yards) was running hard as well. Tristan Miller and Trayton Breit came up with some solid defensive plays, as did Jacob Hardy.

Albany went nowhere on three plays and Worth County took over on their own 32. Brevyn Ross got into Albany territory as he ripped off gains of 10 and 13 yards and then Nathan Pointer took the ball three yards to the 37. On the next play, Brevyn Ross did what his coaches had been exhorting him all year to do as he stiffarmed a defender to spring himself loose for 23 yards down to the 14. Two plays later, Wade Rush was in the end zone for Worth County's first score of the game with 8:31 left.

The Warriors once again could go nowhere as Trayton Breit dropped Maverick Hall for a loss of five and then a double reverse resulted in a loss of eight more yards, forcing the Warriors to punt. Ross took a sweep 34 yards to the Albany 20 but then the Tigers fumbled it right back to Albany. Colton Fountain caught a pass for 12 yards to the 33 for a first down for Albany, their first of the game. The Warriors botched up a fake reverse play for a loss of 6 and then Tristan Miller dropped quarterback Seth Cline for a loss of 2 to set up third and 18. But a pass interference penalty gave the Warriors a first down at the 42 and then Tyler Osmon picked up a first down to the 49. But then Truman Moore pounced on a fumble to give the Tigers the ball back at their own 49.

Brevyn Ross continued his lights-out running, picking up nine yards to the 42. Then he bounced outside and delivered two hits to would-be tacklers on his way for another 16-yard gain to the 26. Rush then ran for nine yards, but then Albany's scorekeeper gave Worth County only three downs as it was third down instead of second. A fumbled snap meant that Worth County would only have three plays to get first down thanks to the error, but Ross made sure that didn't matter, blowing past three defenders into the clear for a touchdown with 9:31 left. Ben Badell caught the extra point pass to make it 14-0.

Albany gave the ball to Tyler Osmon, whose first down run was good for 14 yards to the 49. But two plays later, a botched quick count resulted in a fumble and Worth County recovered the ball. Worth County tried some razzle dazzle as Ross tried a halfback pass, but Albany picked it off. But the defense had his back as Nathan Pointer delivered a big hit on Maverick Hall and then Hall lost nine yards on a fumbled reverse. Brevyn Ross then atoned for his miscue by intercepting the next pass to give the Tigers the ball on the Warrior 28.

Time was running out at that point and the Warrior defense stiffened, holding Ross to five yards on two carries. But then Ross got a block from Wade Rush for 18 yards down to the 5 with 1:06 left. Rush then picked up two yards with 9.7 seconds down to the three. A false start moved it back to the 8, but on the final play of the half, Brevyn Ross took a sweep down the left side and cut it in for the score. Ben Badell caught the extra point pass to make it 22-0.

Worth County only needed two plays to get into the end zone to start the second half. After Nathan Pointer's 15-yard reverse moved the ball to midfield, Brevyn Ross bounced to the outside and outran everyone for another score to make it 28-0 with 14 minutes left in the third quarter. Ross then shot through on defense, dropping Maverick Hall for a loss of one on the next series as Albany went three and out.

Wade Rush got his chance, getting a carry for 15 yards to the 40. After a fumbled snap, Nathan Pointer (6 carries, 62 yards) got his longest run of the year, a 36-yarder to the 23. A fumble made it second and 11 but then quarterback Ben Badell (4 carries, 37 yards) picked up a fumble and reversed his field on his way for a touchdown to make it 34-0 with 5:12 left in the third.

Albany finally got some daylight as Tyler Osmon proved to be tough for the Tigers to bring down, carrying the Warriors into Tiger territory at the 43. But then for some reason, Albany went to the double reverse and fumbled it to kill their momentum. Jacob Hardy then dropped Osmon for a loss and then Truman Moore sacked Maverick Hall as the Warriors tried a reverse pass that fooled nobody and they were forced to punt.

Brevyn Ross picked up 16 to the Warrior 36 and then Wade Rush dragged five would-be tacklers the last 10 yards as he picked up 21 on the play to the Warrior 41. Ben Badell picked up five, Brevyn Ross picked up six more as Rush leveled a defender on the play, and Badell picked up seven. Pointer's cutback run and Jacob Wimer's carry moved it to the 10, but the Tigers fumbled it there. But the Warriors fumbled it right back and Jacob Hardy shot through to pounce on it at the 2. The Tigers needed all four cracks at the goal line to get in but Ben Badell's second touchdown, where he dragged a defender into the end zone, was all effort with 3:54 left in the game. Nathan Pointer ran in the extra points to make it 42-0.

'Lil Tiger Junior Squad Shuts Out Albany 18-0

Worth County's 'Lil Tigers Junior Squad overcame a rash of fumbles Saturday afternoon and beat the Albany Warriors 18-0 when they scored all three of their touchdowns in the second half. The Tigers took the opening drive of the game, but then fumbled it away for the first time just past midfield. But Albany could do nothing with it as they had fumble problems of their own, fumbling a snap for a loss of 9. Drake Kinsella snuffed out an option to force the Warriors to punt.

The Tigers started on their own 31 and Tevin Cameron (20 carries, 218 yards) got a first down just past the 41, but then a pair of fumbles in the cold weather set them back to the 35 and they were forced to punt. Albany started off on their own 21 but fumbled the ball away, giving the Tigers the ball on the Albany 19 with a golden opportunity to score. But they did not take advantage as Ryan McClellan was run down from behind on a reverse, Cameron was thrown for a loss of one, and another snap was fumbled.

The rash of fumbles continued as Albany only ran three plays before they fumbled it to the Tigers on the Warrior 26. But again they could not convert. Two carries by Cameron and one by Michael Burch made it fourth and one on the 17, but a fumbled snap gave the Warriors the ball back on the 16 on downs.

This time, Albany found some daylight as Brett Curtis took an option to the 31. The Warriors were able to rescue a third and eight as it was Curtis again, this time for 12 yards to the 45. From there, Albany mounted their most promising drive of the game as Miles Wildon rescued a third and six with an 11-yard run to the Tiger 40; Curtis would then get 20 yards to the 21. An option run by Curtis for seven, a three-yarder by Wildon, and a one-yard run by Austin Salsman gave the Warriors first and goal at the 11 just before the half. But then the Tigers showed some of the same mental toughness that characterized their first two wins of the season as Wildon was stopped for no gain on first and goal. Cameron then defended an option perfectly as he fought off a block and threw Curtis for a loss of two. Wildon could only get one yard on third and goal and then Albany fumbled on a botched reverse play and Worth County took over on downs to end the scoreless first half.

At that point, it looked like the game would be decided by overtime or a single score. Worth County started off with the ball, but fumbled it again right off the bat. There was a lot of confusion on the field as first the officials signaled that Worth County had recovered it and then signaled that Albany had recovered it. But finally, they ruled that the whistle had blown before the Warriors recovered and that the Tigers should get the ball back. Given the new life, the Tigers finally started clicking as Tevin Cameron took a pitchout seven yards to the 41 and then shot through the middle on the next play and bounced to the outside for 27 yards down to the Warrior 32. Cameron then took a sweep to the Warrior 19 for a 13-yarder. Disaster almost struck again as the Tigers fumbled the ball away to the Warriors, but Albany fumbled the ball right back to the Tigers on their first play. Consecutive fumbles by the Tigers and a false start made it second and 18 at the 25, which looked like an eternity at that point.

But then quarterback Michael Burch (5 carries, 37 yards) came up with the same kind of play that CFX used on the Tigers when Kevin Dodson picked up a fumble and ran it a long ways for a touchdown to make a game of it in last year's high school game before Worth County righted themselves in the second half to win it. Burch did the same thing as he had more trouble with the center-quarterback exchange but then the Albany defenders overran him and he was able to get a first down run to the Albany 6. Burch then took a keeper down to the 2 and then his sneak got the Tigers into the end zone with 7:35 left in the third to make it 6-0.

Tevin Cameron then dropped Curtis for a loss of seven on first down to force a three and out. Three plays later, on third and five from the Tiger 40, Cameron took a handoff on a long-developing play that fooled everyone as he burst past the initial line and into the clear. He outran everyone into the end zone for the 60-yard score to make it 12-0 with 1:17 left in the third.

Albany could get nowhere on their next series as Will Engel had a big hit on Wildon for a loss of one. The Tigers took over on their own 28 and then Tevin Cameron, finding more daylight as the game progressed, took a sweep 20 yards to the 48. The next play was a busted play but Michael Burch, with a defender about to drop him for a big loss, managed to pitch it off to Cameron who ran it for 10 yards to the Albany 42. On the next play, Cameron's 22 yarder took it to the 20. A fumbled handoff made it second and 13 but then Cameron got carries of 7 and 12 down to the Albany 4. A block in the back pushed it back to the 14, but runs by Cameron of 4 and 10 made up the distance and Worth County led 18-0 with 5:15 left in the game for the final score.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tigers Match School Record in 84-26 Rout of North Andrew

Worth County routed North Andrew 84-26 and put its naysayers to shame once again as pundits had been predicting that the Cardinals would be too quick for "the power teams of the 275." North Andrew had beaten Worth County the year before and they were coming into the same situation Friday night -- they had to win, or they would be out of the playoffs. But the result was totally different this time as Worth County matched a school record by scoring 84 points. The last time they scored 84 in a game was when Jared Findley, Bart Hardy, Brandon Hunter, Joel Terry, and company hung 84 on South Nodaway when they won Worth County's second state title and Coach Chuck Borey's first.

The Tigers struck right off the bat as Barrett Baker's (10 carries, 76 yards) first down run went for 12 yards up to the 37. An offsides penalty put the ball on the North Andrew 38 and then Zach Harmening (9 completions, 202 yards in one half) threw to Eli Mullock for a 38-yard touchdown to open up the scoring. Barrett Baker would barrel over two defenders for the extra point to make it 8-0 with 11:34 left. With that play, the Tigers showed just how much they had improved over last year as they were befuddled by North Andrew's team speed in their 32-24 overtime loss at North Andrew. But this year, the Tigers not only showed power, they showed that they had gotten so quick since the year that they played last that they left the Cardinal defenders in the dust time and time again. North Andrew had their prize runningback Alex Kier back -- he did all he could, getting 170 yards for the Cardinals. But he was the one person who could match Worth County's team speed, and he could only do so much.

Coach Chuck Borey said after the game that he had reminded his players of the situation last year in which North Andrew had to win. "We had to stay away from stupid penalties and turnovers and we did," he said. Worth County only fumbled the ball away once and they were penalized a lot less than they were earlier in the year. Last year, the Tigers collected a ton of penalties against the Cardinals to kill numerous potential scoring drives.

Clayton Townsend ran back a short kick into Tiger territory at the 37. But Anthony Gabriel was hammered by four Tiger defenders for a loss and then two carries by Kier only netted four years as Alex Harmening led a swarm of Tigers on third and six to throw him for a loss of one. The fourth down pass was tipped and Worth County took over on downs at their own 34.

Barrett Baker caught a pass in the flat for eight yards and then got seven more on a dive play. A botched screen pass was incomplete and Baker went for no gain on his next play to set up third and 10. Baker then took a short pass and went down the left side for nine of the ten yards and set up fourth and one on the 22. A false start moved it back to the 27, but Eli Mullock caught another pass in the flat and put a move on his defender for 16 yards down to the 11. But that was as far as the Tigers would get as they fumbled the ball on their next play.

But that did not matter. Josh Pittman's first down pass was almost intercepted and Kier was stuffed for no gain. Barrett Baker then broke up a pass for fourth and 10. On the ensuing punt, Josh Wagner came straight up the middle with a heavy rush and a botched kick gave the Tigers first and 10 at the Cardinal 18. On the ensuing series, Barrett Baker got 15 yards on a sweep as he got blocks from Eli Mullock and Dylan Kinsella and then scored with 5:55 left in the first quarter as J.J. Mullock threw a perfect chop block of his man to open up the hole. Alex Harmening caught the two-point converson pass to make it 16-0.

At that point, North Andrew changed their strategy, going to Pittman on their runs instead of Kier. Alex Kier got eight yards for them on first down into Tiger territory at the 37 and then Kier ran a quarterback sneak four yards to the 32 to convert third and one. But then a screen pass intended for Kier was too far, Kier's sweep only netted five yards, and Kier's run only got one yard. Pittman aired it out to Clayton Townsend, who was open; however, Pittman's pass was too far and the Tigers took over on downs at their own 26. Worth County only needed one play to get into the end zone as Zach Harmening aired it out to Eli Mullock for 54 yards to make it 22-0 with 3:34 left in the first quarter.

Worth County, trying to keep the ball out of the hands of Kier, tried an onsides kick and apparently recovered it, but it did not go the necessary 10 yards and the Cardinals had it first and 10 at the Tiger 36. Kier bounced outside for 13 yards down to the 21 and then Anthony Gabriel caught a fourth and six pass for 14 yards down to the 3. Two sneaks by Pittman got them into the end zone; the touchdown was thanks to a questionable call by the officials, who were the same crew who made bad calls against the Tigers in the CFX game. The official on the side that the play was being run did not signal the touchdown, but the official on the far side, who was in no position to see the play, signaled touchdown even though it was clear that Pittman did not break the plane. The gift by the officials handed North Andrew their first six points to make it 22-6 with 14 seconds left in the first.

Already in catchup mode, North Andrew tried an onsides kick of their own, but Worth County covered it at their own 33. They seemingly stalled at their own 31 and and were seemingly forced to punt, but Coach Borey, making a concerted effort to keep the ball out of the hands of Kier, gambled on fourth and 12 with the same sort of play that Texas used to beat Nebraska one year; the Longhorns had the lead and the ball late in the game and aired out a touchdown on fourth and one. The occasion was not as dramatic for Worth County, but for the Tigers, it was a matter of keeping the Cardinals from getting back into the game and establishing Kier as a threat. Zach Harmening aired it out to Eli Mullock who dove for it and bobbled it. Even the Tiger players afterwords thought the pass might have hit the ground at one point, but Mullock's play was ruled a catch and Worth County had new life at the Cardinal 14. Barrett Baker then took a sweep, got a block from Josh Wagner, and broke some tackles to the two. An offsides penalty put it on the one and then Baker followed another Wagner block into the end zone with 11 minutes left in the half to make it 28-6.

Coach Borey said that it was important for the team to force North Andrew out of their game plan, calling the two interceptions the Tigers had "huge." The Cardinals followed the lead of teams like Nebraska and UNO and Pitt State and have established a power running game during their recent return to the top tier of eight-man football. However, the Tigers proved that once they got them behind, they were unable to play catch-up. In the meantime, the Tigers were able to run and pass effectively. "People don't lock in on Zach Harmening, but he is one of the better quarterbacks in eight-man football," said Coach Borey. He said that the difference between this year and last year was that the Tigers were mixing things up better. "We have Barrett, Alex, Eli, Josh, and Zach, who are all able to make big plays. Other teams can't focus on one guy this year," he said.

At that point, North Andrew was in catch-up mode and they changed their plan again. This time, they put Anthony Gabriel at quarterback in the shotgun formation. The move initially paid off as Gabriel ripped off a 19-yarder down to the Tiger 23. But on their next play, Gabriel attempted to throw a pass to Kier, but Alex Harmening read the play, jumped the pass, and was gone the other way for six points to make it 34-6 with 10:35 left. North Andrew then put Kier at quarterback and ran the sweep with him every single time and finally found some success as he used runs of 10, 15, and 34 yards to score with 9:09 left to make it 34-12. Worth County answered by going tit for tat as they put Eli Mullock (11 carries, 67 yards) at quarterback and he took a spread draw for five yards to the 31 and then took a sweep into North Andrew territory at the 39. He was stopped for no gain the next play but then took a sweep for 15 yards down to the Cardinal 24. At that point, Zach Harmening came back in and aired it out to Alex Harmening for the final 15 yards to make it 40-12 with 7:20 left.

For some reason, North Andrew did not stick with the end around plays that had gotten them their last score and instead put Gabriel at quarterback and tried to establish their option game. But they could only net six yards in three plays to midfield and then their fourth down attempt to air it out was broken up by Eli Mullock. Worth County took advantage of the short field as Barrett Baker ripped off a gain of 7 yards and Eli Mullock took a pitch 10 yards down to the North Andrew 23. Eli was stopped for no gain on the next play, but then caught a 10-yard pass down to the Cardinal 13 with 3:57 left. Barrett Baker then picked up a block from Mullock and pushed a defender the last few yards into the end zone with 3:57 left in the half. Baker's run on the extra point was successful as nobody was home to defend against the sweep.

On their very first play from scrimmage, North Andrew tried to air it out to get back in the game, but Barrett Baker jumped the route and picked it off, running down the right side and getting all the way to the Cardinal 21. A false start moved it back to the 26 but then Eli Mullock got runs of 6 and 3 yards down to the 14. A play action pass was incomplete, but a long count on fourth and three drew the Cardinals offsides and gave the Tigers first and goal at the 9. Zach Harmening then threaded the needle and Barrett Baker caught a pass towards the front pylon of the end zone with 2:16 for the score. Baker ran in the extra points to make it 56-12.

North Andrew put Kier at quarterback, but lost their will to fight at that point, letting the clock run out. Three consecutive carries by Kier got them to the 35 with 34 seconds left; on his third carry, Cody Green made a perfect open field tackle of Kier to hold him to three yards. Then, Gabriel came in at quarterback to throw a pass, but Clayton Townsend heard footsteps and dropped a short pass as Dylan Kinsella hit Gabriel on the play. Finally, Eli Mullock and Josh Wagner ganged up on Kier and held him to no gain on the final play of the half.

The Cardinals got the ball on their own 17 and were promptly pushed back to their 9 thanks to an equipment penalty and a delay of game penalty. Kier tried to sweep to the right side, but then Dylan Kinsella made a perfect open field tackle on him, dropping him for a loss of two back to the 7. A horsecollar penalty gave the Cardinals new life on the 25, and Kier's first down run moved it to the 37. But then Barrett Baker shot through and dropped Kier for a nine yard loss back to the 28. Josh Wagner then shot through and dropped Pittman for a loss on a keeper and then Barrett Baker and Cody Green combined on a sack to set up fourth and 29 on their own 18. But the Cardinals wanted no part of the Tiger punt rush and elected to go for it; however, the pass to Dallas George was short of the first down and the Tigers took over on the North Andrew 34.

Eli Mullock picked up a pair of sweeps to the 22 and then Josh Wagner got a counter and Barrett Baker held his block perfectly to spring Wagner for an 18-yard gain down to the Tiger 4. Two plays later, Mitch Andrews took a pitch in for a touchdown. Wagner hurdled over a defender for the two points to make it 64-12. At that point, Coach Borey began putting in his JV as North Andrew elected to play on; Kier ripped off a 58-yard touchdown run with 2:28 left in the third quarter to make it 64-18. But Worth County ran the kickoff right back for a touchdown as Barrett Baker ran straight up the middle and then bounced out to the left side. Adam Summers ran in the extra points to make it 72-18.

Clayton Townsend ran off 21 yards to the Tiger 33 to keep their drive going and then Josh Pittman aired it out to Cody Edwards for a 30 yard score with 10:44 left in the game. Tyler Smith ran in the extra points to make it 72-26. But North Andrew, unlike two years ago when they left in their starters against Worth County's JV and ran off three straight scores to turn a 46-6 score into 46-30, began subbing freely at that point.

Worth County's JV got a nice sustained drive going in response, going 9 plays and 56 yards to score. Mitch Andrews started the drive by moving a pile eight yards to the 32; an offsides penalty gave the Tigers first down at their own 38. Dallas Greenland then took a pitchout 11 yards to the 31. Jordan Harding then rescued a third and long as he caught a 21-yard pass in which Wyatt McClain leveled a defender to clear the way. That put the ball on the Cardinal 12 and then Adam Summers broke a bunch of tackles and jumped to the outside to score to make it 78-26 with 5:44 left. Wyatt McClain was not done as he recovered a fumble to give the Tigers the ball on the Cardinal 20; Jordan Harding ran it in for the final score on Worth County's first play from scrimmage with 4:03 left.

Tigers Give Up Nine in Districts; Lose 13-0 to Stanberry

Worth County could not take advantage of their good fortune in the opening round of districts, falling to the Stanberry Bulldogs 13-0 in five innings in a game that was played in the cold and rain. KAAN Announcer Stuart Johnson said it perfectly when he said that on the eighth day of creation, God created a ball field in Stanberry that would stand all types of weather and that it was going to be put to the test. Worth County did receive good news on another front as they will host their first-ever sectional tonight as Jefferson, the winners of their district, will play the winner of District 16.

The Tigers did not get a single hit against the top-seeded Bulldogs, who had beaten the Tigers 19-4 in their GRC matchup. Brooke Adams got a walk in the first inning with one out; however, Worth County could not score as Amanda Downing and Ashley Reynolds both struck out. With two outs in the bottom of the first, Megan Durbin tripled with two outs to bring home two runs for Stanberry and came home herself on a wild pitch to make it 3-0

Delaney Davidson walked to lead off the second, but the next three batters all struck out for Worth County. Stanberry went in order in the second but would score nine in the third to put it out of reach. Tiger centerfielder Brooke Adams had one of the few highlights for Worth County in the inning as she made a running catch in the right-center gap. Four of Stanberry's runs came with two outs. In the fourth, Davidson drew her second walk for Worth County with two outs, but was stranded. In the fifth, Kacey Smyser hit the hardest shot off the Stanberry pitcher, a sharp foul past first, but then struck out to end the game.

Coach Todd Simmons said that the Tigers got off to a good start, but then struggled against the tougher part of their schedule during the middle part of the season. But he said that they had improved greatly towards the end of the year, including a 7-2 win over Princeton and their first district win in two years, a 6-4 win over Albany. He said that Paige McPike in right field had really come on strong towards the end of the year; she made a heads-up play for the final out of the Albany game when she made a 9-3 putout to end a late Albany rally. Brooke Adams had also shown a lot of improvement when she was moved back to center field as she made two catches in the right-center gap during districts, a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Davidson Fans 13; Tigers Live to Fight Another Day

Worth County lived to fight another day as Delaney Davidson struck out 13 Albany batters and the Tigers held off a late Warrior rally to beat Albany 6-4 in the opening round of district action in Stanberry. The Tigers jumped on Albany early, plating three runs, and made it stand up for the rest of the evening.

After Albany went down in order in the first, they pitched Morgan Combs against the Tigers. She had a slow delivery, but made up for it by working really quickly, which meant that she was able to pitch sometimes before Tiger batters were ready. But on the other hand, she fought the strike zone and walked several batters throughout the evening; her wildness led to some Tiger runs.

Worth County's first four batters reached safely in the first inning as Brooke Adams reached on an error as Combs bobbled a grounder. Brooke Gilland walked after a long battle with Combs and Amanda Downing was hit by a pitch. Combs was wild all night; she would hit four Tiger batters during the evening. Ashley Reynolds walked on four pitches to force in a run. Delaney Davidson grounded for what was an apparent single, but Downing tangled with the shortstop and was forced out at third; Brooke Gilland scored on the play. Ashley Reynolds came home on a wild pitch for Worth County's third run of the inning.

Erin Teel walked to lead off the second for Albany and went to second on a passed ball and third on a stolen base. But Delaney Davidson struck out Maisie Yeager, Paige McGinley, and Brooke Smith to get out of the inning. Worth County went down in order in their half of the second, but Davidson struck out the side in the third. With one out in the bottom of the third, Ashley Reynolds walked on a 3-2 count on a close call, but Delaney Davidson struck out and Tonya Troutwine grounded out to keep it at 3-0 after three innings.

The Tigers got the first two outs of the fourth easily enough as Brooke Gilland made a running catch of Thea Sagun's pop fly behind second and Melissa Abreu grounded out to Tonya Troutwine. But Brooke Gilland struggled from the shortstop position as she threw Erin Teel's grounder away and then overcompensated on the next play, throwing Maisie Yeager's grounder in the dirt for another error. Teel and Yeager went to second and third on a wild pitch and the tying run was at the plate, but Delaney Davidson got a called third strike against Paige McGinley on the outside corner to end the inning.

Worth County got a two-out rally to score two more in the fourth. Rebecca Moore was hit by a pitch. Bailey McPike forced her and second and Kacey Smyser flied out to right for the second out. McPike then took off for second and was safe when the throw to shortstop Erin Teel was in the dirt and hit her in the face. Brooke Adams then won a long battle with Combs and drew a walk after a 2-2 count. Brooke Gilland then hit a line drive down the left field line. Left fielder Chantelle Berger tried for a diving catch but missed it and the center fielder had to go get it as Gilland made it to third for a triple. McPike and Adams scored on the play to make it 5-0.

Combs' wildness continued in the fifth inning as she plunked Ashley Reynolds to start the inning. Delaney Davidson forced Reynolds at second and Tonya Troutwine forced Davidson, but Combs plunked Rebecca Moore for her second hit batter of the inning and fourth of the game. But Moore left first too soon and was called out for the third out and Worth County could not take advantage.

Rebecca Moore's troubles were not over as Davidson had an apparent strikeout of Chantelle Berger and Moore, thinking she had tagged out Berger, held the ball. But the umpire never made the call and Berger reached first on a dropped third strike. Thea Sagun walked and then Davidson muffed a grounder to load the bases. Berger then scored on a wild pitch for Albany's first run. Erin Teel walked for Albany's fourth consecutive baserunner to reach, but then Davidson settled down and struck out Maisie Yeager on a called third strike and Paige McGinley as well. Brooke Smith grounded out to Troutwine to end the inning to keep Worth County up 5-1.

The Tigers got another two-out run as Brooke Adams beat out a bunt down the third base line and went to second on a passed ball as catcher McKenzie Pigg bobbled a pitch. Brooke Gilland hit a pop fly to left; again Chantelle Berger went for the shoestring catch and again she came up empty as Adams scored on the play and Brooke Gilland took second on the throw home. Amanda Downing singled and Ashley Reynolds walked to chase Combs, but Katie Thomas came on to strike out Delaney Davidson to keep it at 6-1.

Albany made their final run in the seventh as Davidson began to tire. Ashley Smith singled up the middle and took second and third on wild pitches. McKenzie Pigg walked and stole second; Smith scored on a wild pitch as Pigg took third. Chantelle Berger struck out but Rebecca Moore dropped the third strike; she threw out Berger at first, but Pigg scored on the play to make it 6-3. Davidson continued to fight the strike zone, walking Thea Sagun and Melissa Abreu, who took second and third on a wild pitch. That brought the tying run to the plate. Erin Teel grounded out to Ashley Reynolds at first to score Sagun to make it 6-4 and then Maisie Yeager hit an apparent run-scoring single to right. But Tiger rightfielder Paige McPike charged the grounder and threw to first to retire Yeager for the final out.

Jefferson Hangs Eight in Fourth on NEN in Districts

Northeast Nodaway ended its season with a 13-0 loss to Jefferson in districts. The ending was a disappointing one for the Bluejays, who had greatly improved over last year. Coach Rex Wallace, in looking back over the season, said that the team's biggest weakness was its outfield. "We can't let balls go through our legs like we did tonight," he said. "It must have been frustrating for [pitcher] Taylor [Dougan] to pitch well and to watch that. But overall, we were a lot better than last year." Blair Schmitz was named to the all-conference team as a first baseman; second baseman Hallie Oelze, who played her last game as a Bluejay Wednesday night, was named Honorable Mention.

Northeast did not get a hit against Eagle pitcher Kendle Schieber in the five-inning loss; the closest they came was in the top of the first when Blair Schmitz hit a hard shot that was just foul down the left field line before striking out. After Schieber struck out the side in the top of the first, she walked to lead off the first. Coach Rex Wallace then went to an unorthodox defense, moving Katrina Freemeyer from left field to a spot behind second, moved Oelze way in, and put Schmitz in as close as Dougan on the mound. But that move backfired as Allie Meyer slapped the ball past short and third into the vacated left field area for a triple. Jill Henry then hit a single to center to score Meyer and then went to second as centerfielder Mallorie Peters let the ball roll under her legs. Ashley Chor hit a fly ball down the left field line that looked like trouble, but Katrina Freemeyer made a running catch for the first out, but Darcy Schieber hit a single up the middle to score Chor to make it 3-0. Dougan struck out Sarah Kamper and Jackie Bliley to get out of the inning.

The Bluejays got their only baserunners in the second inning. With one out, Katrina Freemeyer had two strikes on her but laid down a perfect bunt that died in front of the plate. Catcher Jill Henry threw away the ball for an error. Taylor Dougan struck out, but Mallorie Peters walked to put runners on first and second. But Freemeyer was out stealing third to end Northeast's most promising threat of the night.

Jefferson added two more in the top of the second as Kendle Schieber hit a double just over the outstretched glove of Freemeyer and Meyer got her second slap hit, a slow roller that rolled dead halfway between home plate and third base in fair territory. After Meyer stole second, Jill Henry grounded out to score Schieber and Chor stretched a single into a double on the next play as Meyer scored.

The two teams went in order in the fourth, but Dougan began fighting the strike zone in the fifth. Gina Schieber hit a pop fly single down the left field line. Kendle popped out to Bryant at short, but Dougan walked Allie Meyer. After Jill Henry singled sharply between short and third, Chor walked on four pitches to force in a run. The backbreaker for Northeast was Darcy Schieber's single past a drawn-in infield that scored three runs when Freemeyer let the ball roll under her legs. Darcy Schieber went to third on a wild pitch, Sarah Kemper walked and stole second, Jamie Degase singled to left and stole, Jackie Bliley walked, Gina Schieber reached on an error by Kristan Judd when she dropped a throw on a force play and it rolled away, and Kendle Schieber singled in two more. Freemeyer threw out Gina Schieber at third and Dougan struck out Meyer on a change to finally end the carnage.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Private Detention Facility Proposed for Sheridan Schoolhouse

Mayor Bud Allee reported on a meeting that he had with Gary Hamilton, who has proposed putting in a private detention facility in the Sheridan Schoolhouse. The building would be brought up to state codes at no cost to the city and Hamilton would put up a six-foot fence around the school. The city would be responsible for getting the new jail appraised and applying for a grant that would net them $5,000 for each job that was created at the new facility. There would be an estimated 10-15 jobs created initially; if the facility expands, it could turn into 20-25 jobs.

Due to the recent closure of the Bethany prison facility, there is now a need for a new facility to house short-term offenders. The proposed facility in Sheridan would house prisoners from Worth County as well as some prisoners from Nodaway, Atchison, and Gentry counties. The most time that anyone would serve in the facility would be 120 days. The facility would do their own transportation, which means that there would be no additional cops for the area.

Mayor Bud Allee said that there had been concerns that the Maryville facility would bring in the wrong elements, but that had not materialized and that it had become an asset to the community. The Maryville facility is a drug treatment facility while the proposed Sheridan facility would house short-term prisoners from Worth and surrounding counties. Councilman Dave Thomas said that while the building could never become a public school under the terms of the deed that the city has, he didn't see any problem with it becoming a prison. Councilwoman Mary Jo Hawk quoted councilman Leland Wake as saying that if the new facility were to fail, that the building would be returned to the city in the current shape that it is in. She explained that there would be no public vote required. The council took no action on the proposal; Mayor Bud Allee directed council members to solicit public feedback and report back at next month's meeting.

Thomas told the city council that when the city was ready to plant new trees, that Cub Scout Pack 62 would volunteer to plant them. There was discussion about whether to plant saplings or get 18-foot trees; if the city were to plant saplings, it would be cheaper; however, it would take longer for them to grow. 18-foot trees would be much more expensive, with some costing as much as $2,000.

The council voted to renew its dues for Worth County Emergency Management and the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments.

Water Superintendent David Parman reported that the city had filled in a hole at Goolsby's, worked on a sewer leak near Mary Jo Hawk's, and did work on the sewer behind Jim Steinman's. The city will charge Steinman $175 for the pipe as well as $100 for the backhoe and the labor, which council members said was much less than what would have been charged commercially.

Mayor Bud Allee appointed councilwoman Candy Martin to work on a DNR engineering grant that would pay for 95% of the city's engineering survey costs up to $25,000 should the city get the grant for overhauling the water system. The work must be done by October 31st.

The city directed Doug Allee to get two loads of cold mix for the streets, one at a time at an estimated cost of $427.35. The new city truck needs work on the two-speed as well as the solenoid; the council also directed Allee to have them worked on as well.

Editorial: Rural Missouri Left Behind

An October 4th item on the Missourinet website reported on the work of a Senate Job Creation 2020 Committee that is looking at strategies that they say will lead to job creation throughout the state by 2020. But from all indications, it looks like they are focused on big-city economic development while totally ignoring the rural part of the state. That is highly ironic, seeing that some rural areas of this state were among the few places in the country to give John McCain a higher share of the vote than George W. Bush in 2004 and that the committee in particular is chaired by a Republican, Senator Tom Dempsey of St. Peters.

The Job Creation Committee has met in two different parts of the state -- Jefferson City and Kansas City, with two more meetings to follow -- in St. Louis and Columbia. That's it. No meetings for this part of the country. Nothing for Maryville. St. Joseph or Cameron or Bethany would be other acceptable locations as well. And what about places like Kirksville, Hannibal, Cape Girdareau, Springfield, or Joplin -- do they not matter all of a sudden?

Mr. Dempsey claims in the article that the process in question is an "open process." Well, Senator, how is it an open process when the nearest place that anyone can go to voice their ideas or concerns is 120 miles away? That would take a day out of my schedule, and it would take a day out of anyone else's schedule as well, when one considers the fact that you not only have to drive 2-3 hours there and back, you have to find the place and then fight traffic every step of the way.

And then they wonder why the perception is out there that our leaders have done nothing to reverse steady economic decline throughout the state. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote an editorial about this matter in its October 5th issue, hinting that the consequences of this inaction will be a decline similar to the one that has recently hit Michigan.

It is not rocket science to figure out what our needs are. Better roads -- while some of the worst roads have been repaired, our roads are still not in good shape. More money for water for our towns to repair/replace aging water and sewer systems. Putting wind farms in every town in the state and ethanol plants in every town the size of Maryville or bigger. More money for communities to tear down aging buildings -- who wants to buy up a piece of land and be stuck with the repair bill for a house that is about to fall in? But when our politicians hold meetings on our future in which our people are not able to attend without going hundreds of miles out of their way, it is not surprising that people think that their legislators simply don't care.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sheddrick Explains Coverage, Limitations

The natural question that people have on their minds is, "Where was the Sheriff's Department on the night that the dogs and cats were poisoned?" While Sheriff Terry Sheddrick said that they could only be so many places at once, they were doing all they could. Sheddrick patrols the county 24/7; his deputies alternate weekends so that Dennie Mildfeldt is off one weekend and Tom Trullinger is off the next weekend. The problem is that Sheddrick explained that deputies can only work 40 hours per week; he said that the county was not willing to pay overtime.

He said that the Sheriff's office was not even notified of the poisonings until 4:30 on the afternoon of Sunday the 13th, almost one day after the poisonings had happened. They had been investigating a break-in at the schoolhouse in Sheridan that morning. Sheddrick said that they were still looking for leads in the animal poisoning case and that even if people were not sure about the significance of evidence, they should turn it in to the Sheriff's Department. The number is (660) 564-2222; persons may also contact Sheddrick or deputies Tom Trullinger or Dennie Mildfeldt.

In response to the incident, Sheddrick said that the sheriff's departmen has been stepping up patrols of the area and that people had been watching more closely. He said that there had been no more reports of any information since a suspicious bag was turned into the department on the 15th; the bag in question has been sent into a lab for testing. "If people see someone throw stuff out of their window, call us," said Sheddrick. He explained that the Sheriff's office takes all calls seriously and that they will get to the most serious calls first.

Due to the limited resources of the office, Sheddrick said that the department had to prioritize. For instance, if they got a call about a loud party and a call about an accident at the same time, they would have to work the accident first and then work their way down. In addition, he said that there had been a lot of cattle thefts in the region and the Sheriff's Department was patrolling a lot of rural roads; he said that increased visibility of the department would deter such crimes. He said that they check out suspicious cars in pastures. He said that most of their calls came from out of Grant City. "We have a limited amount of help and equipment, but we go with what we've got," he said.

Two ideas that have been pitched to alleviate the deputy shortage in Worth County were volunteer deputies and posses. Terry said that his office has floated around the idea of posses at community events who would keep an eye on things and contact them if there was any trouble. They would not have arrest powers, but the county would not be liable for their actions. However, Sheddrick said that he had contacted the state about that and that the state had never gotten back to him. Sheddrick and Commissioner Kevin Austin said that volunteer deputies who got the proper training would have to be commissioned by both the county and the state; the downside of that is that it would lead to more liability for the county.

Tigers Hold Off Pesky South Holt Squad 56-34

Worth County scored right off the bat. But they could not put away a pesky Knights squad until the fourth quarter, when they finally pulled away for a 56-34 win and avoided a letdown after their win over Mound City. The Knights have always put up a spirited battle against the Tigers at their place even when the fortunes of the teams have been different, and Friday night was no different as they sought to set the tone of the game by introducing themselves as a team instead of the individual starting lineups that most other teams do. With that, they showed that they had come to play.

The Tigers struck first right off the bat as they pounced on a fumbled reverse play on South Holt's second play from scrimmage and got the ball on the Knights 9. From there, Barrett Baker (22 carries, 109 yards) weaved his way up the middle for five yards. On Worth County's next play, Baker took a sweep down the right side and his final lunge got him into the end zone for their first points of the game. Eli Mullock's (18 carries, 162 yards) sweep and cutback was good for two points and the Tigers were up 8-0 with 10:28 left.

But South Holt responded with a 14 play 58 yard drive that took the next six minutes off the clock. Kylynn Sisk, a quarterback who can run and throw, jetted 12 yards to the 24 and then Donny Sipes caught a 26-yard bomb to the 32. From there, South Holt used the threat of the long pass to set up their running game as consecutive runs of 8 and 6 yards from Sisk got them another first down to the 19. Backed up third and 10 from the 19, they got a pass to Toby Prussman for 9 and a sneak from Sisk for three to the seven. Three plays later, Tyler Costello took a pitch into the end zone with four minutes left to make it 8-6. Eli Mullock broke up the extra point pass and Worth County remained ahead. The extra point game would be huge for Worth County as they were able to keep South Holt from catching up thanks to their ability to convert extra points.

Worth County got a good runback from Alex Harmening as an attempt by South Holt to keep the ball from Barrett Baker and Eli Mullock backfired. Barrett Baker then got a first down to the South Holt 29 thanks to a facemask penalty. But they stalled there as nobody blocked Bryant Kurtz, who sacked Harmening for a loss of 8 to stop the Tigers there. But South Holt could not capitalize after picking up a first down thanks to a pair of runs by Sisk up to the Tiger 35. A delay of game penalty moved them back five yards and then a fumbled handoff rolled all the way back to the Knights 30 before South Holt could fall on it. Eli Mullock broke up South Holt's third down play and then Alex Harmening flushed Sisk from the pocket and forced him to throw one off-target and the Knights were forced to punt.

The Tigers started at their own 25. Eli's first down run only netted two, but then Barrett bounced a quick hitter to the outside for nine to the 36. Three consecutive runs from Eli Mullock netted the Tigers another first down to the Knights 32, and Barrett Baker got another 17 when South Holt overran another quick hitter. Eli Mullock took a dive play eight yards behind a Wagner block and then Brian Hall's block sprung Mullock free for eight more yards with 8:01 left. Mullock dragged a defender into the end zone to convert the extra points to make it 16-6.

The Knights converted a third and five when Prussman caught a third down pass to the Tiger 38. But a fumbled snap cost the Knights and Alex Harmening hurried Sisk again to force third and long. Harmening's shoestring tackle stopped a trick play from becoming a long gain as the Knights tried a direct snap to Donny Sipes. On fourth down, as Sisk was standing off to the side trying to fix some equipment, Sipes took the snap and aired it out to Prussman, but he overthrew him and was leveled on the play as the Knights gave the ball back to the Tigers on downs.

Worth County only needed one play to score as Alex Harmening caught a short pass from the 39, got a block from Barrett Baker, and outran everyone for the score with 5:47 left. Eli Mullock's sweep play made it 24-6. But South Holt struck right back as the Knights aired it out to Toby Prussman for a 55-yarder with 4:32 left. Tyler Costello took the option pitch in for the extra points to make it 24-14.

The Tigers got a long drive going, but ran out of time before they could score before the half. Barrett Baker followed a big hole to the Tiger 30. Eli Mullock caught a long pass, but a block in the back moved it back to the 38. Runs by Barrett Baker down to the Knights 30 and a one-yard pitch to Mullock got another first down. The Tigers penetrated to the 23, but that was as far as they could get thanks to a delay of game penalty and a false start.

South Holt kicked the ball into the end zone to start the second half thanks to a strong wind, giving the Tigers the ball on their own 15. But this time, they were able to capitalize. A seven-yarder from Eli Mullock and a quarterback sneak from Zach Harmening gave the Tigers a first down at their own 25. Two plays later, the Tigers were into Knight territory as Eli Mullock outran the ends on a pitch play for 31 yards and the ref tacked on yardage down to the 11 thanks to a facemask. Two plays later, Barrett Baker dove into the end zone for a score and Eli Mullock ran in the extra points to make it 32-14 with 9:39 left in the third.

Sisk ran a long way for no gain on South Holt's next series as he took a keeper to the left, ran back to the right side when he saw nothing was there, and then tried to reverse his field again before being met by a host of white shirts led by Barrett Baker. The Knights were forced to punt and the Tigers got the ball on their own 26. But Worth County couldn't move the ball either and their gamble on fourth and four backfired as Barrett Baker's reverse play was stopped for a loss of 1. An incomplete pass and consecutive losses on the next two plays made it fourth and 17 at the 38, but the Knights aired it out from Donny Sipes to Toby Prussman for 29 yards to set up first and goal at the 9. Three plays later, Tyler Costello caught a three-yard pass for the score to make it 32-20 with 3:18 left.

Worth County nearly stalled again as they were faced with fourth and three from their own 33. But Eli Mullock took a sweep and the South Holt defense overreached trying to collar him and he escaped for an 11-yarder to the Knights 36 as this time, Worth County's fourth-down gamble paid off. Barrett Baker got another carry for six yards and a horsecollar penalty moved it to the 15. Two plays later, Eli Mullock juked one defender and ran over another as he got into the end zone with 1:03 left in the third quarter. But again, South Holt struck back using some trickery to do so. The Knights hiked to Sipes who hiked it to Sisk. The Tigers lost focus on the play as one of their players turned to argue with an official over a non-call while the play was still going on and Sisk proceeded to weave his way through traffic for a 44-yard touchdown. He then ran in the extra points to make it 38-28 with 40 seconds left.

But Worth County reestablished control in the fourth quarter and converted another fourth down to do so. Eli Mullock ran back the kickoff to the 40, but then the Tigers seemingly stalled on fourth and four from the Knights 34. But this time, Zach Harmening took matters into his own hands as he took a draw play down the left side. A South Holt player tried to collar him but grabbed his facemask instead and drew the penalty as Harmening broke the tackle. Harmening then broke free down the left side and got into the end zone to make it 44-28 with 11:04 left in the game.

South Holt could still tie with a pair of scores and two-point conversions and Tyler Costello's sweep took it to the 39. But the Knights stalled there. First, Sisk was met by Cody Green and Alex Harmening for two yards. Then, he tried the option, but got nowhere as Dylan Kinsella stopped him for no gain. Toby Prussman's pass only went for two yards and South Holt's fourth-down pass was incomplete and the Tigers took over on downs at their own 37. They only needed one play to get into the end zone as Eli Mullock took a sweep down the right side. Cody Green held his block perfectly and Mullock was able to jump to the sidelines and outrace everyone to the end zone to make it 50-28 with 8:35 left.

On their very first play from scrimmage, Sisk fumbled the ball and Mitch Andrews recovered it for the Tigers, which seemed to take all the fight out of the Knights and both coaches began subbing in their JV people. Barrett Baker got a 15-yard sweep to the Knights 18, but Worth County couldn't score thanks to a sack on third and 5 at the 13. But the Knights could not move the ball with Sipes at the quarterback spot and the JV offense took over on downs at the South Holt 18. They stalled for three plays, but then JV quarterback Adam Summers, under pressure on fourth and 9, underhanded a short pass to Jordan Harding that he converted into a 12-yard gain to the 5. Summers ran in the touchdown to make it 56-28 with 2:07 left. Tyler Costello ran for a meaningless 72-yard touchdown as time expired to account for the final score.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bluejay Girls Do Everything But Win vs. Redbirds

Northeast Nodaway's tailspin stopped for one game -- a 5-4 come from behind win against Stewartsville in which the Bluejays scored three in the top of the seventh and then held on to win. Tuesday was a Chiefs/Raiders redux -- the Bluejays did everything during their Senior Night but win as second baseman Hallie Oelze was honored. Two Sundays before, the Chiefs had done everything but win against the Raiders, outgaining them by 2-1 in yardage before the Raiders came back to win. Northeast pitcher Taylor Dougan struck out 12 batters, her most since the first game of the year when she struck out 14, yet Winston was able to get runs across the plate when they needed to. Northeast struck out only five times, yet they hit the ball right at people all night.

Dougan started off in dominant form as she would strike out six Redbird batters, allowing only two walks during the frame. Northeast hit the ball at will, yet they could not cross the plate. In the first inning, Emily Bryant hit a solid shot up the middle for a single with one out, but was out stealing second after a rundown. That play loomed up strongly as Rachel Runde would single to left and go to second as the ball went off the left fielder's foot.

In the second, Northeast loaded the bases with nobody out, but ran their way out of a big inning. Taylor Dougan reached on an error as the second baseman dropped a pop fly; Mallorie Peters reached safely as the second baseman was obviously thinking about the last play and dropped a simple force. Sarah Fox hit a slow roller past the shortstop that advanced everyone. But Kristan Judd popped out to the pitcher and then Dougan wandered too far off third and was doubled off.

In the top of the third, Winston finally got a run without need of a hit; Taylor Becerra reached on an error by third baseman Rachel Runde, who muffed a grounder. She stole second and third. Amber Mullen and Chandler Newman struck out, but like the South Nodaway game, Northeast could not get the final out of the inning -- Kristan Judd could not find a ball that had rolled under her on a wild pitch and Becerra came home for Winston's first run.

After Northeast went down in order in their half of the third, Rachel Brice walked for Winston and came around on wild pitches to score and make it 2-0 -- again with two outs. Again, Northeast could not close the deal and get the third out. And Winston was threatening to go one-up on Stewartsville. The Cardinals had beaten Worth County earlier in the year with one lone hit; the Redbirds were threatening to win the game without benefit of a hit.

That seemed to wake up Northeast's bats as Blair Schmitz led off the bottom of the fourth with a triple to the wall in left center field to lead off. Mallorie Peters hit a pop fly single between shortstop and left field to score Schmitz, Sarah Fox singled to left, Katrina Freemeyer hit a slow roller up the middle that there was no play on, and Hallie Oelze hit a pop fly single to right to score Peters and tie it at 2-2.

But the fielding went to sleep in the top of the fifth as Winston took the lead for good. With one out, Newman hit a scratch hit into no-man's land between the mound and third for Winston's first hit of the game. Baylea Martin hit a hard grounder to second that Hallie Oelze misplayed on the shorthop and it rolled into right for a two-base error; Martin went to third on the throw home as Newman scored to make it 3-2. Rachel Runde made a nice running catch of Nichole Gregornik's pop fly between third and home in foul territory, but then she dropped Tabitha Pitburn's pop fly for what would have been the third out as Baylea Martin scored on the play to make it 4-2. Four runs for Winston, three of them scored with two outs.

Northeast wasted Blair Schmitz's second triple of the game, a carbon copy of her first, with one out. Taylor Dougan popped out to catcher. Mallorie Peters battled from 0-2 and had a long at-bat as she fouled off a bunch of pitches before walking; she stole second. But Sarah Fox struck out to end the fifth.

Both teams went scoreless in the sixth, but in the seventh, Newman scored again for Winston as she singled to left, stole second, and took third and home on wild pitches. Winston tried for another run but was thwarted as catcher Kristan Judd made a diving tag of Martin trying to score on a wild pitch to keep it at 5-2.

Emily Bryant tripled over the left fielder's head to start the seventh; Rachel Runde flied out to bring her home to make it 5-3. Blair Schmitz restarted Northeast with her third straight hit, a line drive between third and short for a single. But Taylor Dougan flied out and Mallorie Peters struck out to end the game.

"We can't blame one individual for this loss," said coach Rex Wallace, who said that his team had not practiced in a while and that it showed on the field. "We had nobody on base to capitalize on Blair's two triples. We're a young team with only one senior. Right now, they know what they're supposed to do, but when they get the situation on the field, they forget what they're supposed to do."