|Plainsmen gain district title with OT win against Longhorns|
By Pastor Vince Carrig
Quarterback Michael York outraced four Longhorn defenders to the end zone’s right pylon for the overtime score that nudged the Plainsmen past Chase County in overtime, 12-9, Friday night in Grant.
The 6-1 Plainsmen clinched their first district championship since 2001 with the victory.
“We did the things we had to do in the situations to be successful, Head Coach Chip Kay said of the Plainsmen after the game. “We’re really proud of our players for their effort and toughness and keeping their head; they stayed focused on playing football and didn’t get caught up in the emotions of playing in a rivalry game.” With scrimmage at eight yards from the end zone, York circled back to the 12, swung diagonally to the right, and jumped between a tackler and the floppy orange marker for the winning touchdown.
The Plainsmen defense set up the win by holding Chase County to just a David Almanza field goal to show for their possession. Each team receives an equal amount of possessions in NSAA football overtimes, and begins each drive 10 yards from the goal line.
Perkins County cornerback Kyle Schulze had earlier lunged backwards to deflect away a pass into the end zone from Chase County quarterback Kale Gockley on third down, forcing a fourth-and-eight that made the Longhorns settle for the overtime field goal.
“Kyle made a very, very athletic play by putting himself in the right place at the right time doing the right thing; he was in a bind between two receivers, but the reason that happened was because we got pressure [on the quarterback] from the right side of the defensive line,” Coach Kay said.
The Longhorns had tried their two most-successful plays in overtime, but Perkins County crunched down on them. Speedy 5-foot-4 senior running back Misael Garcia made a living bolting up the middle, but Christian Miyamoto and Chad Fosbinder shut the door on him. On second down, Vinny Ross and Plainsmen leading tackler Michael York stuffed running back Michael May for no gain in overtime.
Both teams saw the opportunity to win in regulation escape their grasp, with the latest one coming on Almanza’s 31-yard field goal try with 57 seconds left in regular time. York the linebacker invaded the backfield and blocked the kick to preserve the 6-6 tie.
Because of the blocked field goal, the two teams played to a scoreless tie in the second half.
The Plainsmen avenged a Longhorns touchdown on their next trip up the field, and in an impressive way. Senior placekicker Jeremy Hagan boomed a 41-yard field goal for the 6-6 tie. The score then stayed deadlocked for almost two-and a-half quarters.
“We were trying to decide [during the timeout] what we were going to run that would have been a good fourth-and-nine play, and Jeremy said, ‘Coach I can make it,’ and I said, ‘Well, get your shoe on and let’s go;’ there was really no thinking about it once he told me [again] ‘I can make it,’” Coach Kay said.
Schulze set up the quick retaliation with a 28-yard kickoff return, and Brody Prante helped matters with a 17-yard expedition during which he refused to get tackled several times.
Garcia asserted himself to thrust Chase County ahead 6-3. As a defensive back, he intercepted a pass and returned it 26 yards to the Plainsmen 21-yard line. Garcia then took every carry in the five-play drive, finishing it off with a one-yard touchdown run with 9:47 left in the half.
The routine went awry for the Longhorns with the game clock standing still, as senior placekicker Grant Lenners next hooked the game’s only extra point to the left, keeping Perkins County within a field goal.
The Plainsmen marched their first possession down to the Longhorns six-yard line, but an incompletion on third down switched them into field goal mode. Jeremy Hagan proved faithful from 25 yards away and spotted Perkins County to a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter.
Schulze also grabbed the longest pass play of the game, returning toward the ball to catch a 36-yard bomb from York just before halftime. York then pulled off a brilliant fake, acting as if he had handed off to Prante and running away for 16 more yards.
Perkins County possessed the ball three yards from the goal line with 20 seconds left in the first half and a timeout in their pocket. The Longhorns’ Daniel Regier, however, thwarted the scoring drive when he dropped back into coverage and leaped to tip a pass to himself and haul it 35 yards the other way.
Miyamoto stole momentum from a third quarter Longhorns drive, lurking behind tight end Daniel Regier and leaping in front of Gockley’s pass for a midfield interception.
Two of Plainsman Quinton Hite’s four punts stuck Chase County inside their own 20-yard line, including a 40-yarder that pushed the Longhorns to their own 15-yard line with 11:45 left.
PC 12, Chase County 9 OT
Chase Co. 0 6 0 0 3— 9
Perkins Co. 3 3 0 0 6—12
Perkins Co. 1 4:04 Hagan 25 FG
Chase Co. 2 9:47 Garcia 1 run (kick failed)
Perkins C. 2 7:19 Hagan41 FG
Chase Co OT1 Almanza 25 FG
Perkins County OT1 York 8 run
Rushing leaders—Perkins County: York 21/87 (19) TD; Prante 18/57 (20); Miyamoto 2/21 (19); Chase County: Garcia 19/65 (15) TD; May 17/54 (9).
Passing—Perkins County: York 2-6-43-0-1; Chase County: Gockley 1-5-8-0-1; Strand 0-4.
Receiving—Perkins County: Schulze 1/36; Boldt 1/7; Chase County: Cochran 1/8.
Defensive leaders (tackling)—Perkins County: York 9/6; Fosbinder 6.5/7; Schulze 5.5/1; Brott 4.5/3; Kosmicki 4.5/3; Ross 3.5/5; Carlson 3/4; Boldt 3/4; Miayamoto 3/4.