Saturday, September 29, 2007
M-P loses slugfest
S-K settles last season's homecoming score
By Artyom Rayev
For the Press-Citizen
WELLMAN -- With an offense like a merry-go-round, Sigourney-Keota can sure confuse defenses.
With a 4-5 season like the one last year, the Savage Cobras sure confused fans, but things look to be falling back into place for S-K.
The Savage Cobras topped Mid-Prairie 44-35 on Friday night in a clash of Class 2A District 7 teams.
Led by first-year coach Clint Howard, son of longtime coach Bob Howard, the Savage Cobras have progressed impressively throughout the season.
Coming into the game, both teams were 2-2, with the Savage Cobras a week removed from a heartbreaking 22-20 loss to Collins-Maxwell-Baxter. Mid-Prairie was still on cloud nine after demolishing Eddyville-Blakesburg and Colfax-Mingo, 63-6 and 49-6, respectively.
With the district up for grabs, and the stakes high, this rivalry was intensified. After knocking the Golden Hawks out of the playoffs for two consecutive years, S-K was annihilated on homecoming last season 54-8 by Mid-Prairie. S-K had a score to settle.
"Sigourney-Keota did a very nice job with their run game, and they ended up wearing us down at the line of scrimmage, which made a big difference," Mid-Prairie coach Pete Cavanagh said. "They won the battle up front and ran the ball down our throats, which ended up being hard to stop."
The game opened up with a long return by wide receiver Abe Kos, who a few plays later made a spectacular diving catch to put Mid-Prairie in the red zone. The Golden Hawks ran the ball down to the 1-yard line before fullback Zach Murphy plunged in to give Mid-Prairie the first score of the game. On the ensuing possession, Murphy, this time at linebacker, worked his magic again, recovering a key fumble.
The Golden Hawks were halted at the 27-yard line, and decided to give sophomore kicker Tanner Miller a chance to make a 45-yard kick. Miller was just short, but the Golden Hawk defense backed him up with another stop. After a short punt return, Mid-Prairie's offense was back to work, but not for long. One play, and one play only, is what it took the Golden Hawks to score on the drive, as running back Josh Boone scampered 64 yards for a score. After a missed extra point, the Golden Hawks led 13-0.
With the first quarter almost at a close, the Mid-Prairie defense stood tall again, recovering another fumble. This time, S-K would not let the Golden Hawks score, forcing Mid-Prairie to punt. Sigourney set up their single-wing spinback whatchamacallit offense inside their 10-yard line after a punt by Boone. Kory Schwenke and Dillon Horning led a smash-mouth drive. Horning capped off the drive with a short rushing touchdown to put the Savage Cobras back into the game, down only 13-6 after a failed two-point conversion.
Golden Hawk quarterback Darian Patterson, an all-district pick at wide receiver last season led Mid-Prairie's offense to a lead before getting injured on a crucial Mid-Prairie possession. Enter Ryan Gent, a junior with limited experience at quarterback. On just his third pass, Gent connected with 6-foot-4 wide receiver Colin Brenneman for a long gain, but Mid-Prairie's drive didn't pan out. Sigourney-Keota's stout defense had kept them in the game after yet another fumble. Mid-Prairie had a shot at scoring points after a turnover, but was denied by the Savage Cobras.
S-K was all business on offense from that point on. Kory Schwenke led and then finished a drive with his high quality running. Schwenke then made good on the two-point conversion to give the Savage Cobras their first lead, 14-13, but Mid-Prairie would not quit. After a solid kick return, Mid-Prairie used some momentum-boosting chicanery.
With the athletic Patterson injured, the Golden Hawks still found a way to spark the crowd, using a well-timed flea-flicker that involved a touchdown pass from running back Josh Boone to Abe Kos. With a small amount of time left in the first half, the Golden Hawks took a 19-14 lead. Colin Brenneman caught a pass from Gent for the two-point conversion.
Coming out of the half, S-K's offense stalled yet again. Abe Kos was back to return the Savage Cobra kick. Coming into the game, Kos had already taken two punts back for touchdowns, and had a lofty 30.5 punt return average. The Savage Cobra punt was good, but not as good as the return. Kos slithered and shimmied his way out of tackles before making one final cutback to give Mid-Prairie a two-score lead.
The Golden Hawk offense, so far impressive, made one costly mistake that let Sigourney-Keota back into the game. After another Savage Cobra punt, Mid-Prairie had the ball near midfield but was unable to execute a handoff, which led to a game-breaking fumble recovery for S-K. Reenergized, the Savage Cobras stormed down the field in less than two minutes and handed it off to Dillon Horning for another score. Horning's second TD, and an ensuing two-point conversion put the Savage Cobras back in it, down only six at the end of the third quarter.
Mid-Prairie's offense was still recovering from their costly fumble in the fourth quarter, as it puttered to a punt. S-K led another scoring drive down the field, capped off by Dillon Horning's third touchdown of the game. S-K could not capitalize on the two-point opportunity and were left tied at 28.
Mid-Prairie was still not intimidated. On the first play of the ensuing possession, Josh Boone exploded for an 81-yard touchdown run to put the Golden Hawks ahead 35-28.
The Savage Cobras were down, but not out, and they refused to quit. The single-wing had been a curse in the first quarter, but now it was a blessing. Horning and Schwenke put the Savage Cobras on their back and led them down the field. Schwenke finished the drive with his second rushing touchdown. Horning, still very active, pounded his way in for the two-point conversion to give S-K a 36-35 lead. With momentum on their side, S-K stopped a Mid-Prairie drive and scored yet again. Schwenke put the game away with his third score, this time, by air from quarterback Nathan Hemsley. Schwenke made like UPS and went from air to ground, running in the two-point conversion to solidify the lead at 44-35.
The Golden Hawks had two minutes, but were intercepted early in their first drive. S-K ran out the clock on a barnburner in a heavily electrified rivalry match. Sigourney-Keota wore down the Golden Hawks late in the game to squeeze out a victory.
Now 3-2, Sigourney-Keota's single wing oddity seemed to work against the Golden Hawks. After a tune-up against Eddyville, Sigourney-Keota takes on district power Prairie-City Monroe. The Golden Hawks, now 2-3, take on PCM next week in Prairie City.
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