Comets bested by WB Bears

Norv and Mary Coblentz · Wednesday, August 30, 2017
The 2017 West Liberty football team lost their first game of the season on the road to the West Branch Bears. The final score was 35-20.

"We did some good things, but too many times we stubbed ourself in the toe," West Liberty Head Coach Jason Iske said. "Too many turnovers, too many penalties. They didn't answer back. (We had maybe) 27 penalties and they had three.”

“When you set yourself back by that big of a margin, it's hard to dig out of that hole,” said the coach. “They were definitely starting to key on (Joe Kelly). It's the first game of the season, we expected to hit some bumps in the road."

The Comets were plagued with penalties, but there were some bright spots. West Liberty received to start the game. Joe Kelly and Tanner Iske were back to receive.

Kelly got the ball and ran to the 29-yard line. Kelly and Seth Feldman had runs, then Jackson Gingerich ran for a first down.

Quarterback Seth Feldman ran for no gain, then Joe Kelly made it to midfield. A fumble and recovery brought up fourth down and seven. Feldman passed, and a pass interference call on the West Branch Bears gave the Comets a first down at the 35.

An interception was returned to the 49-yard line. Coy Ruess got a stop for the Comets. Justis Dengler got a stop, and the Bears were forced to punt.

West Liberty's drive started at the 1-yard line after the punt rolled. An illegal shift on the Comets and an incomplete pass brought up third down and 11.

Kelly ran and got the first down. Kelly had a couple more running plays, then the Comets were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and that brought the ball back to the West Branch 42-yard line. On the next play, Feldman threw a pass to T. Iske who ran it in for a touchdown.

Bryce Esmoil kicked the PAT, and the Comets had a 7-0 lead with 5:06 left in the first quarter. With 2:01 on the clock, the Bears scored a touchdown and made the extra point to tie the score at 7-7.

The Comets fumbled the ball with 1:50 left in the quarter, and West Branch recovered. Four seconds later, the Bears scored, made the PAT, and took a 14-7 lead with 1:46 left in the first quarter.

West Liberty returned the West Branch kickoff to the 27. The Comets were called for holding. With 1:14, the Comets started a drive at their own 17-yard line.

Feldman kept the ball and gained seven yards. Kelly ran to the 34 for a first down. Feldman threw a complete pass for another West Liberty first down. After another complete pass, Kelly got the handoff for a 15-yard gain to the four-yard line. Feldman ran the ball in for a touchdown with 10:04 left in the second quarter. The score was tied at 14-14.

The Comets kicked off, and West Branch started their drive at the 36-yard line. The Bears handed the ball off, and picked up 10 yards for a first down. Spencer Daufeldt got a sack for a one-yard loss.

The Bears had a 37-yard pass play for first and goal with 7:32 left in the half. The Bears scored the only touchdown of the quarter. The PAT was good for a 21-14 score.

The Bears scored in the third quarter with 9:21 left on the clock on an 11-yard pass play to take 28-14 lead. The Bears missed a 29-yard field goal attempt.

The Comets scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter but missed the PAT. The score was made when Iske ran for a 32-yard touchdown. The score was 28-21. But the Bears got a touchdown on a 60-yard run. The PAT was good. It was the final score of the game for a 35-20 score.

“We played well. We fought all night long,” West Branch Head Coach Butch Pedersen said. “We out-fought West Liberty tonight.”

West Liberty stats: Passing: Seth Feldman 15/23, 137 yards, 1 TD, 2 interceptions. Rushing: Tanner Iske 2/47 yards, 1 TD; Feldman 11/63 yards, 1 TD; Joe Kelly 25/207 yards. Receiving: Iske 2/34 yards, 1 TD, Justis Dengler 2/18 yards; Jackson Gingerich 7/56 yards; Kelly 4/29 yards. Tackles: Iske 3 assists; Gabriel Melendez 1 solo; Cobain Polman 1 solo, 2 assists; Nathan Schemmel 2 solo; Dengler 3 solo, 1 assist; Gingerich 2 solo, 3 assists; Michael Hartman 4 solo; Jonathan Kelley 1 solo; AJ Lenz 2 solo, 2 assists; Even Bierman 2 solo, 3 assists; Austin Beaver 4 solo, 1 assist, 1 sack; Coy Ruess 1 solo, 3 assists; Spencer Daufeldt 2 solo, 3 assists; Bryce Esmoil 1 solo, 1 assist. Kickoffs: Esmoil 4/165 yards. Punts: Feldman 1/26 yards; Kickoff returns: Kelly 3/50 yards; Gabriel Melendez 1/15 yards. PAT Esmoil 2/3.

West Branch stats: Passing: Beau Cornwell 11/21. 169 yards, 4 TDs. Rushing: Cornwell 5/3 yards; Jacob Graves 2/17 yards; Tanner Lukavsky 21/119 yards, 1 TD; Brett Schiele 1/0 yards. Receiving: Graves 3/78 yards; Brady Lukavsky 1/9 yards; T. Lukavsky 2/21 yards, 2 TDs; Schiele 1/3 yards; Ben Thompson 4/58 yards, 2 TDs. PAT kicking: Javier Zamudio 5/5. Field Goal kicking: Cornwell 0/1. Kickoffs: Zamudio 6/270 yards. Punting: Cornwell 4/170. Interceptions: Wyatt Goodale 1/7 yards; Thompson 1/23 yards. Fumble recoveries T. Lukavsky 1/0 yards; Schiele 1/0 yards. Kickoff returns: Graves 2/69 yards; Evan O'Neil 1/5 yards.
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