Football fells Mid-Prairie

Norv and Mary Coblentz · Wednesday, September 13, 2017
The West Liberty football team defeated the Mid-Prairie Golden Hawks at West Liberty Sept. 8 34-3.

This was the Comets' second consecutive win, their first District win, and the win improved their 2017 record to 2-1.

"The one thing that we preached all week was keeping him (Mid-Prairie stand-out Keaton Duwa) inside," West Liberty Head Coach Jason Iske said. "I though Cobain Polman, Bryce Esmoil, and Austin Beaver did a tremendous job of, for the most part, of (keeping) Duwa and (the M-P quarterback) inside where we can rally up and make some tackles.

"(Tanner Iske) is doing a good job of being patient, waiting for a hole to open up then making nice cuts,” he added. "Success breeds success. We did a lot better job of handling adversity than we did at West Branch."

First Half

Mid-Prairie kicked off into the end zone to start the game. The Comets began their first drive at the 20-yard line. Joe Kelly rushed three times and got a first down.

Quarterback Seth Feldman ran for a first down at the Mid-Prairie 48. Tanner Iske ran for a first down.

Kelly caught a pass from Feldman, but there was a flag on the play, and the Comets were pushed back to the 48. Another penalty and some plays that didn't work as planned brought up fourth down and seven. An incomplete pass turned the ball over on downs.

The Golden Hawks started with a false start penalty and got a couple of first downs on running plays. Mid-Prairie fumbled, and Beaver recovered the ball for the Comets at midfield.

T. Iske ran for a few yards, then Kelly ran 43 yards for a touchdown. The Comets' PAT run attempt was no good, but, with 1:24 left in the first quarter, they had a 6-0 lead.

After the West Liberty kickoff, penalties and broken plays brought up fourth and 11. As the second quarter began, the Golden Hawks turned the ball over on downs.

On their next drive, West Liberty didn't get far and had to punt.

The Golden Hawks got two first downs but Spencer Daufeldt got a tackle for loss, and a deeper was stopped to bring up fourth down and 21 yards. The Mid-Prairie punt was downed at the 43-yard line.

Iske got the pitch out and gained six yards. A sack brought up second down and 18. A holding call cost the Comets 16 yards. Kelly had a 24-yard gain on a carry but came up six yards short on the fourth down.

The Comets took a time out then tried for a field goal, but they didn't get the kick off.

It was three-and-out for the Golden Hawks with less than two minutes left in the half.

Justis Dengler returned the Mid-Prairie punt. A holding call and an incomplete pass did mot give the Comets any traction in the final seconds of the half.

Second Half

West Liberty kicked off to start the second half. Mid-Prairie was called for holding than was tackled for a loss by Jackson Gingerich to bring up second down and very long at the 41.

A pass interference call on the Comets gave the Golden Hawks a second wind. A run inside the 20. Nathan Schemmel and J. Gingerich each got a stop, and an incomplete pass brought up fourth down and nine yards. The Golden Hawks kicked a field goal from 30 yards for a 6-3 score with 9:01 left in the third quarter.

After a Mid-Prairie kickoff, the Comets started their drive at the 35. T. AIske had a 22-yard run for a first down at the Mid-Prairie 22-yard line.

Kelly ran for six yards, then an 18-yard pass pay to Dengler got the Comets to the 24 with a first down. An incomplete pass, a keeper for a two-yard gain, and a pass to Dengler made it first and goal at the six.

Feldman ran in for a touchdown. Esmoil's PAT kick was good. With 6:14 left in the third quarter, the Comets had a 13-3 lead.

After the West Liberty kickoff, Mid-Prairie began their drive at their own 35-yard line. The Golden Hawks ran the ball, and Dengler ran the carrier out of bounds.

The Golden Hawks had a first down at the 29. Daufeldt got a stop, then Mid-Prairie ran the ball inside the 15-yard line. Coy Ruess got a stop, and the Golden Hawks picked up a 12-yard penalty.

A.J. Lenz got an interception with 4:45 left in the quarter. The Comets started their drive at the 17. T. Iske ran the ball twice for big yards ending up with a first down inside the Mid-Prairie 40.

Kelly ran for three yards, Feldman gained five more yards, then a pitch to Kelly and a Mid-Prairie late hit call made it first and 10. After an incomplete pass, Kelly gained seven yards rushing.

Iske ran the ball into the end zone for the touchdown. Esmoil's PAT kick was good, and the Comets had a 20-3 lead with 1:52 left in the quarter.

Mid-Prairie made good progress with their next possession which ran into the fourth quarter. But a fumble on the snap and a couple of incomplete passes turned the ball over on downs.

Gabriel Melendez ran the ball and was just short of the first down. Kelly ran for a first down, then T. Iske ran for a first down at the 42.

Kelly ran for a first down, then Feldman connected with Dengler for a 15-yard gain. The Comets were tackled for a loss for second and 15 with 7:15 left in the game.

Some incomplete passes brought up fourth down and 14 at the 20. The Comets took a time out then went for the end zone. A pass to Lenz with 5:28 on the clock and a PAT kick by Esmoil made it 27-3.

Esmoil's kickoff was returned to the 42. Mid-Prairie turned the ball over on downs. A couple of plays later, Feldman scored another touchdown.

Esmoil's PAT was good, and the Comets had a 34-3 lead with 3:13 left in the game. Mid-Prairie ran the ball but couldn't score. They turned it over on downs with just seconds to go. The Comets took a knee to end the game at 34-3.

"There were just too many penalties," Mid-Prairie Head Coach Pete Cavanaugh said. "And we were breaking in a new quarterback. Penalties would make us throw, and right now we're not built for that.

"I'm really disappointed in how we tackled. We were there, we just couldn't make the plays. They have some good players.

West Liberty stats: Seth Feldman 10/15, 114 yards, 1 TD; Rushing: Feldman 7/46 yards, 2 TDs; Tanner Iske 12/178 yards, 1 TD; Joe Kelly 18/119 yards, 1 TD; A.J. Lenz 1/1 yard; Gabriel Melendez 2/5 yards; Coy Ruess 1/5 yards; Team 1/-8 yards. Receiving: Justis Dengler 5/50 yards; Ely Gingerich 1/4 yards; Jackson Gingerich 1/12 yards; Joe Kelly 1/28 yards; Lenz 2/20 yards, 1 TD. Scoring: Bryce Esmoil 4 points, Feldman 12 points, Iske 6 points, Kelly 6 points, Lenz 6 points. Tackles: Joe Baker 1 solo, 2 assists, 1 TFL, 1 sack; Austin Beaver 4 solo, 2 assists, 1 TFL, 1 sack; Eben Bierman 2 solo, 1 assist, 1 TFL, 1 sack; Spencer Daufeldt 5 solo, 1 assist, 4 TFL, 1 sack; Justis Dengler 6 solo; Ely Gingerich 1 solo; Jackson Gingerich 4 solo, 1 assist; Jonathan Kelley 1 solo; A.J. Lenz 2 solo, 1 assist; Gabriel Melendez 1 solo; Brent Meyers 1 solo; Alex Pace assist; Cobain Polman 3 solo, 2 assists; Elias Rocha 1 assist; Coy Ruess 4 solo. Interceptions: Lenz 1 /8 yards. Fumble recovery: Daufeldt 1/0 yards. PAT kicking: Esmoil 4/4; Kickoffs Esmoil 3/110 yards. Punt returns: Dengler 1/14 yards
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