Mepo holds back Comets

Norv and Mary Coblentz · Wednesday, October 4, 2017
The West Liberty Comets' football team fell to Mediapolis on the road 21-20 Sept. 29.

"Hats off to the defense," West Liberty Head Coach Jason Iske said. "(Our defense) definitely played (well) enough for us to win. (Mediapolis) threw something completely different at us that they hadn't shown all year, that they hadn't every shown. Hats off to them. Our defense took their lumps early, but they adjusted."

First Quarter

Mediapolis kicked off to start the game. Tanner Iske returned the ball to the 19-yard line. A pass from Seth Feldman to Jackson Gingerich yielded a one-yard gain. On a Feldman run, holding was called on the Comets bringing up second down and 19.

Another flag was for unsportsmanlike conduct bringing up second and 25. Joe Kelly ran to the 27 for a third down and two. He got the ball again and got the first down at the 33. Feldman was sacked for a loss of seven yards, but he picked up 19 yards on a keeper at the 46.

Kelly gained three yards. A screen pass to Kelly gained a couple more. A false start on the Comets and an incomplete pass brought up fourth down and nine to go. Bryce Esmoil punted, and it went out of bounds at the one-yard line with 7:58 left in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs ran for a couple of yards with the tackle coming from Andy Lopez and Esmoil. Jonathan Kelley stopped the next ran. The Bulldogs completed a pass for a first down at the 24.

A handoff got the Bulldogs nowhere with Austin Beaver and Coy Ruess with the tackle. An incomplete pass, with Gingerich on coverage brought up third and 10. Another pass got the first down at the 34.

A handoff gained five yards with Ruess on the tackle. A couple more runs got the first down at the 47. The Bulldogs ran the ball again and got called for holding. Justis Dengler and Elias Rocha got the next tackle, then a swarm of Comets put a stop to the Bulldogs bringing up third and 12 at the 46.

An incomplete pass with coverage by Nathan Schemmel brought up four and 12. The Bulldogs punted.

A.J. Lenz returned the ball to the 33. Feldman ran for a few yards. Kelly got several carries and finally got a first down just as the first quarter expired.

Second Quarter

Another handoff to Kelly gained three yards. Feldman ran for a first down at the 17 then ran again for first and goal at the two. It was Kelly for the touchdown with 11:16 left in the first half. The PAT run was unsuccessful. West Liberty had a 6-0 lead.

Esmoil's kickoff was caught near the 10 and returned all the way to the 49 with Esmoil getting the stop.

The Bulldogs carried the ball, and Spencer Daufeldt got the tackle for a loss. A keeper got a first down with a stop by Ruess. Another run, stopped by Gingerich and Brett Meyers, brought up second down and eight.

The Comets kept stopping the Bulldogs until it was fourth down and three. West Liberty called a time out, then Mepo ran a keeper for a touchdown. The PAT kick was good, and the Bulldogs had a 7-6 lead.

Kelly picked up the Mediapolis kickoff at the two-yard line and returned it to the 23. It was three-and-out for the Comets. Esmoil's punt was caught at the 50.

The Bulldogs marched down the field getting two first downs before a personal foul and a tackle for loss by Beaver brought up four down.

They went for it, and a holding call on the Comets gave them a second chance. They made it to the three-yard line, then got a touchdown. the PAT kick was good, and Mepo had a 14-6 lead.

Kelly caught the kickoff and returned it to the 29. Feldman was sacked for third and long. Kelly got the handoff and, dragging some Mepo players, made it to the 45. Time was running out in the second quarter. The Comets made it to the 27 but did not score. Halftime score was 14-6.

Third Quarter

Esmoil kicked off to begin the third quarter. It was returned to the 24. It was three-and-out for the Bulldogs. Lenz returned the Bulldog punt. It was fumbled, and T. Iske recovered the ball.

The Comets began their next drive at the 34. Kelly gained a few yards, then Iske was tackled for a loss. A pass to Kelly wasn't enough, and Esmoil punted.

Mepo began their drive on the 45. They didn't get far. There was a fumble and an unsportsmanlike conduct call on the West Liberty bench. The Bulldogs turned the ball over on downs.

The Comets were tackled for a loss, Kelly had a run, then an intercepted pass gave the Bulldogs the ball at the 34.

Rocha, Dengler, Daufeldt, and Polman got a tackel for a seven-yard loss. A couple plays later and it was fourth and nine. A flag on the Comets brought up fourth and four, and Mepo punted into the end zone for a touchback.

Fourth Quarter

Kelly ran twice for a first down at the 34. Feldman ran for a yard, then Kelly got the handoff to get a few more yards. Feldman had a nice run for a first down at the Mediapolis 31.

Pass interference was called on Mepo. On first and 10 at the 16, Kelly got the handoff and ran four yards. Kelly carried for a first and goal at the five as the fourth quarter began. The Comets fought to the two-yard line. On fourth down and two, Kelly was in for the touchdown.

The PAT run was stopped. West Liberty trailed 14-12.

Esmoil kicked off, the Bulldogs fumbled the ball, and Rocha recovered it. The Comets got a couple of first downs, but a pass on second and goal at the 16 was intercepted in the end zone.

The Bulldogs got a couple of first downs, but a penalty forced a punt on four down and three.

The punt was downed at the 15 with 4:43 on the game clock.

It was three-and-out for the Comets, and Esmoil's punt was downed at the 28.

Mepo's quarterback had a couple of big runs, and the Bulldogs scored a touchdown and made the PAT kick for a 21-12 lead with about two minutes left in the game.

Ruess returned the Mepo kickoff to the 35. The Comets' final drive of the game resulted in eight points, but they still came up short.

A pass from Feldman to Dengler resulted in a first down. After a complete pass and a sack the Comets took a time out. A complete pass to Daufeldt brought up fourth and five at the 45. West Liberty took a time out.

Dengler caught a pass for a first down. Kelly had a carry, then the Bulldogs were called for unsportsmanlike conduct. West Liberty had a first down at the 16. A few passes later, there was just 10 seconds left in the game. A touchdown pass to Dengler was complete.

A two-point conversion pass to T. Iske was good as well. With four seconds to go, the Bulldogs held on to a 21-20 lead.

Esmoil kicked off, but there was nothing more to do.

"Our kids played hard," Mediapolis Head Coach Brian Borrison said. "Give West Liberty credit (for) a lot of explosive athletes all over the field. We knew it was going to be a challenge, and it was."

West Liberty stats: Passing: Seth Feldman 13/20, 108 yards, 1 TD, 2 interceptions. Rushing: Tanner Iske 5/1 yard; Feldman 17/50 yards; Joe Kelly 25/50 yards 2 TDs; Michael Hartman 1/-4 yards. Receiving: Justis Dengler 6/65 yards, 1 TD; Jackson Gingerich 3/23 yards; Kelly 4/20 yards, 1 TD. Tackles: T. Iske 1 assist; Elias Rocha 2 solo, 2 assists, 1 TFL; Cobain Polman 3 solo, 2 assists, 1 TFL; Nathan Schemmel 2 solo; Dengler 3 solo, 1 assist; gingerich 6 solo, 2 assists; Michael Hartman 1 solo; Jonathan Kelley 1 solo; Austin Beaver 5 solo, 3 assists 2 TFL; Coy Ruess 4 solo, 1 assist; Spencer Daufledt 5 solo, 2 assists, 2 TFL; Bryce Esmoil 1 solo. Kickoffs: Esmoil 3/139 yards; Kickoff returns: Kellly 2/45 yards; T. Iske 1/7 yards; Ruess 1/8 yards. Punts: Esmoil 4/152 yards; Punt returns: A.J. Lenz 2/9 yards. Fumble recovery: Elias Rocha 1.
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