’Cats win thriller with late touchdown
Published: Thursday, September 27th, 2012
Going into his first start, Israel Parsons, a junior wide receiver for the Custer High School football team, wasn’t catching the ball very well in pre-game warmups.
Parsons, playing his first year of football after running cross country his freshman and sophomore years, also admits he was nervous before the game. He had reason to be nervous, however, as he was set to make his first start at receiver, filling in for the injured Erik Hiltunen.
“Iâï¿½ï¿½knew Iâï¿½ï¿½had to step up,”âï¿½ï¿½Parsons said.
The nerves didn’t show when Parsons stepped on the field, however, as he played like a seasoned All-Conference receiver, catching six passes for 122 yards, while saving his best catch for last.
With the score tied at 14 and under a minute to play in the game, Parsons hauled in a pass on a slant from quarterback Chase Glazier, split two would-be tacklers and sprinted 47 yards to the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.
“I was thinking, ‘Don’t get tackled,’”âï¿½ï¿½Parsons said of the play. “Iâï¿½ï¿½was a little nervous I was going to get caught there.”
Glazier said as soon as he stepped up to the line of scrimmage on the game-winning play, he noticed Parson’s corner was playing so far off him that he would be open.
“That was a great play by him,”âï¿½ï¿½Glazier said.âï¿½ï¿½“Iâï¿½ï¿½knew he would be able to step up. He has been playing well in practice.”
“Did we expect him to catch for 122 yards and win the game? Probably not,” Custer head coach Russ Bailey said with a laugh.âï¿½ï¿½“Israel has good hands. He catches the ball well and he has enough speed it makes defensive backs back off him.”
The play was the capper of an exciting game full of plenty of twists and turns, and a game that saw Custer pile up 373 yards of offense and overcome four turnovers.
Bailey said for the most part the turnovers were a result of bye week rust and players making good plays for Belle Fourche.
“You can’t duplicate game speed in a practice setting,”âï¿½ï¿½he said.âï¿½ï¿½“When you take those two weeks off, it’s difficult to get back up to the speed you need to be at, and you tend to make mistakes. And, there were some situations where we didn’t necessarily do anything wrong.”
Custer established itself at the outset of the game, taking the ball at its own 23 and marching the ball 77 yards on an eight-minute drive that saw the Wildcats convert on two third downs and one fourth down. Glazier was a perfect three for three on the drive, and he scored on a seven-yard scramble to the left pylon. Glazier then found Kenneth Myers for the two-point conversion, and Custer led 8-0.
Custer continued to march the ball up and down the field after that, but turnovers plagued the team, as it lost a fumble, had a pair of interceptions, including one at the goal line, and lost another ball on a special teams gaffe. A game that could have been 28-0 appeared it was going to go to the half 8-0, until Belle Fourche punched in a three-yard touchdown with no time on the clock at the end of the second quarter.
The play was set up by a 45-yard completion down to the three-yard line as time expired, but a personal foul on Custer after the play gave the Broncs one more play before each team went to the locker room—and the Broncs took advantage. A two-point try after the touchdown was unsuccessful.
After a scoreless third period, Custer scored again on a nine-yard run by Myers to make the score 14-6. Bailey chose to go for two instead of sending freshman kicker Don Holman out to attempt an extra point that would have made it a two-possession game.
“We went with what we thought the best odds were,”âï¿½ï¿½Bailey said.âï¿½ï¿½“Put the pressure on the older kids, our offensive leaders, and not the younger kid.”
Belle Fourche took the ensuing possession 65 yards for a score, finding a soft spot in the Custer pass defense on roll outs, ending with a seven-yard pass from quarterback Bryce Kudlock to Jordan Mitchell for a score. The two-point conversion was successful, setting up Parsons’ heroics with 41 seconds left in the game.
Myers ended the game with 121 yards on 28 carries, while Glazier was 15 of 22 passing for 226 yards. Paul Climenti led a Custer defense that held Belle Fourche to 151 yards with seven tackles.
Bailey said he was impressed with his team’s response to the play that ended the first half, as well as the touchdown that tied the game at 14.
“We could have lost all the momentum in the world at the end of the half, but they came right back out and got after them,”âï¿½ï¿½he said.âï¿½ï¿½“We played great offense, great defense and were physically the more aggressive team. We just weren’t scoring points. We totally controlled the game in every aspect, except the scoreboard. We have to be able to make that one play to get in the end zone when we get a chance.”
Custer, now 3-1 on the season, travels to Rapid City Friday night for a 5 p.m. game with the St. Thomas More Cavaliers. The Cavs are seemingly as vulnerable as they have been for years, having already lost twice and losing star quarterback Jake Sullivan to a leg injury.
Bailey pointed out, however, the Cavaliers had last week off and have now had three weeks to get their back up ready for Friday’s game.
“Until you beat them, it doesn’t matter who they have or how they’re playing,”âï¿½ï¿½he said.âï¿½ï¿½“The last couple of years we have played them well for three quarters and then have one quarter of total meltdown. You can’t do that against More. We have to put four quarters together.”
Custer 8 0 0 12 —20
BF 0 6 0 8 —14
First Downs 15 6
Rushes-yards 42-147 28-111
Passing yards 226 40
Passing 15-22-2 5-12-0
Fumbles-lost 4-2 2-1
Penalties-yards 3-25 7-35
Rushing:âï¿½ï¿½Custer—Kenneth 28-121. BF—Skye Martin 2-60, Chance Wilder 7-32.
Passing:âï¿½ï¿½Custer—Chase Glazier 15-22, 226 yards. BF—Bryce Kudlock 5-12, 40 yards.
Receiving: Custer—Israel Parsons 6-122, Jared Thomsen 4-58.
Defense: Paul Climenti 7 tackles, Dylan Severyn, Casey Seidler, Joel Thomsen,âï¿½ï¿½Logan Heuer 1 sack each.
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