Wildcats nip Dogies in thriller
Published: Thursday, September 5th, 2013
As far as emotional rollercoasters go, last Friday night was a virtual amusement park for Kenneth Myers.
Over the course of roughly 10 minutes of game clock, Myers went from potential goat to hero, scoring the game-winning touchdown after committing a costly turnover just minutes before in the Custer High School football team’s 20-13 win over Newcastle, Wyo., last Friday night in Newcastle.
Custer led 12-7 with 2:40 left in the third quarter when the Wildcat defense forced a Dogie punt, which Myers went back to field. The punt hung up in the breeze and floated to Myers’ left, eventually bouncing off his hands as he attempted to run under it. Newcastle recovered the fumble at the Wildcat 10 and was in the end zone four plays later and took a 13-12 lead.
“Iâï¿½ï¿½just wanted to get something back,”âï¿½ï¿½Myers said of his thoughts after the turnover. “A pick, anything. Iâï¿½ï¿½just wanted to get something back. That’s all I was thinking about.”
Myers got his redemption in a big way midway through the third quarter.
After Custer quarterback Chase Glazier was sacked for a six yard loss and another Custer play resulted in a nine yard loss, the Wildcats faced a third and 25 on their own 15. Glazier took the snap and the Wildcats set up a middle screen. Myers made a nice one-handed catch on the ball as it almost sailed over his head, made a defender miss and got a great block from Custer receiver Joel Thomsen. From there it was a foot race down the sideline to the end zone, which Myers won.
“It felt amazing,” Myers said of his 85-yard touchdown.
“He’s a great player. Mistakes happen,” said fullback/linebacker Clayton Wahlstrom, who made a diving catch for the ensuing two point conversion. “We came back from it, and that’s what we need to do to win.”
“We have been working on our screen game, because that’s something we have been missing the past couple of years,”âï¿½ï¿½head coach Russ Bailey said. “(Offensive linemen) Angelo (Climenti), Sam (Mertz) and Abram (Herman) got ahold of somebody, allowed Kennie to catch the ball and it was a good athletic play by Joel Thomsen that busted it for a touchdown.”
Newcastle had one more possession to try to tie the game, but a Dogie pass fell incomplete on fourth and five from the 40. Custer was able to run the clock out, again on the legs of Myers, who finished with 89 yards rushing on 19 carries and 98 yards receiving.
The game didn’t start as well as it ended for the Wildcats, as Custer won the toss and received the opening kick, but promptly punted and watched Newcastle march down the field 69 yards—all on the ground—for a touchdown and a seven point lead.
The Wildcats were initially caught off guard by the single wing offense the Dogies unveiled in the game, an offense full of fakes and misdirection that had the ’Cats on their heels early.
“We weren’t ready for it. We were a little lethargic coming out,” Bailey said. “You try to get the kids to play fast right out of the gate, but in practice you just don’t go as fast as you do in a game.”
The Wildcats got it going early in the second quarter when they capped a 61-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run by Myers. The extra point attempt by Adam Baker sailed wide left, and Custer trailed 7-6.
After the Custer defense force a Dogie three and out, the Wildcats went back to work on offense, this time marching 66 yards for a score, an eight yard toss from Glazier to Israel Parsons. The Wildcat offense produced a few big plays on the drive, including an eight-yard pass from Glazier to Casey Seidler on fourth down and a 24-yard strike from Glazier to Thomsen after an intentional grounding penalty gave Custer a second and 32 situation.
Newcastle’s only other points came off the short field following the Myers fumble, as the Wildcat defense, led by eight tackles from linebacker Paul Climenti, continued to stiffen as the game wore on.
“Once they came out and punched us in the mouth, we knew we were in a dog fight,” Wahlstrom said.âï¿½ï¿½“It took us a while to get going, but once we got going we were good.”
Glazier finished the game with 136 yards passing, completing seven of 11 attempts. The offense was balanced on the night, with 129 yards rushing, as well.
“The nice thing is we have film now. We can show these kids what it looks like full speed,”âï¿½ï¿½Bailey said.âï¿½ï¿½“Some of the younger guys got game experience. Every game they are going to get better. I’m pretty happy with where we are at.”
Friday night the team will make its home debut, when it hosts the Bennett Countyâï¿½ï¿½Warriors in a Black Hills Conference matchup. The Warriors lost several key players to graduation, and Bailey said he isn’t sure what to expect out of the visitors when the game kicks off.
“Last year they just lined up and drove the ball right at us,”âï¿½ï¿½he said.âï¿½ï¿½“In the playoffs, they gave us a game. It’s hard to tell what they’re going to do.”
Custer 0 6 6 8 —20
Newcastle 7 0 6 0 —13
Rushing: Custer—Kenneth Myers 19-89, Israel Parsons 2-16, Clayton Wahlstrom 7-13, Chase Glazier 3-11.
Passing:âï¿½ï¿½Chase Glazier 7-11, 136 yards.
Receiving: Kennth Myers 2-98, Clayton Wahlstrom 2-(-2), Joel Thomsen 1-24, Israel Parsons 1-8, Casey Seidler 1-8.
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