Cadet gridders nip Forest City
Wed, 10/25/2017 - 10:41am admin
FOREST CITY - An outstanding group effort on offense, defense and special teams helped the Crestwood varsity football team defeat Forest City, 26-20, Friday in the regular season finale.
Unfortunately for the Cadets, the win over the Indians was not enough for them to secure a playoff spot because New Hampton defeated Clear Lake Friday to win the district title. Both New Hampton and Clear Lake qualified for the playoffs, and the Cadets finished third in the district at 5-2 (5-4 overall).
Friday’s game against Forest City saw the Indians take a 7-0 lead with 16 seconds in the first quarter when Luke Johnson completed a seven-yard touchdown pass to Blaze Andersen, and Jaxon Jones nailed the extra point.
Early in the second quarter, Crestwood’s Zack Lane recovered a Forest City fumble at the Indians’ 26-yard line. Five plays later, Shane Vokaty scored on a two-yard run with 7:51 left. Harry Kitchen kicked the extra point to tie the game at seven. Neither team reached the end zone again before intermission as the game was tied at seven at halftime.
Crestwood received the second half kickoff and started at its own 28. The Cadets capped an impressive 16-play drive, which included all running plays, with a one-yard plunge by Jon Henry at the 4:49 mark. Kitchen nailed the extra point attempt to give Crestwood a 14-7 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, Bryer Thompson jarred the ball loose from the Indians and Frank Hrdlicka scooped it up and raced 18 yards to paydirt with 4:40 left to push the lead to 20-7. The extra point failed.
Forest City answered on its next possession when Jaden Alamysa ran 46 yards to paydirt and Jones kicked the extra point to cut the Cadets’ lead to 20-14.
With only 1:32 left in the fourth quarter, the Cadets put the game out of reach when Dawson Rasmusson scored on a two-yard run to make the score 26-14. The two-point conversion pass failed.
Forest City sliced the lead to 26-20 on a touchdown pass with only 18 seconds left, but the Indians were unable to get the ball back as Crestwood ran out the clock to secure the victory.
Crestwood Head Coach Chris Lentz said the team made some good adjustments on defense in the second half.
“We tweaked a couple things defensively in the second half because of the way Forest City was lining up on offense,” Lentz said. “Forest City was hitting our soft spots on defense (in the first half), so we went to a combination of man-to-man and zone defense on both sides of the field.
“Offensively, we blocked better in the second half. We figured out what Forest City was doing on defense, and then we were able to methodically punch the ball down the field. Forest City didn’t do anything fancy on offense. We just should have had a few more blocks in the first half.
“All-in-all, I’m really happy with our guys. We bent, but we didn’t break (on defense). All year our guys have played hard. They play for all four quarters, they don’t give up and I love our guys to death,” Lentz said.
The coach noted that Frank Hrdlicka’s fumble recovery for a touchdown in the third period gave the Cadets a big lift.
“That fumble recovery and score by Frank really helped us,” Lentz said. “That score proved to be the difference in the ball game. We did a good job of capitalizing on Forest City’s mistake, which is what good football teams do.
“I saw a lot of good things from all of our guys. We were able to adjust on the fly during the game. We (the coaches) really preach to the guys about not getting down on themselves when things don’t go right. You can’t cry over spilled milk. You’ve got to play the next play, and our guys did a good job of doing that,” Lentz said.