By Eric Allgood-KREP Radio 92.1 Belleville, Kansas
The Divison II game showed the promise of fireworks early on as Moscow’s Osvaldo Granillo took the opening kickoff 73 yards for a touchdown to give the West the first points of the game and Dighton’s Guy Fulmer would add the 2 point conversion to make it 8-0. The West would add another touchdown to lead 16-0 early in the 2nd quarter on a 3 yard plunge by Fulmer with the 2 point conversion good on a pass from Ashland’s Austin Stebens to Golden Plain’s Cole Christensen.
After that it was all East as they responded with forty-six unanswered points to take a 46-16 lead and went on to a 52-24 victory.
The onslaught of East offense began in the 2nd quarter as B&B signal-caller Eric Huerter hooked up with his Falcon comrade, Cody Heiman on a 17 yard touchdown strike. Huerter ran in the 2 point conversion to cut the deficit to 16-8.
On the next drive, the East completed an 8 play 60 yard drive capped by a 6 yards touchdown pass to Frankfort’s Jonathan Keating to pull the East to within 16-14.
The East took the lead for good on a 7 play 55 yard march capped by B&B’s Mitch Engelken’s 17 yard run with 2:38 to play in the 2nd quarter as the East led 20-16 at intermission.
South Barber’s Blake Wagenbach caught a 4 yard scoring pass from Huerter to extend the East’s lead to 26-16 with 9:13 left in the 3rd. After a three and out, the West attempted to punt deep in their own territory but Wilson’s Jake Stoppel blocked the punt and returned it 9 yards to give the East a 32-16 advantage. Engelken struck again with 1:08 left in the 3rd on a 41 yard scamper, the two point conversion made it 40-16. After an interception by Hanover’s Brent Bruna, the East struck quickly on the next play with Engelken breaking free for a 64 yard touchdown run to make it 46-16.
The West added their only points in the 2nd half on a Fulmer 25 yard scoring run to close the gap to 46-24 after a successful two point try, but the East finished out the scoring for the day with Huerter throwing his 4th touchdown pass of the day and his second to Keating, this time from 6 yards out to give the East an impressive 52-24 victory.
The Baileyville B&B trio of Quarterback/Safety Eric Huerter, Fullback/Linebacker Cody Heiman, and running back Mitch Engelken, made play after play on both sides of the ball to spur the East squad. Engelken and Huerter, who missed the state championship game in November with injury, accounted for two thirds of the offense rolled up by the East.
“The line did a great job opening some holes and coach called the right plays at the time to get us open,” said Huerter. Baileyville B&B’s coach, Justin Coup, used Engelken the best, as he set an unofficial All Star game record with 233 yards rushing on 20 carries while scoring 3 touchdowns on runs of 17, 41, and 64 yards. Huerter tossed 4 touchdown passes while completing 8 of 18 passes for 78 yards. He also scrambled and bootlegged his way to 72 yards on 10 carries and intercepted two passes on defense. Fullback Cody Heiman ran for 73 yards and caught a 17-yard pass for a touchdown while one of Huerter’s favorite targets was Frankfort’s Jonathan Keating who had touchdown catches of 6 and 14 yards. Wilson’s Josh Stoppel made it a well rounded effort for the East with a blocked punt which he scooped up and ran 9 yards for a touchdown to put the East up 32-16 midway thru the 3rd quarter.
All total, the East squad rolled up 529 yards of total offense, including 451 on the ground. Heiman, along with Hanover’s Brent Bruna led an East defensive effort that held the West to just 198 yards of offense.
“That was about as big and strong a line as you could put together in this state,” said Cheylin’s coach Max Keltz, head coach of the West. “I thought our kids did a great job fighting through the heat, but we just couldn’t make enough plays.” Ashland’s Austin Stebens threw for 69 yards and Dighton’s Guy Fullmer ran for 2 scores to lead the West.
“We take so much away from this week as coaches,” said Coup. “It’s so great to come together and bounce ideas and experiences off each other, because you know the guys on the other sideline have been through the same things you have.”
The East now leads the West 8-4 in the Division II series.