|Undefeated! Broncos top Mustangs, head to playoffs 8-0|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 25 October 2012 14:00|
Diane Stamm | The Wauneta Breeze
By Diane Stamm
The Wauneta Breeze
Fans couldn’t ask for a better game Friday night. The final game of the regular season featured the only two undefeated teams left in six man football. Wauneta-Palisade gave its fans exactly what they hoped for, a 38-23 win over the Silver Lake Mustangs.
The Broncos came out fired up right from the start. After holding the Mustangs to a three-and-out, Wauneta-Palisade took over on the Silver Lake 37. Behind the running of seniors Connor Kayton and Jack McGraw, the Broncos’ scored in seven plays to make the score 6-0 with 6:03 in the first quarter.
Not to be outdone, Silver Lake, after two running plays, got on the board with a 54-yard touchdown pass. The one-point conversion was good to make the score 7-6.
After the fast start, both teams struggled. Wauneta-Palisade was forced to punt on its next possession. Silver Lake fumbled on its second play and the Broncos recovered. Kayton raced 32 yards for a touchdown on the Broncos first offensive play, but a holding call brought the play back. Wauneta-Palisade once more ended up punting.
The struggles continued into the second quarter. The Mustangs turned the ball over on downs to start the quarter and two plays later the Broncos turned the ball over when the snap went over senior quarterback Jacob Maris’ head. Silver Lake thought they had the momentum when they recovered the ball on the Wauneta-Palisade 23-yard line, but the Mustangs gave the ball right back when McGraw picked off a Silver Lake pass on its first play.
McGraw’s long return had the Broncos sitting pretty at the Silver Lake 20, but Wauneta-Palisade could only manage nine yards and turned the ball over after an incomplete pass on fourth-and-six.
The Bronco defense continued to hold and forced the Mustangs to punt. Wes Anderjaska flubbed the return and set up the Mustangs at the Wauneta-Palisade 28-yard line. Silver Lake drove to the one-yard line where the drive ended with a fumble.
Starting from its own one-yard line, the Broncos powered out of the end zone with a three-yard McGraw run. The Broncos finally found some luck through the air when Kayton hit Logan Bischoff for a 33-yard gain. Wauneta-Palisade continued to throw the ball. Maris hit Anderjaska for ten yards, then Kayton and Bischoff hooked up again, this time for 28 yards, on fourth-and-five. The Broncos finished the drive on a three- yard Kayton run with 46.9 seconds left in the half to give the Broncos a 12-7 lead.
“In the first half we played hard, but we had a couple of aggressive mental mistakes,” said co-coach Randy Geier. “As coaches, we do not like mental errors, but we can live with aggressive mistakes as long as our athletes can learn from them, which these guys have.”
The Broncos went back to the ground to start the second half. McGraw and Kayton shared the load as Wauneta-Palisade drove 65 yards for another touchdown.
Ahead 18-7, the Broncos kept up the pressure. Once again forcing a three-and-out, the Broncos put another score on the board. Kayton completed a 19-yard pass to Maris, Kayton then rumbled for 27 yards. McGraw wrapped up the drive with a 20-yard touchdown run to make the score 26-7.
After trading possessions, Wauneta-Palisade got the ball back on a Kayton interception. Kayton’s hot night passing continued when he found Hayden Pollmann on the next play for a 36-yard touchdown to put the Broncos ahead 32-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
Both teams forced punts to start the quarter before Silver Lake found the end zone on a three-play, 37-yard drive. Wauneta-Palisade responded with its own three-play, 49-yard drive, capped by a 32-yard run by Kayton to make the score 38-15.
After a Maris interception on the ensuing Mustang possession, McGraw had a 48-yard touchdown run called back after a block in the back. With the comfortable lead, Geier and Frecks sent in the second-string offense which fumbled on the second play. Silver Lake took the miscue and immediately scored against the second string Bronco defense to narrow the game to two possessions, 38-23.
Putting the first string offense back in, the Broncos saw its steak of bad luck continue with another fumble on its own 36-yard line with 1:41 left.
While coaches tried to get the second string defense prepared, the first string defense lined up against the second string Mustang offense. Kayton picked up his second interception of the night to seal the Bronco win.
“Coach Frecks had an excellent game plan defensively, and the athletes executed the plan very well,” said Geier. “We also tackled very well overall. We wore them down with our physicality as the game went on.”
Coach Geier also complimented his offensive players.
“We had success running our pitch pass play. Connor threw the ball well and Weylan and Jack blocked very well on that play. Jacob, Wes, Logan, and Hayden all had great catches and ran good routes. Our offense is set up to take whatever the defense gives us and our kids executed well.”
As the top seed in the playoffs, the Broncos will host Cody-Kilgore Friday. Beginning at 5:00 p.m. MT/6:00 CT fans are asked to wear pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Cody-Kilgore has gone 5-2 since facing the Broncos in the first game of the season.
“They are much improved,” said Geier. “We anticipate a very tough game.”
“The coaches would like to thank our awesome fans... we had a great crowd, it was a fantastic atmosphere for our student/athletes,” he added.
RPAC and school passes will not be accepted at the game. Gate receipts must be shared with Cody-Kilgore, the Six Man Football Association, and the NSAA.