Freaky Friday too much for Braves
Maybe it was the fact it was Friday the 13th. Perhaps it was the full moon. Or maybe it's just the way a football bounces. Whatever it was, the Washington Wildcats benefited from some strange occurrences, topping the Bonner Springs Braves 30-6 last Friday at Washington.
The loss dropped the Braves to 2-5 on the season and, more importantly, 0-1 in district play.
"If it wasn't for bad luck, we wouldn't have any luck at all," said Lew Kasselman, Braves' head coach. "I guess that's what happens when you're not winning."
The Braves made several defensive revisions, switching to a five-man front for the first time this year, with Jason Coleman, Joe Botts, David Bass, Jeremy Woods and Jeff Burns as down linemen. Greg Forshey was utilized as the "monster man" in the new defensive set. In most ways it worked as the Braves held Ivan Harrison, Washington's star running back to 121 yards, about one-half his season average.
"We wanted to spread things out and stay low. We knew we couldn't handle their big line," Kasselman said. "I was pleased with the way the kids played, but I wasn't happy with the loss.
Despite the effort and the revamped defense, a series of unusual breaks buried the Braves. You knew it was going to be one of those nights when school officials couldn't get the scoreboard clock to operate, so time was kept on the field.
The first "on-the-field oddity" came early in the first quarter. Bonner Springs nailed Harrison for a two-yard gain and he fumbled the ball. But it bounced into the hands of another Washington player who was five yards ahead of the play. He ran 45 yards to score the game's first touchdown.
Washington added a second quarter field goal when a soccer player-turned place-kicker hit his first-ever try from 20 yards out.
The Wildcats scored in the final seconds of the first half on a 36-yard halfback option pass.
"The halftime score should have been 3-0," Kasselman said. "We knew the halfback pass was coming. We told the kids, but they didn't make the play."
The Braves gave Washington its third touchdown on the first play from scrimmage in the second half as Harrison scooped up a fumble and rambled 38 yards. Washington had a 72-yard sustained drive late in the quarter for their last score.
A punt of 57-yards by freshman Drew Hess pinned Washington on their four-yard line. On third and 12, James Bass picked off a tipped pass and gave the Braves possession on the 17-yard line. The Braves returned the favor on their first play when Washington picked off a Tommy Gardner pass on their 13-yard line.
Bonner Springs' defense forced a punt and Forshey got a hand on the kick, sending it fluttering into the hands of Steve Lutjen who returned the ball 13 yards to the Washington eight. After a loss on a reverse, Gardner rolled out and fired a 13-yard strike to Chris Cobbins on a post pattern. Cobbins gathered in the ball and ran into the goal post.
"I told him I wanted a post pattern, but I didn't want him running into the goal post," Kasselman quipped after the game.
Cobbins held onto the ball for his first touchdown and the Braves were on the board.