Pirates crash, Comets crush
The word that can be like a Jackalope for teams of all sports, across the country. Making it to the state playoff is something that gets discussed for years to come by the supporters of the teams that make it there. Even the Stephen - Argyle's show that making it to state is a special result.
When it comes down to a section final between teams that have years of competitive history with one team being undefeated and the other having their lone loss of the season come to the opponent, it gets ratcheted up. Whether present out comes can ever live up to lore is a debate for another day, for three hours yesterday afternoon it was all about the two teams on the field.
Hillcrest v. Verndale.
After a 2.5 possession first quarter that some would say was pushing the game back in time because of the persistence of running, the scoring began. First with a pass to #15, Reggie Undseth, for Hillcrest.
On their second possession of the game, Verndale was able to knot the game at sixes with a touchdown of their own to #7, Mac Schluttner. Each team failed on their extra point attempts so the game was at six a piece mid way through the second quarter.
After a fumble recovery by Verndale and an ensuing short possession, Hillcrest had the ball again with a couple minutes to go in the half. Staying true to the form that had gotten them that far, they ran on eight straight plays. Of the eight, five were by their workhorse #32 Kyler Newman. Newman took the last handoff of the drive from one yard out for the next score. To make up for the missed kick, they went for two and pushed the score to 14 - 6.
Two more possessions spelled the rest of the half but at the whistle, the scoreboard was stuck at 14 - 6, Hillcrest.
Verndale started the third quarter and did their own ground and grind game, with a 25 yard toss on third and long early in the drive. For their efforts they found themselves once again tied with the Comets after a touchdown run by #2, Luke Weniger and a successful two point conversion of their own.
A parade of punts with one turnover on downs were all that the rest of the fourth quarter could muster. Unlike the transition from the first to second quarters, it took another possession for each team for the score change.
From their own six yard line, senior quarterback Sean McGuire connected with Newman on a 21 yard pass. One more pass play preceded another string of running plays that were once again successful and got Newman his second touchdown of the game. This time the two point conversion was unsuccessful and the game remained at 20 - 14, Hillcrest. For the remaining three possessions of the game, the defenses did the work.
So for the first time in over a decade, with a head coach not named Risbrudt or Brue for the first time in 40 years and a year after losing their bull dozer of a running back, the Hillcrest Lutheran Academy Comets are returning to the state playoffs.
Final Score: Hillcrest - 20, Verndale - 14
Hillcrest Touchdown (Undseth)
Verndale Touchdown (Schluttner)
Hillcrest Touchdown (Newman)
Verndale Touchdown (Weniger)
Hillcrest Touchdown (Newman
After suffering a separated shoulder early in the game, which was put back in place back on the sideline so that he could continue, then scoring 14 of the teams points, Kyler Newman is representative of exactly what a most valuable player of the game should be.
If not for the abilities of his quarterback, Sean McGuire, it may not have mattered though. So as cliche as it is to ID a qb as an MVP, it's also appropriate.
Thirdly, the other scorer for the Comets. Reggie Undseth. No return touchdowns but the score that he completed was as much the difference in the game as the others so he is deserving.
Congratulations to the Hillcrest Lutheran Academy Comets on your section 6 championship!