Trojans strike gold
Turnovers. Turnovers. Turnovers.
Next to the final score, the turnover margin is arguably the most significant stat in football. On the preps level turnovers are a certainty so it comes down to the teams ability to respond to it.
Well after the first possession of the game by the Barnesville Trojans, that was the question. They started out with a few run plays but then came a fumble, recovered by the Nuggets.
The defense was able to respond, forcing a punt after a few plays by the Hawley offense. After another two possessions the action level was turned up. On a fourth consecutive punt attempt, the Hawley Nuggets were able to block and recover the ball.
Starting at the Barnesville 25 yard line tipped the scales in favor of the offense and they didn't squander the short field. After an incomplete pass, #26 - Donnie Loegering, took the hand off all the way to the endzone. After a missed extra point, the quarter closed with a 6 - 0 lead for Hawley.
In the waning moments of the first quarter the Trojans did begin their next possession. It extended several minutes into the second quarter of game time. On a fourth down play within a few yards of their own score, #20 Brady Tweeton finished of their own scoring drive but were also able to finish the extra point attempt, of the two point variety.
With a tick over 9 minutes to go in the half Hawley had the ball but was forced to punt after three plays. Barnesville managed to get a first down on the next possession but then also ended up punting away.
Hawley started their next possession at their own 26 yard line and after working their to a third & 14 got a clutch run Loegering, which set up a completion through the air to #7 Drew Thompson. A couple plays removed from that came the next turnover of the game, an interception in the end zone.
Short on time and looking out at a long field, the Trojans opted to play it safe and just run out the clock on the half.
Hawley started out the third frame with the ball. After getting pushed to a fourth and six they dialed up a fake punt pass, completed to Loegering. A couple ensuing first downs put them within striking distance of the end zone but then the old monster reared it's head again with another interception, by Thompson.
Barnesville was no more able to take advantage then the Nuggets had been. They managed a pair of first downs but then lost the ball on another fumble. With the ball now sitting on the lip of the red zone Hawley struggled for yardage, eventually finding themselves in another fourth down and a full twelve yards to go for the first down. Undeterred, the quarterback hit #35, Chase Libak in the end zone for another touchdown. This time they also managed to finish the extra point and left the game at a 14 - 8 margin in their favor.
Another punt by each team had Barnesville with the ball at the 15 yard line. #20 Brady Tweeton, didn't let that stop him from taking the first play all the way to the end zone. Another two point conversion left the scoring at 16 - 14 and the third quarter nearly complete.
Hawley managed a first down before the final quarter began but after the change was stifled by the defense and turned the ball over on downs.
Barnesville countered with their own one first down possession before giving it back to the Nuggets. Who in turn went three and out after the quarterback was sacked for a loss of nine yards on the first play.
The men of Troyville were finally able to take advantage of another possession. Aided by two offsides calls on Hawley, the Trojans worked their offense and #27 Connor John found pay dirt. Another two point conversion went with out a hitch and left the game at a 24 - 14 margin.
With under three minutes to go, the pressure fell squarely on the Nugget offense. The defense was up to the task and pushed the offense back on two of the four plays. From there, Barnesville just had to run the clock out and run it out they did.
Turnovers made a difference for each team, but the Barneville Trojans were able to make a few more plays to counter them then the Hawley Nuggets did.
Barnesville 24, Hawley 14
Hawley Touchdown (Loegering)
Barnesville Touchdown (Tweeton)
Hawley Touchdown (Libak)
Barnesville Touchdown (Tweeton)
Barnesville Touchdown (John)
As deserving as Donnie Loegering is because of the game he had, most valuable is reserved for players from the winning team.