A Misnomer in a Mismatch
One of the best parts of sports is the definitive nature of it. Not to twist the knife but it's nice to have winners and losers. I'm a red blooded American, I don't like ties. The polar opposite of a tie is a blowout victory. Even more rare than ties is a disappointing blowout, and I'm not talking about for the team on the wrong end of the blowout. Yes, on rare occasion a blowout win can find a way to be a letdown. I don't think the players should think of it that way but with a little perspective, that is kind of how it played out last night at Sid Cichy when Wahpeton came to Shanley.
After a quick first possession by the Huskies, Shanley got the ball for the first time with 70 yards of turf between them and points. It took only two plays for one of the games prime time performers to get his name called. A 15 yard pass was hauled in by Talon Hoffer, who followed that up with a 14 yard catch. The remaining 31 yards were dinked, dunked & chipped away at by the offense til they were a step or two away from the first touchdown of the evening. As would often be the case as the game wore on, quarterback Cade Busek took the ball himself and wiped the zero off the board. The Deacons then proceeded to try for two but came up short of the goal.
On Wahpeton's chance to even the score or better yet, get an early lead both teams contributed to a trifecta penalties that saw the ball move a total of 20 yards without a down coming off the board. So on their fourth straight first down play of the possession they gained a yard. That gave way to a pair of pass attempts that each fell harmlessly to the ground.
After the punt, Shanley had the ball again but at midfield this time. One play later and the lead had grown to double figures. Austin Manuel took the ball, scooted around the right side of the line to daylight and after a few strides, was into the open field and with clear sailing to the end zone. Now with a 12 point lead, the Deacons cued it up to try and make up for the missed points from last time, but like their first try, the Huskies defense stood up.
Not the largest deficit that they could have faced but now down two touchdowns, Wahpeton got the ball back at the 20 and made a concerted effort to keep the offense on the field. Lead by Jake Pfaff, they executed nine straight run plays in a row, which got them over 40 yards across the field and into the second quarter.
The second play of the quarter stifled Wahp's momentum as Hoffer got an interception just inside the red zone. Shanley's ensuing possession, and the three that came after it, all went nowhere. When the Deacons got the ball back with time dwindling down in the first half, they strung together a half dozen running plays and a couple pass plays to get within the 10 but then Munezero Desire jumped the next pass in the end zone to get his team the ball back.
With less than a minute to go, they faced a tall task to even get into field goal range. After a quick handoff only garnered them a couple yards and time out the coaches decided to hit the reset button of halftime.
The button must have jammed on them though because it took all of one possession for Shanley to extend their lead. After starting with a short field they reinstituted their own run heavy game plan. Lead by Busek, who took five of the six rushes himself, and complimented by a couple key completions, the Deacons offense got just inside the red zone. On the next snap, Manuel ran his route and was paid off with a second touchdown of the evening, this time receiving.
Unbeknownst to all those in attendance, the four minute drive was the start of the avalanche. Wahpeton looked to stem the tide with another run heavy possession. It worked up to a point but as the field condensed, the Deacon defense stiffened to the point of getting a fumble by the Huskies.
Cade Busek continued to conduct the offense, first with his running and handoffs but with a mix of completed passes as well. Carter Kochmann was the beneficiary of the latest scoring play but that was followed up with yet another failed extra point attempt.
Now a 25 point game, Wahpeton's offense returned to the field just hoping to end the shutout attempt. The Huskies once again managed to string together some positive plays but as the pressure mounted, they came up short.
After the latest punt was taken by Shanley and gave their offense the ball at the 47. A couple quick runs later and they lined up for a third down play. Haley Bucholz put his stamp on the game on the first play off the possession, another touchdown for the offense as it continued to avalanche the second half.
With only a couple possessions worth of time remaining, Wahpeton once again looked to eliminate their zero on the scoreboard. The three and out that was forced did not allow for that possibility to come to pass.
Now with reserves in at many of the important positions of the offense, Shanley continued to roll. On a fourth and eight, Cooper Mattern got the ball to Carson Dean, who dragged defenders to the three. Mattern finished off the drive and the days scoring with 2:04 remaining in the game.
Final Score: Shanley 38, Wahpeton 0
So what is there to be disappointed about in a 38 point victory? Realistically, there should be no disappointment by any of the players or coaches today but as the competition ramps up in the playoffs, the repetitive issue of failing in the post touchdown action could become a difference maker. So yeah, it's a misnomer to have any disappointment today by Shanley Football. Missing a touchdowns worth of points over the course of the game merits mention.
Players of the Game
The Deacons executed a balanced offensive attack where no one player was definitely the alpha but there were two who performed at an undeniably recognizable level
Photo of the Game
For the rest of the photos from the game, click the pic!