Seahawks hold off Tigers in 9-man battleEMERY — Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan’s defense stopped a Howard 2-point conversion to secure a hard-fought 28-26 win in a battle of rated Class 9AA teams.
By: Owen Reitzel, The Daily Republic
EMERY — Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan’s defense stopped a Howard 2-point conversion to secure a hard-fought 28-26 win in a battle of rated Class 9AA teams.
Trailing 28-20 with 7:25 to play, the Tigers went on a 9-play, 71-yard drive capped by a 5-yard run from senior Evan Donahue. But the 2-point pass fell short, allowing the No. 1 ranked Seahawks’ two-point advantage to stand.
Howard, ranked fifth, forced BEE to punt and had a final chance to grab the win, but the Seahawk defense held strong one last time. On fourth down, BEE tackled Tiger quarterback Landon Laible short of a first down, and the Seahawks took over on downs and ran out the clock.
“It was a good hitting football game and you have to give them (Howard) a lot of credit,” said Seahawk coach Jeff VanLeur. “I’m very proud of our kids for coming out in the second half and they got after things. They did a great job of attacking a little bit better.”
The Tigers took the opening kickoff and marched for a 14-play drive that chewed up five minutes and ended with Laible hitting Luke Loudenburg on a 10-yard touchdown pass. The 2-point conversion failed and Howard led 6-0.
While the Tigers took five minutes to score, it took the Seahawks all of 14 seconds to tie the contest at 6 as senior standout Anthony Huber took a pass from Jace Connor and raced 63 yards to score.
Howard responded with another long drive, marching on a 57-yard drive finishing with Donahue scoring on a 9-yard run and with 26 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Howard had a 12-6 lead.
It was BEE’s turn to mount a drive. On the strength of a screen pass that netted 15 yards, the Seahawks went 64 yards in three minutes and scored when Kyelle Herrick hit pay dirt on a 15-yard romp.
The two point conversion was good and BEE had its first lead of the game at 14-12.
The Seahawks forced a Tiger punt, but then on the BEE 37 yard line the Seahawks fumbled and Howard recovered.
Two plays later Donahue ran 23 yards for a touchdown and the Tigers went into halftime with a 20-14 lead.
BEE took the opening kickoff of the second and went on a 55-yard drive that came up two yards short of the end zone as Howard’s defense stiffened and took over the ball on downs at its own two yard line.
But on the second play of the drive Huber intercepted a Laible pass and returned it to the Howard five yard line.
One play later, Herrick scored and the Seahawks tied the game at 20.
After forcing a Tiger punt, BEE took its final lead of the game on a 82-yard drive with Huber scoring on a five-yard run, setting up the final seven minutes.
Herrick finished with 101 yards rushing with the bulk of those in the second half after some adjustments were made.
“Herrick really had a nice second half for us and did some nice things,” said VanLeur.
The Seahawks (4-1) had 172 rushing yards and Connor threw for 108 passing yards. Huber led the defense with 14 tackles, followed by Franky Tusha with 10 tackles.
“I thought we did a nice job in the first and second quarter moving the ball,” said Howard coach Pat Ruml. “They made some adjustments at halftime and made it a little tougher for us, and that’s what good teams do. Normally in a game like this when you put up 26 points you win because it’s a lower scoring battle.”
The Tigers (3-2) had 108 yards rushing and 103 yards in passing for 211 total yards.
BEE will host Kimball/White Lake in Ethan and Howard will entertain Hanson Friday.
HOW: Luke Loudenburg 10 pass from Landon Laible (Pass fail)
BEE: Anthony Huber 63 pass from Jace Connor (Pass fail)
HOW: Evan Donahue 9 run (Pass fail)
BEE: Kyelle Herrick 15 run (Connor run)
HOW: Donahue 23 run (Pass fail)
BEE: Herrick 5 run (Run fail)
BEE: Huber 4 run (Clayton Dye pass from Connor)
HOW: Donahue 5 run (Pass fail)