West Central Area/Ashby (WCAA) football hosted their first home game of the 2016 season on Friday versus the Royalton Royals. Unfortunately, on this wet and slippery night the Royals took home the “W” as they blanked the Knights 21-0.
It did not take the Royals long to put points on the board as on the opening kick-off (Jr) RB Cole Wentland found 89 yards of open grass to give Royalton a six point lead. (Sr) Billy Gertken added the kick to increase the spread to seven. At 4:26 in the 2nd quarter (Sr) RB Austin Zapzalka would punch in a two yard run and the score would remain 13-0 until the half.
Playing a battle for field position on extremely slick grass, both teams jockeyed back and forth in the 3rd period until at 1:56 in the quarter Wentland broke free for a 65 yard run to the end zone. The two point conversion pass from (Sr) QB Louis Fullford to (Jr) TE Jason Kasella was good and the score of 21-0 would remain to the end of the game.
The score of the game may have been 21-0 but this was not by any means a dominant performance by the Royals. In fact in most areas the Knights (on paper) won the battles. The Knights played a great share of the contest with good field position getting into the red zone on three occasions, the Knights out gained the Royals on offense by a margin of 202 yards to 174. WCAA won the first down battle 11 to 9. The Knights had 53 offensive snaps while the Royals had 41. Royalton committed eight penalties vs. the Knights four. One would think that those numbers should indicate a different outcome but Royalton managed to put two big plays and a long scoring drive together for three scores. The WCAA offense turned the ball over four times and could not find the end zone even when inside the five yard line twice. For the Knights it was simply not to be.
On offense the passing attack was captained by (Jr) QB Ross Anderson who completed 10/23 passes for 113 yards. Six Knights ran the ball, (Jr) RB Brady Sabolik led the group with 56 yard on 18 carries. Five Knights caught passes, (Sr) WR Nathan Cook caught two of them for 36 yards.
Defensively (Sr) OLB Jacob Dreschel racked up 9.5 tackles. Jacob plays the strong side outside linebacker and stuffed the Royalton ground game to his side most of the night earning him the “Area Press Player of the Game”. (Sr) DB Caden Fernholz played a solid cornerback position gathering up four tackles with two of those for a loss. (SR) DL Chase Kamrath was in on six stops.
The 0-3 Knights will travel next to Murdock to take on the 1-2 Kerkhovan/Murdock/Sunburg Fighting Saints. The contest is scheduled for Friday, September 23 with a 7:00pm start.