Homecoming is a tradition of welcoming back students (present and past) to their school. The week is usually full of festivities, coronations and activities. Homecoming is the game where it is typically all left on the field, efforts are put to a maximum and all stops are pulled. The West Central Area/Ashby (WCAA) Knights did not disappoint as in a sub-district 3 overtime thriller they dispatched the Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (BBE) Jaguars 33-27.
First quarter action provided each team with one possession. The Knights opened the game on offense, but sputtered on a six plays. The Jaguars would grind out the rest of the opening period with an 18 play 81 yard drive capped off with a seven yard touchdown run by (Jr) RB Adam Jaeger. (Sr) PK Jacob Weller booted the PAT.
The second stanza found fireworks on both sides as Jaeger scored again on a 44 yard romp at 11:02 putting BBE up by an early lead of 13-0. Midway through the period WCAA retaliated, (Jr) WR/RB Kaden Spindler caught a 22 yd TD pass from (Jr) QB Ross Anderson. (Jr) PK/C Mason Nibbe kicked the PAT. With just ticks remaining on the clock the Knights found the end zone for a 2nd time as Anderson crossed the goal on a seven yard run. The Pat kick was blocked and the half would run out with the score knotted up at 13 points apiece.
Both teams opened the second half with a punt but BBE drew first blood when at 9:45 in the 3rd quarter (Jr) RB Isaiah Gilbert ran it in from 36 yards out. Several minutes later Knights (Sr) RB Jacob Dreschel broke loose on a 37 yard run. Both teams failed at PAT attempts leaving the 3rd period with a score of 19 all.
Fourth quarter scoring began with the Knights culminating an 11 play, 70 yard drive as (Jr) RB Brady Sabolik scored on a five yard run. The two point conversion pass from Anderson to (Jr) WR Parker Clavin was good. With three minutes remaining the game would get most interesting. BBE drove the ball inside the red zone. Clavin of the Knights intercepted a ball on the five yard line and return it out to the 20. WCAA fumbled the ensuing run giving the Jagaurs the ball with a very short field. Two plays later Jaeger scored on a 15 yard dash. To add to the dramatics (Jr) QB Ryan Illies hit (So) WR Jared Weller for the PAT once again tying the score at 27 points apiece. The half would end with the same score sending the game into overtime.
The Knights won the O.T. coin toss deferring to BBE. Following four attempts the Jagaurs could not put the pigskin in the end zone. On the Knights first play of the possession (Sr) RB Caden Fernholz bolted in from 10 yards out giving WCAA the victory.
Offensively the Knights were able to find stability on the ground racking up 190 yards on 39 carries. Dreschel and Fernholz led the attack with 92 and 83 yards and a score apiece. Ross Anderson threw for 58 yards, a TD and a PAT. He found six receivers on his seven completions. Spindler led the group with a pair of catches for 26 yards and a score.
Defensively the Knights gave up 250 yards on 54 carries to a powerful Jaguar running game but shut down the pass giving up just nine yards on five completions. Nibbe led the tacklers with 9 stops (2 for a loss) Dreschel was rock solid at linebacker posting 8 tackles (2 for a loss) and a pass defense. Spindler added 7.5 tackles.
Caden Fernholz was recognized as Area Press and KKOK radio “Player of the Game”. Fernholz rushed the ball six times for 83 yards, caught a pass for 11 yards, recorded three tackles and a pass defense and reached the goal line for the overtime victory.
The 1-4 Knights will go on the road next as they travel this Friday to Parkers Prairie for a showdown with the 4-1 Panthers. Game time is scheduled for 7 pm.