by Hank Krause
I hope you folks relish the 2012 football season as it has been one to remember.
A-W moved its record to 8-0 as they did their favorite thing: that is to spot the opponents a touchdown, then begin to settle in and do their thing. In reality, L-B had an advantage as they had more first downs, more passing yards, more total yards but A-W had more points, 41-32, when the clock read 0:00.
A-W was led by Taylor James, who accounted for 334 total yards. James rushed 21 times for 131 yards plus had an 85-yard kick-off return and added a 55-yard pass interception for a touchdown.
A-W not only outdistanced the Eagles but they also had to overcome 15 yellow flags for a minus 150 yards. What really galled me was the number of flags thrown by one official.
My astute personality stated, “That Dude is really bad!” plus a few choice adjectives.
L-B opened the scoring as Anteres Ashley ran in from the five to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead. On L-B’s next possession, L-B used 11 plays to cover 80 yards. Blake Sappingfield made things happen as he scored on a seven yard run to up the lead to 13-0.
Taylor James took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 85 yards to put A-W on the board. James later scored on a 32-yard run to give A-W a 14-13 lead. Cory Eskra widened the lead by scoring on an 8-yard run into the middle. A-W now enjoyed a 21-13 lead but not for long. With a minute to play in the first half, L-B was in a third-and-seven situation. Matt Smith hit Sappingfield on a middle screen and he ran 66 yards to make it 21-19, A-W holding the lead at half.
The second half was a see-saw battle as we led, then they led. I was thinking the team with the ball last was going to win. L-B was trailing when Smith found Kyle Peterson open and he dashed 55 yards to put the Eagles back on top, 25-21.
Early in the fourth quarter with A-W trailing, Eskra found James open on a crossing pattern. A-W had gone into a little trickery as they lined up in the “old swinging gate” formation. This caught the Eagles scratching as they didn’t catch on. James caught the pass and dashed 25 yards to put A-W back on top 28-25.
Not to be outdone, L-B’s Brandon Thompson scored from 43 yards to give the lead back to L-B, 32-28.
With A-W trailing and forced into a punting situation, A-W had a fourth-and-20 obstacle. A bad snap sent James running around, trying to pick up the ball and looking for a chance to kick it away. James, while running to his right, found Dylan Myers open on the west sideline. A-W needed 20 and they got 21 to stay alive. Eskra found Chance Hoffman wide open for a 36-yard touchdown. Hoffman, who was double-covered the entire game, got free and it was a perfect strike to make it 35-32 A-W.
L-B had one last chance but James picked off a Matt Smith aerial and returned it 55 yards to score.
Defensively, it was a hard-hitting affair in which both teams really went after each other. Cody Bosse led A-W with nine stops followed by James and Beitelspacher, who each had six.
Penalties really put a damper on things but the Westerners overcame the yellow flag issues.
A couple of alumni were in the crowd and were wondering if I was going to mention their appearance. I only saw two of the “Stooges.” I couldn’t find the third one!
This week we travel to West Lyon of Inwood. This will be one tough football game.
1 2 3 4 T
A-W 7 14 0 20 41
L-B 13 6 6 7 32
First Downs 14 21
Rushes-yds. 43-178 42-153
Passing 7-15-1 11-24-1
Passing yds 112 225
Total offense 290 378
Fumbles 2/0 2/0
Penalties 15-150 8-67
Punts 4-48.5 1-46.0
L-B Ashley 5 yd. run, PAT good
L-B Sappingfield 7 yd. run, PAT ng
A-W James 85 yds. kickoff return (James kick)
A-W James 32 yds. run, kick good
A-W Eskra 8 yd. run, kick good
L-B Sappingfield 66 yd. pass from Smith, PAT ng
L-B Peterson 55 yd. pass from Smith, PAT ng
A-W Eskra 25 yd. pass from James, kick good
L-B Thompson 43 yd. run, kick good
A-W Eskra 36 yd. pass from Hoffman, kick good
A-W James 55 yd. pass interception, PAT ng