by Hank Krause
The A-W Westerners advanced one more round in the Iowa High School Football playoffs by ruffling the feathers of the West Hancock Eagles of Britt, with a 28-16 win.
A-W was led by Cory Eskra, who was picked as player of the game. He passed 23 times, connecting on 13 for 245 yards. Eskra also had two touchdown passes, plus a run for another TD. Taylor James carried the ball 34 times for 131 yards.
The Westerners were on the road to Britt, which is half way to Wisconsin. I guess that’s the way the State says to do things. A-W came from behind twice to put the Eagles back into their aerie. W-H took the early lead as Chris Schleuger, a behemoth running back, scored to give WH the early lead, 6-0. Schleuger also scored on a two point conversion to make it 8-0 Eagles.
A-W battled back by driving 77 yards using 11 plays as Cory Eskra threw a 23 yard pass to Kevin Carlson. Taylor James added the two point conversion to knot it at eight at halftime.
A-W took their first lead of the game late in the third quarter as Eskra cranked up again and found Chance Hoffman in the end zone. Hoffman Made a fantastic catch between two Eagles defenders. A-W led 15-8 as the third quarter was closing.
On WH’s next possession, the Eagles marched 81 yards in 13 plays with Schleuger doing most of the work. Schleuger carried the ball seven times plus caught a 25 yard pass from Jacob Hejlik to give the lead back to WH 16-15.
A-W, not to be outdone, took over the ball at their own 28. A-W drove 72 yards with the big play of the drive being a 41 yard pass play from Eskra to Nathan Sanchez, putting the ball on the WH 14. James ran three plays for six, seven, and the final one yard run to make it 21-16 A-W.
WH had the ball for one last effort as they tried to get out of the shadow of their own goal post. The Eagles gave up the ball at their own 11. Eskra closed out the short drive with a two yard run to finalize it at 28-16.
Defensively, Cody Bosse led the charge with 11 tackles. Daniel Beitelspacher and James followed with a number of stops. Also having a really good defensive game were Sam Mace, Dylan Meyers, John Wolthuizen, and Tommy Toben. WH, being a very big team (most of them should have had a tag in their ear), didn’t intimidate A-W. Instead, the Westerners did their job.
Cory Eskra lost a contact lens in the first half. His brother Eric came to the rescue as he gave Cory one of his contacts. Better then changing eyeballs! Either way would have probably worked. Well played.
1 2 3 4 T
A-W 0 8 7 13 28
WH 8 0 0 8 16
First Downs 16 21
Rushes-yds. 55-257 45-159
Passing 1-6-1 14-25-1
Passing yds 25 207
Total offense 282 366
Fumbles 4/1 2/0
Penalties 4-45 5-45
Punts 3-35.3 3-35.7
WH- Schleuger 4 yd. run, 2 pt. conv.
A-W- Eskra 23 yd. pass to Carlson, 2 pt. conv.
A-W- Eskra 24 yd. pass to Hoffman, James kick good
WH- Hejlik 25 yd. pass to Schleuger, 2 pt. conv. good
A-W- James 1 yd. run, PAT no good
A-W- Eskra 2 yd. run, James kick good