Janesville71.8°

Trick play propels Parker past Beloit

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Mike Johnson/Special to the Gazette
September 4, 2010
— Entering desperation time and staring down the barrel of a 0-2 start to the season, Janesville Parker High School football coach Joe Dye figured one trick play deserved another.

And the Vikings pulled it off.


If Friday’s mistake-laden Big Eight Conference game at Beloit Memorial wasn’t aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, it was certainly a good test for the heart of anyone who witnessed Parker pulling off a 22-19 win for its 12th straight victory over the Purple Knights in this year’s startr to the state’s oldest unbroken high school football rivalry.


“I’m getting too old to deal with 22-19,” Dye said.


Especially when the victory requires calling a hook-and-ladder, one of football’s oldest trick plays, in the game’s biggest moment.


Beloit took a 19-14 lead into the fourth quarter after Caleb Goff connected with Kejuane Jennings for a 66-yard touchdown on a shocking halfback-option pass in the third. With the clock winding down inside the three-minute mark of the fourth, the Vikings still trailed and faced a fourth-and-14 from midfield.


With victory seemingly slipping from its grasp, Parker paid Beloit back for its trickery with some brilliant trickery of its own.


Instead of punting and trying to get the ball back, Dye had Parker quarterback Decker Thompson throw a quick 8-yard out to Kyle Schroeder. Meanwhile, running back Adam Vesterfelt came streaking down the right sideline, took a quick pitch from Schroeder and rumbled all the way down to the Beloit 9-yard line.


Three plays later, Vesterfelt—who recovered from a tough season-opener against Middleton with 38 carries for 189 yards on Friday—plunged in from three yards out and also ran in for the two-point conversion to secure the win.


But it was clearly the hook-and-ladder that turned the tide. It’s a play the Vikings run in practice just for the situation that arose on Friday.


“There’s a reason you rep it, ’cause you never know,” Dye said.


Parker caught Beloit in the perfect defense, as the Purple Knights (0-2) played a Cover 3 and had no defensive backs in the vicinity of Vesterfelt as he caught Schroeder’s pitch.


“It was my first time getting it, so I was kind of nervous,” Vesterfelt said. “There was no one there (on defense) up until the end.”


The Vikings’ other big play came in the second quarter after Beloit quarterback Jeff Hollenbach broke loose for a 45-yard touchdown run. Parker’s Erik Albeck bobbled the ensuing kickoff at the 8-yard line, picked it up, found daylight down the right sideline and raced 92 yards for the score that gave Parker a 14-13 halftime lead.


Dye was irked by Parker’s inability to get the ball into the end zone throughout the game, as the Vikings had a penalty wipe out a touchdown on their first drive, leading to a turnover on downs. Parker also failed to score on a fourth-and-goal from the 1, and Vesterfelt lost a fumble inside the Beloit 25 late in the second quarter.


“It’s a game of momentum, and there was a lot of ebb-and-flow there,” Dye said.


PARKER 22, BELOIT 19


Janesville Parker 0 14 0 8—22


Beloit Memorial 7 6 6 0—19


Scoring summary: BM—Jeff Hollenbach, 6 run (Brad Doeke kick). JP—Adam Vesterfelt, 2 run (Cullin Simonson kick). BM—Hollenbach, 45 run (kick failed). JP—Erik Albeck, 80 kickoff return (Simonson kick). BM—Kejuane Jennings, 66 pass from Caleb Goff (pass failed). JP—Vesterfelt, 3 run (Vesterfelt run).


Statistics: First downs—JP 14, BM 11. Rushes—JP 46-231, BM 33-182. Yards passing—JP 54, BM 164. Passes—JP 8-3-1, BM 18-9-0. Fumbles—JP 2-1, BM 4-1. Penalties—JP 3-25, BM 6-31.



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