Trick play lifts Colby

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Associated Press
Friday, November 18, 2011
— The play was nicknamed “Roger Cowboy” and was deep in Colby prep football coach Jeff Rosemeyer’s bag of tricks. After seeing his defense gashed for a sixth touchdown, Rosemeyer kept thinking: “What are we going to have to do next?”

The answer was “Roger Cowboy,” a double-reverse fleaflicker that would hopefully open something in the end zone for senior receiver Tyler Meyer to make a play.

“That way,” Rosemeyer said, “if you don’t get it, you still have some plays (that) maybe you can get a first down.”

As it turned out, the trick play was the big difference when Meyer outjumped two defenders to catch a 25-yard touchdown pass, setting up Michael Knetter’s winning extra point, as Colby beat Lancaster, 44-43, in overtime to win the WIAA Division 5 championship Thursday.

“I didn’t think it was going to work at all, and it ended up working,” said Meyer. “It’s great. I turned around just in time to see (QB Aaron) Koerner catch the ball (on the reverse toss) and then throw it. He ended up throwing it short. I just had to go up and get it.”

The only state matchup featuring two undefeated teams, the 87 combined points set a state record for all divisions while the Colby

(14-0) win prevented Lancaster from tying Stratford for the most state titles with seven.

A wild affair that had 57 combined first-half points and 810 yards of offense (a Division 5 state record), the final tally came down to two special teams plays.

With the game tied at 37 with two minutes left, Lancaster (13-1) junior Kile Jerrett muffed a punt, allowing Colby to recover on the Flying Arrows’ 10-yard line. Lining up for a 19-yard field goal with 36 seconds left, Jerrett atoned for the gaffe by blocking the attempt to send the game into overtime.

After tailback Trae Mezera scored on a 25-yard run on the second play of overtime, the Flying Arrows looked to be in control until Meyer got leverage on his blocker on the extra point attempt, resulting in a block.

Division 4

-- Wrightstown 28, Somerset 26 (2 OT)—Quarterback Jordan Johnson scored the decisive two-point conversion in double overtime to give Wrightstown

(14-0) the Division 4 title.

Johnson led a 10-play, 52-yard drive to tie the game with 23 seconds left in regulation, throwing a 3-yard touchdown pass and running in the two-point try to force overtime.

Wrightstown tailback Jackson Fox rushed for 142 yards and three touchdowns, including a 23-yarder to set up Johnson’s winning run.

Somerset (12-2) scored twice to erase a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter, but gained only one yard in the first overtime and was stuffed on a two-point conversion attempt in the second overtime.

Division 6

-- Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs 24, Shiocton 0—Darin Ward ran for 107 yards and a touchdown and Springs shut out its fourth straight postseason opponent.

The Ledgers (14-0) bent a little but never broke, stopping the Chiefs on all nine possessions, including a crucial goal-line stand in the third quarter.

Shiocton (12-2) held the Ledgers to their lowest point total all year.

Division 7

-- Greenwood/Granton 40, Seneca 0—Senior quarterback Josh Harlander and senior fullback Hayden Hinker each rushed for more than 150 yards and two TDs to lead Greenwood/Granton to the Division 7 title.

The Indians’ second title and first since 1990 completed an impressive turnaround for a program that was 0-9 in 2009.

Harlander finished with 167 yards on 18 carries. Hinker had 152 yards on 16 carries.

Hinker also had a team-high nine tackles at linebacker, with eight of the stops coming on Seneca tailback John Alanis, the state’s leading rusher with 2,885 yards and 34 TDs coming in.

Greenwood/Granton held Alanis, who was slowed by a pair of sprained ankles sustained in Saturday’s semifinal victory over Burlington Catholic Central, to just 87 yards on 24 carries.

“He was all heart. But he just didn’t have any explosiveness,” Seneca coach Steven Kramer said. “He wanted to play. I certainly was not going to let him (not play).”

Given a short field after a Seneca three-and-out to start the game, Greenwood/Granton struck quickly when Harlander scored on a 52-yard keeper on the Indians’ second play from scrimmage.

“Our defense had to start on the field today and they did a heck of a job to get us the ball right away. Then we came out and moved the ball offensively and built momentum from there,” Greenwood/Granton coach Chad Hanson said. “It kind of snowballed for us. It all started with the defensive performance.”

Hinker scored the next two touchdowns on nearly identical plays. He took handoffs and ran through gaping holes on the right side of the line, then cut left and outraced the Seneca defense to the end zone for TD runs of 47 and 32 yards.

Harlander had a 44-yard scoring run and junior wing back Westin Wuethrich broke loose for a 79-yard touchdown in the third quarter for Greenwood/Granton, which scored more points than Seneca’s past six opponents combined.

“They were huge plays,” Hinker said. “You can’t just key on one person. If the defense isn’t disciplined, you’re going to get beat. That’s what helped us. Sometimes they weren’t disciplined and we got big plays out of it.”

The Indians (13-1) piled up 399 yards of total offense, all on the ground. Seneca (11-3) amassed just 130 yards, and was held without a first down on all but two of its possessions.

“Our defense came to play,” Hinker said.

Last updated: 6:54 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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