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Tigers fall to Flyers in Humphrey

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Tiger football begins season with loss at St. Francis

HUMPHREY—The Osmond Tigers football team opened their 2017 campaign with a 54-6 loss against the Humphrey-St. Francis Flyers on Friday, August 25 in Humphrey.

While neither team looked proficient in the right away, the Flyers could get their feet underneath them first. They took advantage of Tiger mistakes and built a 38-0 lead going into the half.

Although the Tigers struggled early, they garnered some momentum near the end of the second quarter and built on it during the second half.

On the game’s opening drive, the Tigers forced the Flyers to drive the length of the field before sophomore Justus Maertins (So., B/DB) scooped up an HSF fumble and returned it to the Tiger ten yard line.

The Tigers were a bit outmatched physically on the line of scrimmage and had a difficult time getting a feel for what would work offensively. 

It took them a few drives to earn a first down, but once they did they began to run the ball downhill.

After punting their first possession, the Tigers forced the Flyers to drive the ball again. This time, however, HSF scored on a one-yard run by senior quarterback Nathan Weidner.

The two-point conversion was good on a pass from Weinder to Riley Huetner making the score 8-0.

Being unable to materialize a drive the Tigers were forced to punt the ball back to the HSF. A Flyer defender came free on the line of scrimmage causing punter Brenden Hille (Sr., B/DB) to fumble the football.

While he recovered the ball, it was nowhere near the first down marker HSF took possession. Ultimately the Flyers could generate three big plays out of mistakes by the Tiger punt team. 

“One of the biggest areas we’re needing to improve is our punting game. We’re a fairly inexperienced team mistakes are going to happen, but learning to improve they areas we struggle with will help us become a better team,” Tiger coach Scott Morrison said.

The Flyers scored quickly when Jarrett Weidner ran into the end zone from twelve yards out. Pierce Eisenmenger ran in the two-point conversion making the score 16-0 headed into the second quarter.

Again, the Tiger offense sputtered a bit and was forced to punt the ball back to the Flyers. Again, the Flyers made the Tigers pay for mistakes.

Nathan Weidner fielded the punt on the Tigers thirty-seven yard line and make a couple cuts before finding some open space and then following a clear path to the end zone.

Eisenmenger scored on the two-point conversion with a three-yard run (24-0 HSF).

Falling just short of earning their opening first down of the season, the Tigers were forced again to punt. On the opening play of the Flyers drive; however, Trevor Pfeifer found tight end Nolan Kosch for a fifty yard catch and run.

The ball was underthrown and the Tigers had three men in the area, but Kosch came down with the football, broke a few tackles, and ran free for the touchdown.

J. Weidner scored on the two-point conversion, and the Flyers were up 32-0 and weren’t finished yet.

Facing a third-and-long on their next possession, the Tigers threw an interception that gave HSF the ball deep in Tiger territory (the Tiger eight).

This led to a three-yard run by Huetner. The Tigers fortune seemed to shift on the two-point conversion when Nick Reikofski (Jr., OL/LB) and Drew Krienert (Sr., E/DL) teamed up to stop the Flyers for no gain.

They started to pick up some momentum offensively as Alex Palu (Sr., B/LB) followed his line for a six-yard gain.

After a loss on their next play, the Tigers drew the Flyers off-sides, setting up a manageable third down. Anthony Heiman (Jr., B/LB) cut off a block by Alex Alderson (Sr., OL/DL), picking up eleven yards and first down.

The Tigers did eventually have to punt and endured another difficult mistake that gave the Flyers the ball on the Tigers twenty yard line.

Their defense held strong and forced the Flyers to a 4-and-out. They took possession on their sixteen yard line.

They earned another first down after three and seven yard runs by Colton Beacom (Sr., B/LB). The offensive line got a great surge on both plays.

The half ended with an eight-yard gain by Beacom on a pass from Maertins.

Carrying momentum into half-time, the Tigers did a nice job banding together to produce their most solid quarter of the game in third quarter.

“Obviously no one was happy about being down 38-0 headed into half-time, but our players deserve credit for coming together and building on what they had done in the first half,” Morrison said.

Receiving the opening kickoff of the third quarter, the Tigers did end up turnover the ball on downs. However, the Tigers forced their second consecutive four-and-out (getting the back at their own 23).

They then put together of couple of nice runs. Beacom used nice blocks on the edge by Reikofski, Maertins, and Palu for a seven-yard run.

Heiman then took the ball up the middle behind Alexis Solorzano (So., OL/DL) and Alderson for eleven yards for a first down.

The Flyer defense stiffened; however, and the Tigers lost ground on their next four plays.

HSF’s offense was nearly stuffed again as the Tigers forced them to a fourth-and-inches play (on the Tiger 17 yard line).

Weidner picked up the first down on a qb sneak.

After moving the ball to the Tigers’ three yard line, HSF’s Jarrett Weidner lost the football. In the brief moments that followed, the ball eluded the grasp of a pile of Tigers and rolled right to HSF’s Pierce Eisenmenger.

The Flyers scored on the next play and added the two-point conversion to build their lead to 48-0.

 It didn’t take long for the Tigers to respond, though. On the kickoff, the Heiman returned the ball forty-five yards to right around the Flyer thirty-five yard line. (This was the first time they started in HSF territory.)

Heiman found a seem produced from a wedge in the middle led by Reikoski, Alderson, and Landon Stelling (So., OL/DL).

Beacom and Josh Gansebom (So., B/LB) were lead blockers, while Krienert and Zach Huwaldt (Fr., E/DL) came across the field to look for bodies to hit.

On the next play, Brenden Hille (Sr., B/DB) rolled to his left, set his feet and threw a strike to Heiman for a twenty-yard gain (to the Flyer fifteen yard line).

Beacom ran the ball for four yards behind Alderson and Krienert. Then, thanks to some outstanding blocking from all five men on the line, Heiman ran the ball eleven yards for a touchdown.

The play included some nice individual effort by Heiman who out-ran a couple Flyer defenders and dove into the end zone for the Tigers first touchdown of the season.

The Flyers intercepted the two-point conversion attempt and the score remained 46-6.

As HSF took possession, both teams began to sprinkle in substitutions. The Tigers had the Flyers pinned to a four-and-three situation (on the Tigers’ thirty-five), but came offsides and gave the HSF a first down.

This lead to a 28-yard scramble by N. Weidner, and (after the two-point conversion by Justin Leifeld) the Flyers held a 54-6 lead.

The Tigers got the ball one more time and did a nice job of picking up a first down before the possession ended.

Graysen Schultze (Fr., B/DB) had a nice 8-yard run behind Logan Stelling (So., OL/DL), Landon Stelling, Huwaldt, and Alderson.

Connor Gutz (Fr., B/LB) then got a carry for a couple yards. The line then drove forward on fourth-and-one and picked up the first down.

The left side of the line (including Schultze, exchange student Louis Muschter (Sr., E/DL), and Parker Johnson (Fr., OL/LB)) help Gansebom pick up four yards on the last play of the game.

Blake Bahr (Fr., OL/DL) also got in for a play as a lineman.

“Overall, we are not satisfied with the result of the game, and the fact remains that we have a lot of work to do to get to our potential,” Morrison said. “But there were very encouraging signs throughout the game. We look forward to improving as the season progresses.”