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Tigers defeat Chargers

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Tigers defeat Chargers in regular season home finale

The Osmond Tigers football team had a busy night on Thursday, October  18. While the Tigers won 62-32 against the Riverside Chargers, there were a few activities going on around the field.

First and foremost, this was Parents Night.

“Parents Night is always special especially for all of us,” Tigers coach Scott Morrison said. “The night represents all the sacrifices parents and community members have made to create an atmosphere for our kids learn and develop into adults.”

Of course Parents Night also means senior night. At this point in the season, this was the last guaranteed home game that seniors Anthony Heiman and Nick Reikofski would get to play in.

Both Heiman and Reikofski have been outstanding players for the Tigers football team throughout their careers.

Heiman moved to Osmond with his family at the beginning of his sophomore year. He stepped right in and made a big difference for the team and has continued to grow on the football field ever since.

What trumps this is Anthony’s personality.

“Anthony is a phenomenal football player, but he is an even better person. He’s been a great inspirational leader for all of us.”

Nick Reikofski is a four-year starter who has shown up each and every day looking to maintain and build on an his already strong and well-balanced self.

“Nick is one of the most consistent student-athletes I’ve had a chance to work with. He shows up works to the best of his ability to be the best he can be.”

Of course the 1972 team returned to be recognized and honored for its accomplishments in the past. While not all forty members of the team were able to make it, those who were had a great time.

Several of the players spoke to the team before the game. The team was then honored at halftime.

As for the game, the competitive environment wasn’t quite what it normally is considering that Riverside held out many of their varsity players. The Tigers benefited from this in three major ways: 1) It helped them with playoff seeding, 2) It helped them stay healthy, 3) It helped them get some younger guys on the field.

The Tigers began the scoring as Anthony Heiman found Justus Maertins on a 35-yard touchdown pass down the sideline. Heiman ran in the extra point conversion to make it 8-0.

The Chargers held their ground and started to advance. They scored twenty consecutive point to take a 20-8 lead.

Riverside’s Joseph Bloom scored all three of the touchdowns.

The Tigers scored a touchdown at the end of the first quarter as Anthony Heiman ran in a 37-yard score. Josh Gansebom (Jr.) ran in the two-point conversion to cut the Riverside lead to 20-16.

The Tigers used the second quarter to make their big move. They scored thirty-eight points to give them a 54-20 lead headed into halftime.

Heiman had three of the five touchdowns in the quarter. Gansebom added a running score, and Maertins caught another touchdown pass.

The Tiger offensive line was instrumental in opening holes and providing protection. Reikofski, Maertins, Alexis Solorzano (Jr.), Landon Stelling (Jr.), and Zach Huwaldt (So.) had a nice game.

Mason Bykerk (Jr.) had one of the most unselfish plays of the game. He took a hit at the line of scrimmage on Heiman’s final touchdown.

Bykerk motioned across the formation and was hit by Riverside’s nose guard. Heiman was left untouched and broke through to the endzone.

“It probably wasn’t fun for Mason at the time, but that play shows what being part of a team is all about,” Morrison said. “There is usually only one player who gets the ball in his hands on most plays, so most of the time the other seven guys on the field are asked to do the unheralded job of blocking and carrying-out fakes. And these responsibilities are more important than carrying the ball.”

The second half saw the Tigers varsity starters play one series defensively and then one series offensively.

They got a defensive stop and then took two plays to score a touchdown and get to a running clock (35-point rule).

Connor Gutz (So.) had a great second half. He ran for nearly all of his ninety-nine yards, including a 58-yard touchdown on the Tigers’ second offensive play of the half.

“Connor had a great game. He is starting to develop as a physically tough runner, which is fun to see,” Morrison said.

Gutz’s score would be the last for the Tigers. Riverside scored twelve fourth quarter points.

Logan Stelling (Jr.) had a good second half on the offensive and defensive lines. Landon Stelling moved to center.

Patrick Vinson (Fr.) played well as a linebacker and a quarterback. His counterpart in the backfield, Bryan Solorzano (Fr.), got several carries as well.

Despite being a little under the weather, Parker Johnson (So.) had a really nice performance as a tight end. He was physical and had some nice blocks.

“Parker was serious about being physical, and that was fun to watch!” Morrison said.

Blake Bahr (So.), Brenden Gillespie (So.), Hunter Beacom (Fr.) also got some much-needed experience in the game.

Brenden Gillespie showed his potential to play defensive end, as he came up and hit the quarterback on a few option plays.

The Tigers move on to the first round of the playoffs where they host Diller-Odell.