Highlights of the Friday, September 20th, 4A Football Game, between #2 Gillette at #3 Natrona.
Another special teams miscue by the Mustangs, would enable the Camels to obtain a measure of revenge, from their only 2 losses from last year.
Never underestimate dedicated student-fans…they’ll cram in anywhere just to get a good angle to watch the game.
#2 Gillette at #3 Natrona…in a rematch of last year’s 4A state championship game…first quarter…Gillette wearing the white…this is Austin Fort…he’s University of Wyoming bound, but the opposing defense would remind him that’s he’s still in high school for now. Jeffrey Wen would end up recovering the fumble, and that would allow the defending 4A state champs, to start a drive in enemy territory.
It took a few plays, however Natrona would take advantage of the short field…Sam Turner with lots of patience and good protection…he sees Logan Wilson in the end zone from 14 yards out, and the throw is right on the money for a Mustang touchdown. The boys in black are off to a good start and they lead 7-to-nothing.
On the next possession…they wanted more…Turner was looking…saw something else and said Forget this…I’ll do it myself…the near sideline was open and the senior will gallop in full stride…60 yards to the house…everything was clicking so far offensively for N-C as they would go up by a score of 14-zip.
But then the Camel defense would get it in gear…they have Turner right where they want him after a fumbled snap. Brandon Shelstad will bring him down, but not before he would escape the end zone to avoid the safety. The visitors were still down 14-zip after the first 12 minutes, but the momentum was shifting some.
2nd quarter…Gillette would get good field position off of the punt…Fort with a double fake and we did not buy it…he wants 1 yard and the camera and he got both plus the touchdown…his team is right back in this game, trailing 14-to-7.
The home team would counter…Wilson also does the kicking duties…he has to hook left from 27 yards…and that was more than long enough…3 more points…the boys in black increase their advantage to 17-to-7.
Actually Wilson had some good moments…and some not so great moments…here’s one of the good ones…Fort’s pass is tipped and the junior has himself an interception…he’ll take it back to the 30, and he has his team-mates knocking on the door once again.
The drive would stall…so here’s a 38 yard field goal try…however Caden Erickson will slip through and block it…he would give the Camels a much needed break…and they were thankful that they were still down 17-7 going into the locker room.
Third quarter…last year’s state runner-ups would but a little speed on their defense…Tichun Aipperspach is going to come around from the far side…and he’ll catch up to Turner and bring him down for the sack…that was a wake up call, and this game is long ways from being over.
However…N-C’s defense would have their moments as well…not sure if the snap was mis-handled, or it was a bad hand off…regardless…Fort ended up on the ground courtesy of Wen, and as of late this game has been a stalemate.
But Fort and the Camels would continue the drive and make something happen…the future Cowboy wants to go long and now you’re starting to see what UW saw in him…here’s a 33 yard pickup to Talon Nelson down to the Natrona 23 yard line and that was the momentum boost that they need.
The funny thing about momentum though..is that it can shift in a heart-beat…Fort will try to make something happen…and it was Joe Jacobs that would infect him with a case of the dropsies. Casson Burgen recovers easily and that would stop that scoring threat for the time being.
Natrona could not do anything with the possession…and tried to punt…low snap…Wilson was lucky to recover, but he had to eat it and the turf as well. The see-saw has shifted the other way.
The Mustang defense would hold, so the visitors would have to try a field goal…Cale Miessler from 27 yards and that was not one of his better efforts…the boys in black would get a decent return and were very thankful that the earlier turnover resulted in nothing.
Later…they were marching…and it’s been awhile since they have scored…Kade Greer with great leap for the interception, and he would make sure that score did not happen. Speaking of which…nothing has changed on the ‘board, so the home team was still up 17-to-7, going into the last 12 minutes.
4th quarter…Gillette would step it up a notch…Dustin Erisman will spin his way right up the gut and get a much needed touchdown for his team…now the game is getting interesting with the score at 17-14.
The Camels would get the ball back…Seth Moerkerke is now taking snaps…and he can air it out as well…he’s got Nelson on the run…this would end up being a 55-yard pickup down to the Natrona 20 yard line…yes there was a fumble, but the ref ruled that it went out of bounds before the recovery…so the visitors would retain possession.
So they would give Miessler a chance to redeem himself…this is a 29 yard try and he can consider himself redeemed for now. We have ourselves a tie ball game…it’s 17-all and now it’s getting good.
The Camels would get the ball back again…we have about 1 minute to go…Moerkerke is looking for his favorite target again…that would be Nelson…same play as earlier…a 47 yard gain to the 28 yard line, and they are in a position to pull this out in the end.
About 35 seconds to go…Miessler is called on again…and he has a chance to be the hero…42 yards…he had the distance, but he did not have the aim. The try is no good. We’re still tied at 17, and the clock would eventually expire.
Now in overtime…Natrona ball first…they went backwards briefly…but then Turner would move them forward…he’s looking…taking a chance and it paid off…it’s Austin Luers on a 13-yard catch and he’s in…the Mustangs are on top again…leading 23-to-17.
Now for the important point after try…high snap…short kick…no point…oh oh.
Now it’s the opposition’s turn…and they only needed 1 play…Moerkerke was looking for Kris Adams…it was close, but he was down in the end zone and had the ball secured before he went out of bounds…the refs got it right, much to the chagrin of N-C.
We showed a slow-mo to the fans on the field and they were forced to admit it…here’s another look. The right foot is in…and in high school…you only need the first one in to count…but he was on the ground anyway with the ball secured, so his feet did not matter. Touchdown Camels.
They would go with a new kicker for the point after…we could not see his number, but Gillette knows who he is…it’s good and for the first time since 1997…the Camels win a regular season road game against the Mustangs…final score in overtime…24-23.