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Beavers’ playoff run ends in state semifinal

Beavers’ playoff run ends in state semifinal
TRAVIS OPIELA/Contributor/ Falls City’s Stephen Harlos reels in a pass during the Beavers’ state semifinal loss to Tenaha last Friday night.

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Wilson County News
December 19, 2012
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Falls City 14

Tenaha 42

CYPRESS -- They were one of just four teams remaining in the state playoffs as they traveled to Cypress last Friday to compete in the state semifinals. In the end, however, the Falls City Beavers fell short, as Tenaha proved too tough on that night. The Tigers ended the Beavers’ season with a 42-14 win.

After a scoreless first quarter of play, the stalemate was broken in the second, as Tenaha quarterback J.R. Hill connected with Keontas Davis for 92 yards and a touchdown. The point-after kick was good, and the Tigers led 7-0 with 7:46 to play in the half. Tenaha then added to their lead with an 82-yard scoring run with just less than two minutes to play in the half. The Beavers were unable to answer the score, and the teams went into the locker rooms with the score at 14-0 in favor of Tenaha.

The Tigers got the ball to start the second half of play, and eventually scored the first points of the second half on a 41-yard passing play. The extra point made it a 21-0 game, and things weren’t looking good for the Beavers.

The Falls City offense wasn’t ready to give up, though, and the Beavers marched down the field and eventually scored with 3:51 to play in the third as senior Jon Swierc ran over the goal line from 3 yards out. Cody Jendrusch came on for the extra point, and the score was 21-7.

Unfortunately for Falls City, the celebration didn’t last long, as the Tigers put 7 more on the board in the early minutes of the fourth quarter. The Beavers responded immediately, however, and scored on a 1-yard run from senior quarterback Cameron Soto. Jendrusch put up the extra point, and the score was 28-14 with 8:40 to play in the game.

The Beaver defense did its best to contain the potent Tiger offense, but Tenaha had too many weapons, and tacked on two additional touchdowns, leading to the final score of 42-14.

The Beavers’ running game has been exceptional this season, but Tenaha held Falls City to just 109 yards on 32 carries, well below the team’s average. The Beavers did complete 15 passes, though, picking up 171 yards through the air.

Dean Gaskamp was Soto’s leading receiver of the night, as he pulled in five passes for 91 yards. Phillip Lyssy caught three passes for 34 yards, Stephen Harlos reeled in three for 19 yards, and Royce Leonhardt had two grabs for 14 yards. Cody Houdmann and Luke Jimerson each had one reception for another 11 yards.

On the ground, Soto had the bulk of the carries, as he gained 92 yards on 20 carries. Jon Swierc picked up 9 yards on five rushes, Lyssy had 5 yards on four touches, and Cody Jendrusch earned 4 tough yards on two runs.

With the loss, the Beavers end their 2012 quest for another state title, and finish the season with an overall record of 11-3. Falls City is the Region IV champion, and finishes as a state semifinalist.

When asked about the Beavers’ season, Head Coach Steve Marbach referenced comments he had posted on the Falls City athletic website.

“I’m extremely proud of our team and season,” he wrote. “The 11-3 record, district championship, area championship, Region IV championship, and state semifinal appearance are all things that I am very pleased to have been a part of.

“But, the things I am most proud of are the growth and brotherhood that has blossomed over the course of the season,” he continued. “The boys truly took to heart the philosophies of always playing with class and intensity, and demanding that we improve as a team every day. The boys on the team and the people of the community here in Falls City have welcomed my family and I and made us feel completely welcome. I thank you all for that, and I hope to be here for a long, long time.”

Marbach then went on to give the 12 seniors on his team a special thank-you. He listed each name: Travis Glover, Royce Leonhardt, Phillip Lyssy, Jon Swierc, Jake Hinds, Luke Jimerson, Colton Beam, Dylan Cheatham, Yoseph Cruz, Chris Danysh, Cody Jendrusch, and Cameron Soto.

“These guys were placed in the unenviable position of having an unexpected coaching change after years of success in the previous system,” Marbach wrote. “They eagerly took me in and made my job so much easier by displaying strong leadership for our team and school, both on and off of the field. These guys are a group full of outstanding football talent and top-notch character, and they will be missed.

“I love each of them and am so lucky to have been selected as their coach,” he wrote. “Thanks to the seniors and to all the rest of the Beavers and Beaver Nation for taking me on a fantastic ride through an incredible season!”

Congratulations, Beavers, on another great season!

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