Beavers dominate Pirates in rival game
Kendall Kanak (23) of Falls City attempts to break away from a Poth tackle during the Beavers’ 36-0 win over the Pirates.
Falls City 36
FALLS CITY -- Few football games in the area generate as much excitement as when Poth and Falls City square off against each other. The two rivals meet every year, and the teams gathered in Falls City last Friday for their 2013 showdown. Emotions were high, but in the end, it was the home crowd celebrating a big win -- 36-0.
A short kick to start the game gave Poth a first-and-10 from its own 38-yard line, and a big run by senior Blake Lyssy put the Pirates across midfield to the Beaver 36. The Pirates drove down to the Beaver 20-yard line, but Falls City made a big defensive stop on fourth-and-3 to give the ball to the Beaver offense just outside the 19-yard line.
The Beaver offense has weapons at every corner, and it took exactly one play for senior quarterback Dean Gaskamp to connect with senior receiver Austen Camber for 81 yards and a touchdown. Gaskamp then ran across the goal line on a quarterback keeper for the 2-point conversion, and Beaver Nation celebrated an early 8-0 lead.
Another short kickoff from Falls City gave Poth great field position at their own 49. A penalty backed the Pirates up a bit and left them with a third-and-17 from just inside their own territory, but a roughing-the-passer penalty gave Poth a fresh set of downs in Beaver territory. Poth looked to capitalize with a passing strike down the sideline, but Falls City’s Justin Twine outleaped the intended Pirate receiver at about the 15-yard line, and returned the ball into Poth territory before being taken down at the Pirate 48-yard line. Falls City continued to work through the air, and a great passing play got them to the Poth 33-yard line. Fans held their breath as the Pirate defense got to Gaskamp and delivered a vicious blow as he released the ball, but the pass was on its mark as Twine reeled it in. Twine was immediately hit as he caught the ball, but shook loose the tackle and ran into the end zone for the Beavers’ second touchdown of the game. Another 2-point conversion made it a 16-0 game.
Falls City kicked the ball deep for the first time on the night, and nearly paid dearly, as junior Sean Clancy made his way through a sea of defenders to the Falls City 47 before being brought down. Three straight running plays netted just 7 yards, however, and Poth was left with a fourth-and-3 situation at the Beaver 40-yard line.
As the Pirates lined up to “go for it” on fourth, Head Coach Andrew King shouted at his team from the sideline and eventually called a timeout. After some discussion, the punt team went onto the field. The fourth-down snap went directly to Lyssy, however, and he raced ahead for a first down at the Beaver 32. Poth made a bit more progress to the Falls City 27, but turned the ball over on downs after failing to convert on fourth-and-short.
Gaskamp ran the ball for a quick first down, and then hit senior Stephen Harlos for a big gain to the Pirate 45-yard line. Falls City lost a couple on the next play, but Gaskamp made it up as he ran for a first down at the 30-yard line on a second-and-12. The Beavers began a quarterback rotation to get Zach Jimerson in on some snaps, but Falls City found itself with a fourth-and-5 from the 25. Another successful passing play gave Falls City a new set of downs just inside the 20.
The Beavers found themselves in a third-and-short situation and the ball was handed to Twine. A thundering blow from the Poth defense stopped the progress immediately, however, and the ball popped loose. An alert Gaskamp recovered the ball, and Falls City was staring at a fourth-and-10 situation. Gaskamp dropped back and found Camber open, and the senior scored his second touchdown of the night to put the Beavers on top 22-0. A good extra-point kick left the score at 23-0 with 6:14 left to play in the half.
From there, play went back and forth, as neither team was able to score. The ball went from Poth to Falls City, and then back again, though Poth threatened in the closing minutes of the half.
Poth recovered a Falls City fumble with just 37 seconds remaining on the clock. The Pirates worked quickly to get down the field, and took a shot at the end zone on what appeared to be the final play of the half. The pass was incomplete, but Falls City was called for pass interference. Because play cannot end with a defensive penalty, the Pirates were given one more shot. And, because the foul occurred in the end zone, by rule, the ball was placed at the 2-yard line for Poth. The Pirates looked to put the ball into Lyssy’s hands with a sweep play left, but Falls City senior Jonathan Sekula showed some speed of his own, catching Lyssy from behind and dragging him to the ground to end the half. As the teams headed for the locker rooms, the score stood at 23-0 in favor of Falls City.
Unfortunately for Poth, the second half looked similar to the first. While Poth was unable to find the end zone, Falls City did so twice more. The Beavers kept the ball on the ground when they could, and got touchdowns from senior back Kendall Kanak and sophomore running back Joseph Swierc. One of two kicks was good, and the final score stood at 36-0.
While both teams put up similar numbers on the ground, the Beaver passing game was the difference. Gaskamp completed seven of 11 passing attempts for 179 yards and three touchdowns. Camber led the way with three grabs for 106 yards and two touchdowns, while Twine caught the one pass for 33 and 6 points. Harlos had two catches for 26 yards, and Cody Houdmann caught a pass for 14. Gaskamp led the Beaver ground game with 51 yards on 10 carries.
Falls City, now 2-0 on the year, will travel across the county line to face Stockdale at Bobby Russell Field. The Brahmas are 1-1 on the season and are coming off a 29-14 loss to Jourdanton. Poth, now 0-2 on the year, will celebrate Homecoming this week as they host the 0-2 Cole Cougars. Cole had a season-opening loss to Stockdale, and then lost a rival game with Randolph. Kickoff for both games is set for 7:30 p.m.