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Falls City ends year as state runner-up

Falls City ends year as state runner-up
CORINNE SEKULA/Contributor Following the Class 1A DII State Championship football game, Eric Wiatrek (from left), Devon Lyssy, and David Brodsky do what they can to mask their disappointment. Despite a fantastic season in which the Beavers went 14-1, Falls City came up short against Wellington last Thursday afternoon by the final score of 42-20 to finish as the state runner-up.

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Wilson County News
December 26, 2013
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Falls City 20
Wellington 42

ARLINGTON -- Things started off well for the Falls City Beaver football team last Thursday afternoon in Arlington as they played for their second state title in four years. In the end, however, it was the Skyrockets of Wellington earning the victory, and the school’s first-ever state title, by the final score of 42-20.

The Beavers received the opening kickoff to get things started, and had decent field position at their own 31-yard line. Senior Justin Twine had a nice run for a first down on the Beavers’ first play from scrimmage. Senior David Brodsky picked up a first down at the Wellington 44-yard line, and Falls City was moving the ball well. The Beavers’ first completion of the game was a pass from quarterback Dean Gaskamp to Cody Houdmann, but the ball was fumbled on the tackle. Fortunately, Stephen Harlos was trailing the play and found himself in position to fall on the ball.

With 8:48 to play in the first, the Beavers got into the end zone on an 8-yard run by Twine. Falls City went for the 2-point conversion, but Gaskamp was stopped just short of the goal line on the quarterback keeper. After three minutes and nine plays, though, the Beavers held an early 6-0 lead.

Falls City made a short kick and play for the ball on the ensuing kickoff. Kendall Kanak recovered the ball for Falls City, but he was ruled out of bounds. The Skyrockets started their drive at their own 35-yard line, but saw it come to an abrupt end as senior Beaver linebacker Eric Wiatrek picked off a Wellington pass and returned it to the Skyrocket 32-yard line.

Things were looking good for the Beavers to add some points to the board, but a Falls City interception and Wellington return gave the ball right back to the Skyrockets at their own 42-yard line.

On its next possession, Wellington drove down to the Falls City 25-yard line, but was stopped short on a fourth-and-3. As the first-quarter clock wound down to zero, the Beavers were clearly holding their own.

Things weren’t so good for Falls City in the second quarter, however. Wellington got its offense rolling and scored two touchdowns. The first came at the 4:58 mark of the second quarter as quarterback Klark Ashmore connected with running back Terry Gilbreath from 8 yards out to tie things at 6-6.

Then, after Falls City turned the ball over on downs, the Skyrockets scored their second touchdown of the game on a 9-yard passing play from Ashmore to Logan Martindale. Ashmore ran in the 2-point conversion, and the score was 14-6 at the half.

After trading possessions to start the second half, Wellington scored its third touchdown of the game as Gilbreath ran in from 12 yards out. A little trickery on the 2-point conversion then allowed Kelton Long to complete a pass to quarterback Ashmore in the end zone. Midway through the third, the score stood at 22-6.

Falls City went three-and-out on its next possession, and Wellington drove down for another score, this time on a 15-yard run by Gilbreath. Desperate to make something happen, the Beavers were running the option from deep in Beaver territory when Wellington’s Walker Williams stretched out his arm to break up a pitch from Gaskamp to Twine. Williams then scooped up the loose ball and ran it 23 yards for a Skyrocket touchdown. With 1:58 to play in the third, the score stood at 34-6 in favor of Wellington.

The Skyrockets started their final scoring drive late in the third and chewed up precious fourth-quarter clock as they walked down the field. Ashmore then ran in from 3 yards out, and later hit Jonathon Townsend for the 2-point conversion. With 8:24 to play in the final game of the season, it was Wellington on top, 42-6.

Three minutes later, the Beavers scored their second touchdown of the game on an 8-yard run from Twine. The 2-point conversion was no good, and the score was 42-12. The Beavers held the Skyrockets and forced a punt on their next possession, and Twine soon responded with a great 58-yard touchdown run through the Wellington defense. Gaskamp connected with Harlos for the 2-point conversion, and the score stood at 42-20 with 1:48 to play in the game.

Falls City went for the onside kick, but Wellington recovered, and was able to burn the clock from there.

The Beavers gave a good effort, but in the end, Wellington proved too much for Falls City. Twine led the team with 117 yards on 12 carries, followed by Gaskamp with 44 yards on 16 carries. Gaskamp completed six passes for 88 yards. Brodsky was the team’s leading receiver with 34 yards, though Harlos pulled in three catches for 20 more. Gaskamp had one reception of 26 yards, Houdmann had the one catch for 18 steps, and Twine had a reception for 16 yards.

Although defensive stats were unavailable at press time, the usual suspects made most of the stops for Falls City. Wiatrek was all over the field throughout the game, as were Tyler Malcolm and Harlos.

The Beavers end their 2013 season with an overall record of 14-1. Falls City is the District 14-1A DII Champion. The Beavers won an area championship, a Region IV title, a state semi-final matchup, and end the season as the state runner-up.

Congratulations, Beavers, on a great season!

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