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2017-09-13 / Sports and Youth

Pirates seal close victory over Beavers

Falls City...24 Poth............33
By Jeff Valcher
Wilson County News


Poth senior quarterback Luke Cantu carries several Falls City defenders a few extra yards during a Sept. 8 game in Poth. 
DAWN DYLLA/Contributor Poth senior quarterback Luke Cantu carries several Falls City defenders a few extra yards during a Sept. 8 game in Poth. DAWN DYLLA/Contributor The Falls City Beavers (2A) came into Poth Sept. 8 for their annual game with the Pirates (3-A), resulting in what will surely be one of the most memorable games of the season for both teams.

“It was a hard fight,” said Poth Head Coach Jeff Luna after the game. “[Falls City] came out and played hard tonight.”

Poth received the kickoff, and quarterback Luke Cantu got right to work leading his team deep into Beaver territory. Falls City picked up a fumble, but was forced to punt. Cantu ended the second charge in the end zone, putting Poth up 6-0.

In the second quarter, Pirate Cole Harris got an interception close to the end zone, and Cantu got his second touchdown. Mark Ramon got in between the posts to increase Poth’s lead to 13-0.


Falls City junior quarterback Keyshawn Johnson tracks a Poth defender during a carry. 
CORINNE SEKULA/Contributor Falls City junior quarterback Keyshawn Johnson tracks a Poth defender during a carry. CORINNE SEKULA/Contributor The Beavers then began a steady march across the 50- yard line, led by quarterback Keyshawn Johnson, who found Dillon Dziuk first for a touchdown and then Gonzales for the 2-point conversion to end the half. Falls City repeated this feat at the start of the second half, with Johnson taking in the touchdown and conversion himself this time, to put the Beavers ahead 16-13.

Cantu got a big run up the left to end the third quarter, which he took the rest of the way in the fourth to put Poth ahead again, 20-16, after Ramon’s kick.

Johnson answered with another touchdown and 2-point conversion for the Beavers, followed immediately by a big scoring run by Cantu, to secure an uncomfortable 26-24 lead for the Pirates.

Johnson sent off a long throw for the Beavers, which was intercepted by A.B. Cortina. The ensuing drive and punt put the Beavers on their own 25-yard line, with time for a comeback. However, it was Poth’s Heath Dunn with a one-handed interception who took in the final touchdown of the game. Ramon’s kick gave the Pirates a secure 33-24 lead. A final “Hail Mary” attempt by Johnson was intercepted by Cole Harris to bring the exciting game to a close.


Pirate Heath Dunn (42) takes in the final touchdown of the game. 
KEN SEMLINGER/ Contributor Pirate Heath Dunn (42) takes in the final touchdown of the game. KEN SEMLINGER/ Contributor “When we play a rival like Falls City it’s a back-and-forth game,” Luna said. “Our four captains that the team elected really stood out — Cole Harris, Luke Cantu, Heath Dunn, and Mark Ramon ... but it wasn’t just the four leaders. It was a team effort for sure.”

Cantu led the Pirates (2-0) with 213 rushing yards and four touchdowns, completing seven of 11 passes for 62 yards. Harris had two interceptions for 37 yards.


Falls City senior Andrew Malcolm brings down a Pirate ball carrier. 
CORINNESEKULA/ Contributor Falls City senior Andrew Malcolm brings down a Pirate ball carrier. CORINNESEKULA/ Contributor Johnson led the Beavers (1-1) with 150 yards, two touchdowns, and two 2-point conversions. Nathan Brodsky and Derrick Gonzalez led the defense with nine tackles each.

Poth plays Cole this Friday at home, while Falls City takes on Stockdale in Stockdale. Both games are at 7:30 p.m.

jvalcher@wcn-online.com

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