Scotties Upset Defending State Champion Fairfield, Host Baker In Round Two
BY J. LEVI BURNFIN COURIER SPORTS
Published: Thursday, November 1st, 2012
Coming into the game as heavy underdogs, the Glasgow Scotties played their best game of the season beating the defending state champion Fairfield Eagles 27-26 in the first round of the Class B Playoffs on Saturday.
“It was one of those games that you dream about . . . It was such a roller coaster of emotions,” said Head Coach Greg Liebelt. “The kids played four solid quarters.”
And it took all four quarters to decide the game.
“We had to just keep answering back [when they would score],” said Liebelt.
The Eagles never held more than an 8-point lead the entire game. Though, they did hold a lead on four different occasions.
But the Scotties never panicked – they just played their game and were able to score when they needed. That was one big difference from the first time the Eagles and Scotties squared off. In that game, once the Scotties fell behind, they pressed and turned the ball over five times. In this game, they didn’t turn the ball over once.
After Fairfield scored three touchdowns in the first half, each time breaking a tie, the Scotties took their first lead of the game on a 25-yard pass from Lane Herbert to Keil Krumwiede in the middle of the third quarter. The extra point made it 21-20 Glasgow.
But Fairfield took back the lead on the only touchdown they scored in the second half as Fairfield quarterback Tucker Meyer scrambled for 45 yards to take the 26-21 lead after a failed two-point conversion.
The go-ahead touchdown came early in the fourth quarter giving time to the Scotties to respond. The Scotties answered with perhaps their best drive of the game.
They began with the ball at their own 43. After two short runs, Herbert found Krumwiede for 43 yards to take the Scotties down to the Fairfield 8. A short run and a pass to Bryan Larson took the Scotties down to the 1-yard line, where Herbert ran it in to take the lead again.
The Scotties tried to extend their lead to three with a two-point conversion but failed. They led by one with five minutes to go.
After the kick off, the Eagles continued to attack on offense. They drove from their own 25-yard line down to the Scotties’ 28 with more than a minute to play. However, the Scottie defense was unrelenting and forced three straight incomplete passes as the Eagles turned it over on downs.
All the Scotties needed to do was gain one first down and the game was over. However, an incomplete pass and two short runs forced the Scotties to punt, giving the Eagles one last chance. Krumwiede, as he has done all season, bailed the offense out with a booming punt and downed the ball at Fairfield’s 25.
But Fairfield wouldn’t go away. A long 40-yard pass and a pass interference penalty later, the Eagles were at the Scotties’ 22-yard line with two seconds on the clock.
Meyer dropped back looking for a receiver but couldn’t find anyone open. He decided to tuck the ball and run up the right sideline looking for the game-winning touchdown.
“My heart sunk,” said Herbert, who couldn’t see anyone in Meyer’s way to tackle him.
But Johnathon Koessl, as he has all season, came up big when it mattered the most and made a game-saving tackle at the Scotties’ 5-yard line.
The sideline exploded with joy as the Scotties completed the upset.
“We don’t know who was crying more, the Fairfield kids or our kids,” said Liebelt.
It was a complete team effort to take down the vaunted Eagles.
“We passed [the ball] the best we’ve passed all season,” said Herbert. “The o-line did phenomenal – the best they ever blocked this season.”
Herbert finished with 134 yards and two touchdowns through the air on 10-of-17 passing.
The defense that allowed 20 points to Fairfield in the first half stiffened in the second half as they held the Eagles to six points, their lowest point total in any half this season. The 26 points Fairfield scored in the game was also their lowest output in any full game this season.
Much of the credit should be placed on the coaches’ implementation of a new defensive scheme and the players being versatile enough to execute it.
The Scotties’ regular defense is a 4-4 (four defensive lineman and four linebackers), but in this game, they switched to a 5-3 (five defensive lineman and three linebackers).
The Eagles liked to spread defenses out but this defensive front, headed by Dillon Koski, Robbie Henville, Travis Austin, Luke Gunderson and Krumwiede on the line and Lachlan Vaira, Boyd Sinclair and Greg Fewer as linebackers, grounded the Eagles’ high-flying offense, particularly in the second half.
The Eagles scored first on a 9-yard pass from Tucker Meyer on fourth-and-goal late in the first quarter. That was a theme throughout the day for the Eagles – big plays on fourth down.
But the Scotties took little time to respond with a touchdown of their own on the ensuing kickoff as Koessl ran 75 yards on a fake reverse for the score and a tie at 6-6 after both teams missed the extra point.
“We put in that reverse the week before and it really fooled a lot of [Fairfield’s] team,” said Liebelt. “It was a big momentum boost for us.”
Fairfield took the lead again early in the second on a 31-yard pass from Dalton Palmer, again on fourth down. The Eagles went for two and were successful to make it 14-6.
The Scotties answered with another long touchdown as Larson broke free for a 52-yard score on a pass from Herbert. The Scotties also went for two and were successful to tie it 14-14.
After a couple of empty possessions each, the Eagles again took the lead with two minutes to go in the half on a 19-yard pass from Meyer. This time, the score came on third down.
Fairfield missed the extra point but took a 20-14 lead into halftime before the Scottie defense shut them down and led the Scotties to the win.
Liebelt noted that the Scotties will revert back to their previous 4-4 defense in their upcoming matchup with Baker in the second round. The Scotties will host Baker in another re-match with a non-conference opponent.
The Scotties and Spartans played a physical slobber-knocker type of game that ultimately led to the Scotties winning 7-6. The Scotties are expecting the same type of battle this time around.
“It’s going to be a dog fight,” said Herbert.
“They’re going to lineup and just try to power run it,” he said. “But I’m sure they’ve improved.”
In the previous game, the Scotties were able to run the ball effectively, rushing for 176 yards on 38 carrries. However, their passing game struggled as Herbert was only able to connect on three passes in nine attempts for 37 yards. Though, the Scotties’ lone touchdown came on a 21-yard pass.
The difference in the game was the Spartans’ missed extra point after they scored on a rushing touchdown.
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