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Garver leads Albia in final win - Albia Newspapers: Sports

Garver leads Albia in final win

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Posted: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 10:54 am | Updated: 10:56 am, Wed Oct 25, 2017.

By DAVE PAXTON

Editor and Publisher

There are all kinds of two-way players in Iowa high school football, but the number of players who start on the offensive and defensive lines, kickoff, punt and play quarterback has to be a rarity.

But it was 6’2”, 275-pound senior Trent Garver who stepped up in the second half to lead Albia from an 8-6 deficit to a 34-8 rout over Davis County. The victory allows Albia to finish 3-7 on the season.

Albia’s most effective lineman stepped in for a series to ignite a struggling offense, breaking away for a 35-yard touchdown run and picking up a game high 60 yards in rushing. He would also set the bar for non-offensive backs rushing on the night. Adam Henderson would have two carries for 20 yards, Quentin Boland had two for 12, Tyler Stringfellow had one for nine and 300-pound Lane Pierce would blast in from 15 yards out to score Albia’s final touchdown.

The Blue Demons scored first in the game on one of its best drives of the season, a 13-play, 77-yard drive capped by junior running back Jer McAninch’s three-yard score. Senior quarterback Cade Crall also had key runs in the series. But the offense sputtered, leaving points on the field on a fourth and goal at the six with 6:50 left in the half and punting twice.

That long drive that ended on the six, started with a fumble recovery by Dawson Hermsen at the 47 moments after McAninch barreled in for Albia’s first score. Crall found Stringfellow three times for 17 yards and McAninch carried for two first downs, but Crall was dropped for a two-yard loss and then missed a wide open Adam Henderson on fourth an goal.

Davis County engineered its own solid drive, going 94 yards on 14 plays and adding a two-point conversion to lead 8-6 as the half ended. It was an up and down half with Crall throwing his only two interceptions of the season.

Second half

Coming out the second half, following a Davis County punt, Crall ignited the offense with a nine-yard run and a 28-yard touchdown pass to Hermsen to give Albia a 12-8 lead. McAnich intercepted to stop Davis County’s next drive, but the offense sputtered and Garver shanked a punt giving the Mustangs great field position at the 46.

The shanked punt clearly irritated the big tackle. He helped sack Davis County’s quarterback and then blocked a punt setting up Albia on the Davis County 35. Why go away from the guy with the hot hand. Garver pulled on his #89 jersey, set up in the pistol and ran right through the Davis County defense, 35 yards for the score. He then added the two-point conversion to give Albia a 20-8 lead.

In words that should go down in the annals of Albia football lore, Garver said to coaches as he trotted off the field, “Somebody else needs to kickoff.”

Drake McKim snuffed out Davis County’s next drive with a quarterback sack and Garver found himself back in the pistol. This time penalties stopped any offensive movement. Albia punted to the Davis County 22, they picked up a first down, but sophomore safety Pete Sarver picked off a pass to give Albia the ball with 8:24 left in the game.

Starting at the 44, McAninch banged off tackle for 14 and Crall gained 17 to the 28. An offside’s against Davis County set up a fourth and two at the 23 and Garver ripped off 19 yards to the four. He took the ball in for the score with 5:36 to go, lined up in the pistol for the two-point conversion and hit Jon Gualtieri with a pass to put Albia up 28-8.

A sack by Doug Flattery forced another Mustang punt and Albia got the ball at the 40 with 3:40 left. It was time for fun out of the pistol. Senior Adam Henderson ran for 11 and nine to the 20, then Quentin Boland had carries for five and seven to the 12. Senior defensive back and receiver Brandon Persons got a chance to carry but lost nine to the 15. It was 300-pound offensive tackle Lane Pierce’s turn and he blasted through the Mustang defense for 15 yards and the touchdown with 37 seconds left.

Albia wound up with one of their most balanced offensive performances of the year with 71 yards passing and 211 yards rushing. Garver had four carries for 60, McAninch 58 yards on 17 carries and Cade Crall nine for 44. Eight Blue Demons lugged the ball in all.

Crall was 9-15 passing, throwing four times to Stringfellow, twice to Hermsen and Nathan Crall. Gualtieiri caught Garver’s PAT pass.

Garver completed his senior season with 11 tackles on defense and one-handed Jeff Tratchel nailed 10 Davis County runners. Pete Sarver had eight tackles and an interception, Drake McKim had six tackles including a sack and Joe Beary had six stops.

“It was a fun game to coach and a fun way to end the season,” said Co-Head Coach Justin Huber. “To have Trent pick us up the way he did in the third quarter and then to end the game with Lane scoring a touchdown, it just doesn’t get much better than that.

“It was a learning experience for both Coach Farrington and me,” he said. “As a young coach I did a lot of second-guessing, dealing with the changes we made. I think we’ll learn from that. Right now we need to get our guys back in the weight room, work at getting more guys out for the team and prepare for next season.”

© 2017 Albia Newspapers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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