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Albia falls to Central Lee - Albia Newspapers: Sports

Albia falls to Central Lee

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Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 10:32 am


Editor and Publisher

It was another tough outing for the Albia football team, but the final score and the statistics reflected the massive number of injuries sustained the week before and how the Blue Demons patched together a line-up against a very good Central Lee team.

The Hawks beat Albia 38-0, leading 28-0 at the half with two touchdowns in both the first and second quarters. A score early in the third quarter started the continuous clock.

Without starting center Keegan Rohrer (concussion), the downfield passing threat of Tyler Stringfellow (ankle) and Nate Crall (concussion), the running game faltered. Albia had a minus seven yards rushing on just 18 carries.

The Blue Demons had a fairly consistent passing game, and Gage Wilson and Beau Leshen, along with Jon Gualtieri and Brandon Persons playing well as Cade Crall targets. But, again, there was no deep threat and the 10 passes Crall completed accounted for just 75 yards and four first downs.

Defensively, with Stringfellow, Nate Crall and Shawn Good (concussion) on the sidelines and out of the defensive backfield, Central Lee quarterback Austin Gaylord took advantage of young defenders to complete a few critical third down passes to keep Hawk drives alive.

“We continue to make some of the same mistakes we’ve made all year, but we were playing a lot of young guys and most of our guys were going both ways,” said Coach Justin Huber. “Our rushing game was really out of sync, but we were able to complete some passes. I really think had we been at full strength we could have competed with them.”

Defensively, Trent Garver, Jer McAninch, Pete Sarver and Dawson Hermsen stepped it up a notch with nine, six, five and five tackles each. Jeff Tratchel lugged around what looked like a red log, a cast protecting his broken hand, and made four tackles for the team. Joe Beary and Adam Henderson, pressed into service for the first time, also contributed to the defensive effort and Drake McKim was in on seven stops.

Central Lee scored right out of the chute and Albia had the first of several good kickoff returns (mostly by Sarver). The team moved to the Central Lee 25 and came up short on a Cade Crall quarterback keep.

Leading 7-0, Central Lee fumbled, setting up a fourth and four and punted. The Blue Demons got the ball at the 47 in great field position, but lost seven yards on a rushing attempt and punted with 1:03 left in the first quarter.

The Hawks would move down the field on runs of 4, 11, 37, 8 and 10 to score from three yards out as the first quarter ended.

Albia started at their own 35 to begin the second quarter and had the worst series of downs in the game. Two incompletions and a sack on Crall led to a blocked punt, setting up the Hawks at the Albia 17.

Three running plays later, Central Lee scored making it 21-0.

Albia started from its own 37, picked up three on a Crall run and two on a pass from Crall to Gage Wilson, but a snap over Crall’s head dropped Albia back to the 30 and then a long punt return put Central Lee in great field position at the 15 with 7:19 left in the half.

The Hawks needed five plays to score from a yard out and take a 28-0 lead.

This time starting from the 33, Crall hit Wilson for seven and picked up a first down with a Central Lee offsides penalty. Brandon Persons caught a pass for two and Crall scrambled for seven to set up a fourth and one, but McAninch was stacked up and the ball went back to Central Lee.

Albia had an excellent defensive stand, giving up an 11-yard gain, then holding Central Lee to zero yards in three plays and a punt to the Alba 20.

Crall hit Beau Leshen with a 20-yard pass to the 40, but Albia was flagged for holding and ended up punting from their own 20. Central Lee got the ball with 43 seconds left in the half, but a Drake McKim sack ended any threat of further scoring.

Second half

Most of Central Lee’s scoring had come around the ends as Albia outside defenders made some mistakes on taking the right angle to the ball, but as the half opened, Central Lee quarterback Austin Gaylord burned the Blue Demons on an 18-yard pass up the middle and on second and nine at the 37, rushed straight up the middle for the score. The kick was good and the clock went continuous with Central Lee leading 35-0.

Sarver had a spectacular kickoff return to the 47, Crall hit Wilson and Jon Gualtieri for six and five-yard gains for a first down and McAninch gained seven to set up a fourth and three. Trent Garver, who played offensive, defensive tackle and punted, put on a different jersey and took the handoff, only to come up inches short of the first down.

Central Lee drove to the Albia 20 on a 27-yard pass, but Albia’s defense stiffened against the Hawks (still) starting line-up and forced a field goal that was good from 20 yards.

The Blue Demons would punt again and with 5:59 left, the Hawks began to substitute. Albia forced a punt, then Crall completed passes of 15 to Gualtieri and eight to Persons before an interception ended the game.

Albia travels to Eddyville Friday for the Rocket Homecoming. Tyler Stringfellow is likely out another week, but most of the rest of the injured will be back.

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

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