Game of the Week: Offense comes alive for Rawlins Co. in win
Published on -10/14/2012, 6:43 AM
By CONOR NICHOLL
QUINTER -- Atwood-Rawlins County High School football coach Deone Horinek called his team's defense "the drive of our game" in the Buffaloes' 6-0 start. The Buffs had won four contests by scoring 30 or fewer points, including three victories by a combined margin of 12 points.
On Friday, though, the Buffs' multi-faceted offense delivered 466 yards of offense and helped out a struggling defense in a 50-26 win against Quinter.
Junior running back Michael Capo, running out of the Wildcat for part of the game, finished with 24 carries for 181 yards, his second-highest total of the season, and five touchdowns. Junior quarterback Dylan Tiemeyer passed for 126 yards and two scores.
"The funny thing is, on a couple of them, we lined up wrong and still moved the ball, which I don't understand," Horinek said. "We are not supposed to be able to do that, but our offense was clicking."
Defensively, Rawlins Co. allowed multiple big plays, including two scores of at least 41 yards, and permitted its second-most points all season, two off its season-high. The Buffs had allowed just 16 points per game, top-10 in Eight-Man Division I.
"We weren't being very disciplined, so that's just like if one person is not disciplined, that's maybe his tackle right there," Capo said. "If he doesn't get that tackle, nobody else in there, because in eight-man, you have more responsibility than 11-man."
The Buffs, ranked No. 5 in the classification in the statewide media poll in its first season of eight-man, moved to 7-0, 3-0. Quinter, on an emotional and injury-filled night, dropped to 3-4, 1-2.
Rawlins Co., coupled with a 14-12 Week 4 home win, is 2-0 against the Bulldogs this season.
"If we wouldn't have been able to score, we would have been in real big trouble tonight," Horinek said.
The win sets up a matchup of undefeated teams next week when the Buffs play host to top-ranked Ness City.
"I am overjoyed," Horinek said. "When you've got two 7-0 teams, how can you expect anything different. We do -- and the kids know -- that's it's going to be an uphill battle. They do start eight seniors on both sides of the ball."
Friday's contest featured just one senior on both teams, Quinter senior lineman Braden Evans. The Bulldogs played without senior lineman Brandon Kerns (concussion) and senior end Chance Smith, who was in Manhattan for Army training. Plus, the town had went through a tough fall and difficult week with the passing of Karen Harvey from breast cancer.
Harvey, who passed away Thursday, had four daughters, including Marissa, a senior cheerleader and volleyball player. The game had several remembrances, including the football team wearing pink shoelaces and the seniors honoring Harvey with a balloon ceremony before the game.
"They came out and they played well," Quinter coach Greg Woolf said. "They've been through a lot."
Quinter junior Colton Corwin, a three-year starter who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 7 of last year, might have hurt his knee again and didn't play the entire second half.
Sophomore Zach Mader stepped in as the main ballcarrier and finished with 23 carries for 168 yards and three scores, nearly all after intermission.
"We just flat didn't do what we were supposed to do on defense," Horinek said. "Our end play is the most important part of our defense. If they get tripped or hooked or anything, we are really in trouble and tonight our ends didn't show up to play."
It marked Mader's career high for yards and carries. He helped keep the game close into the fourth quarter and helped the Bulldogs play better after a poor finish in the first half.
"I stepped up because coach has been needing some players to," Mader said. "I have been slacking a little bit and I gave it my all, and we didn't win, but we had fun, we had a lot of fun for sure in the second half."
Quinter trailed 16-12 with 3:06 left in the second quarter, but Corwin fumbled a snap on a punt at his own 7-yard line. Rawlins Co. scored three plays later on a 1-yard run from Capo. The Buffs squib kicked the ensuing kickoff and recovered the ball at the Bulldog 28-yard line. Tiemeyer threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Macre Migchelbrink and the Buffs led 30-12 at halftime.
"It just seemed like a momentum buster for some reason," Woolf said.
"I don't know. It just seemed like something got over the team and they weren't excited. ... It didn't matter what we said. It seemed like everything went right in and came right out again and they just kind of were slowly going through the motions."
However, Quinter came out excited in the third quarter and Mader had a 46-yard run on the first play from scrimmage and then tacked on a three-yard score to cut the deficit to 30-20.
"I couldn't have been more proud of how our kids played," Woolf said of the second half. "The kids never got down.They weren't arguing with each other anymore."
Capo pushed the margin to 36-20 with a four-yard score with 93 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Without Corwin defending, the Buffs completed several long passes in the second half and outscored Quinter 24-6 in the fourth quarter.
"I knew it wouldn't be 14-12 again," Horinek said. "I just didn't think (Quinter) would put that many points on the board. I was pretty confident we could move the ball, though."