|Unlucky second round left on Irish field|
By Pastor Vince Carrig
Linebacker Micki Clinch blocked a punt and receiver Sean Ryan returned a kickoff as North Platte–St. Pats’ special teams flashed some special plays to beat the Plainsmen 48-17 last Wednesday night (Nov. 3) in North Platte and end Perkins County’s playoff season.
The Irish’s defense cloistered Perkins County in its own end on the Plainsmen’s first two offensive drives, and St. Pat’s cashed in shortly afterward both times.
Starting with the ball in Plainsmen territory on their first drive, the Irish advanced far enough for a Sean Ryan field goal. With Perkins County backed against the goalposts again.
Clinch smothered and recovered a punt at the Plainsmen four-yard line; quarterback Matthew Jarsen needed little time to cover those 12 feet and give the Irish a quick 10-0 lead.
The Plainsmen avenged the blows with a strike of their own, but Ryan took their next kickoff through a blocking seam and up the left sideline for an 81-yard touchdown jaunt to roll the scoreboard to 17-7 in favor of St. Pat’s.
“The farther you get in the playoffs, you can’t have execution mistakes,” Plainsmen Head Coach Chip Kay said after the game. “An area of the game that has not been a problem for us all season has been special teams. Nothing going into the game led us to anticipate the number of breakdowns we would have. That was kind of discouraging, because we worked on them during the week, and those 24 points were huge.”
Indeed, the Irish outgained the Plainsmen by just four yards on plays from scrimmage, 205 yards to 201 yards.
North Platte St. Pat’s took the leverage of the first quarter lead and catapulted to a 31-10 halftime advantage after Ryan accelerated with a Jarsen pass for 33 yards and punishing running back Andrew Vinton broke and spun out of tackles for touchdown runs from 20 and nine yards away.
Ryan kicked another field goal and Vinton broke loose from 23 yards away for a visit to the left pylon and a large, 41-10 lead for the Irish at Knights of Columbus field.
Big plays dictated the winner; St. Pat’s made more of them, but the Plainsmen registered a few as well.
Quarterback Michael York, the team’s leading rusher in 2010, kept the option pitch for himself, found a hole on the right side of the line, and chugged for 54 yards on the Plainsmen’s first scoring drive. Running back Brody Prante then ripped 13 yards out of the heart of the Irish defense, and scored from a yard away on the next play.
York reached receiver Taylor Boldt with a 39-yard bomb up the right side of the field to set up Jeremy Hagan’s 31-yard field goal in the second quarter. Boldt twisted in the air to secure the ball, made an excellent catch, then had his own weight and the weight of an Irish cornerback fracture his collarbone and end the game for Boldt.
Prante shot through a huge hole in the St. Pat’s defensive line for a 26-yard run to set up a five-yard touchdown run by York to turn off the continuous clock. Both of those piggy-backed on Kyle Schulze’s 50-yard kickoff return, in which Schulze hit a seam and used two quick fakes to stay upright.
Irish quarterback Matthew Jensen started the continuous clock by spinning with an option keeper touchdown run from just four yards away to make the score 48-10 in favor of the home team.
Linebacker Rhett Nordquist practically handed Jarsen the TD by stepping in front of an interception and returning it 27 yards to the endzone’s doorstep.
The clock ran continuously for just 4:15, when York’s touchdown run pulled the Plainsmen closer than 35 points behind the Irish at 48-17 just before the end of the third quarter.
Coach Kay summarized the Plainsmen’s 8-2 season by saying, ”The two teams we lost to were a combined 19-1, so we’re in a pretty good zip code. We’ve got to be able to push to the next plateau in terms of playoff game intensity, but I will take a district championship every year.”
Perkins Co. 17, St. Pat’s 48
Perkins Co. 0 10 7 0—17
St. Pat’s 10 21 17 0—48
Team/Qtr /Time /Play
North Platte 1 7:07 Ryan 33 FG
North Platte 1 3:55 Jensen 4 run (Ryan kick)
Perkins County 2 9:55 Prante 1 run (Hagan kick)
North Platte 2 9:44 Ryan 81 kick return (Niesen kick)
Perkins County 2 7:00 Hagan 31 FG
North Platte 2 4:54 Vinton 20 run (Ryan kick)
North Platte 2 1:50 Vinton 9 run (Ryan kick)
North Platte 3 8:41 Ryan 31 FG
North Platte 3 5:09 Vinton 23 run (Ryan kick)
North Platte 3 4:44 Jensen 4 run (Ryan kick)
Perkins County 3 0:29 York 4 run (Hagan kick)
Rushing leaders—Perkins County: Prante 16/69 (27) TD; York 16/68 (54) TD; Hatcher 4/21 (13); St. Pat’s: Vinton 10/97 (31) 3TD; Vap 13/34 (6).
Passing—Perkins County: York 2-6-54-0-1; St. Pat’s: Jensen 3-7-77.
Receiving—Perkins County: Boldt 1/39; Prante 1/15; St. Pat’s: Ryan 3/77 (35).
Defensive leaders—Perkins County: Kosmicki 7/6; Brott 5/4; Carlson 5/2; York 4/4; Schulze 4/2; Brueggeman 3/2; Hite 2.5/3.