Football: Owls come to play but fall short against top seed
The Hancock Owl football team came to compete against the top-seed in the Section 4 9-man playoffs, but fell short 39-26, in Verndale.
The Owls and Pirates exchange fumbles early in the first quarter. Nervousness played a role in the early play, Hancock head coach Chad Christianson said.
“It was a combination of nervousness and excitedness. Both teams knew they were going to have to play well to win,” Christianson said. “When you start the game, you maybe try to do more than what you’re capable of and when you add nerves and excitement to it... Our snaps were off for couple then we had a fumble when we tried to hand it off.”
Verndale scored first on a one-yard run by quarterback Tate Bounds. The Owls settled in shortly after that.
A 10-yard pass from Preston Rohloff to Cole Reese tied the game at 6-6 and a Sergi Artes Sebastia point-after gave the Owls a 7-6 lead for the first and only time in the game.
Hancock trailed just 20-13 at halftime. Tyler Timmerman caught a 64-yard touchdown pass from Rohloff to cut the lead to 14-13, but Verndale added a third touchdown before the half ended.
“I don’t think (Verndale) thought it was going to be an easy game especially seeing how we played the week before,” Christianson said. “It may be surprised some, but when (Verndale) came down and scored on that first drive, they could have easily let off the gas pedal, but they didn’t, so I think in that regard, they knew it was going to be a hard fought game.”
The Owls and Pirates exchanged score-for-score in the second half. Gideon Joos and Rohloff both scored on one-yard runs and added four more points in converting two-point conversions.
“They weren’t able to stop our two-point conversion all day,” Christianson said. “Offensively, if we were to have gotten the ball back, you never know what could have happened.”
Rohloff completed 16-for-32 passing for 233 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Tyler Timmerman had 134 yards on six catches. He also had 49 yards on the ground on 13 carries. Cole and Connor Reese combined for seven catches for 78 yards.
Defensively, the Owls were led by six solo tackles from Timmerman. Brandon Kellenberger had an interception and 11 assisted tackles. Dalton Rose had a fumble recovery and 12 assisted tackles. Montana Molden also had a fumble recovery.
The Owls end the 2018 season 6-4, same record as a year ago.
“To see where the program has come over the last four years, it’s unbelievable,” Christianson said. “To now be a relevant team in playoff pictures, hopefully we can maintain that for the years to come.”
Verndale 36, Hancock 29
Han (6-4) 7 6 8 8 – 29
Ver (10-0) 6 14 8 8 – 36
V – Tate Bounds 1 run (conversion fail)
H – Cole Reese 10 pass from Preston Rohloff (Sergi Artes Sebastia kick)
V – Brayden Vertina 17 pass from Bounds (conversion good)
H – Tyler Timmerman 64 pass from Rohloff (Sebastia kick blocked)
V – Quinn Kern 17 pass from Bounds (conversion fail)
V – Jarret Kveton 68 run (conversion good)
H – Gideon Joos 1 run (conversion good)
V – Craig Orlando 50 run (conversion good)
H – Rohloff 1 run (conversion good)
Passing (com-att-yds-td-int): Preston Rohloff 16-32-233-2-0… Rushing: Tyler Timmerman 13-49, Jed Feuchtenberger 13-40, Isaac Nienhaus 1-6, Gideon Joos 2-2, Rohloff 2-1… Receiving: Timmerman 6-134, Cole Reese 4-40, Connor Reese 3-38, Bennett Nienhaus 2-15, I. Nienhaus 1-6… Tackles (solo-assist): Timmerman 6-2, Feuchtenberger 4-4, Brandon Kellenberger 4-11, Dalton Rose 3-12, Montana Molden 2-7, Harrison Zeltwanger 0-9… Interceptions: Kellenberger 1… Fumbles recovered: Rose 1, Molden 1
No stats reported