Nicholas County is in the midst of one of their best starts in the history of their football program, coming in to the Brossart game at 6-0. A year ago our two teams played twice. In the regular season, we defeated them 14-0 and in the district championship game dusted them 36-0 – a total of 50-0. Both of those games were played at the MAC. Friday night’s game is being played in Carlisle, where we also edged the Blue Jackets the last time we were there (2020) by an inflated score of 42-34 in three overtimes, when Carson Schirmer, you remember him, intercepted a pass and earned us home field advantage for the district championship game, of which we were deprived, because of a COVID concern.
I’m not convinced that our football fortunes have diminished to the point where we can’t defend our district title respectably again this year. On paper, we are certainly offensively challenged, but our defense keeps our opponents in range. It is week seven, and we have hitched our wagon to a guy who has experience at the quarterback position, and now has a game under his belt. Would we like to play them in Alexandria? Sure! But, you can’t have everything. I think that we are capable of challenging the undefeated Blue Jackets, and with a near-perfect outing, just might pull off the upset. If they win, we will congratulate them and move on. But from where I sit, this game has the makings of a classic. Stay tuned!
When COVID in 2020 delayed the start of basketball practice, Senior Carson Schirmer, who had never played football previously, put on the shoulder pads and a helmet, jointed the team late, played in six games, scored five touchdowns, 2 Rushing, 2 Receiving, and 1 Punt Return, but the biggest play that he made was intercepting a pass in the third overtime of our district seeding game versus Nicholas County in Carlisle to win the game for the Mustangs. Unfortunately, football-wise and basketball-wise, Carson broke his wrist in his sixth game vs Pendleton County, which caused him to miss 9 games of the basketball season. He was still able to score his 1,000th point, presently ranking him 11th on our all-time scoring list. He also set a school record that had stood since 1970, when he scored 45 points to lead his team to an upset victory over Holy Cross. He was pretty good!
DEFENSE KEEPS NICHOLAS COUNTY WITHIN RANGE, NATE HECK COMES UP WITH A BIG INTERCEPTION EARLY, AUSTIN SCHADLER ORCHESTRATES A 62 YARD DRIVE LATE, TO POSITION TYLER SMITH FOR THE GAME -WINNER, AND HE DELIVERS – AGAIN! MUSTANGS UPSET HOMESTANDING BLUE JACKETS 17-15 AND WE GO ONE UP IN DISTRICT COMPETITION.
Our Mustangs made me look prophetic as I told anyone who would listen to me this past week, that if our defense could keep the Jackets in range, I thought that we had chance not only to be contentious, but to maybe even pull the upset.
Nicholas County threatened to make short work of us, and a liar out of me, as on their first offensive set Alex Koeder ran for 74 yards, setting up a Tate Letcher 1 yard plunge, and when the PAT was good, it was 7-0 before the fans were comfortable in their seats. However, much as we saw in our Sayre scrimmage, and at the onset of the Dayton game, after being scored upon, our guys would respond favorably, shutting out the Jackets for the remainder of the half. Early in the second quarter, and the Jackets deep in their own territory, Nate Heck intercepted a Letcher pass at the three yard line, setting up a one-yard Tyler Holtz plunge, and when Tyler Smith split the uprights we were knotted at 7s, which was the score at halftime.
In a game where there were 23 possession changes, there were six of them in the third quarter, and nether team was able to add to their sum total. With 5:18 remaining in the game, Schadler connected with Sam Willike, steaking up the sideline, who would run unmolested into the end zone, and the Mustangs took a 14-7 lead when Smith hit on the PAT. The defensive gods seemed to be smiling on us when Smith knocked the kick-off halfway to Millersburg for a touchback, and an ensuing flag, gave the Blue Jackets possession at their own 10 yard line. Having not been able to move the pigskin successfully since the opening minutes of the game, we began to feel good about ourselves. But teams don’t come to be 6-0 by not being able to move the football, and the veteran, Tate Letcher, marched his team down the field and then hit Andrew Watkins for a late-game touchdown. The Jackets then took a one point lead at 15-14 when the 2-point conversion was good, and only 1:59 remining in the game. Not to worry, though as Austin Schadler and his team were up to the task, taking possession at our own 31 yard line, and took his team 62 yards to the 7 yard line, where we allowed the clock to wind down to 3 seconds, when our resident treasure, Tyler Smith, for the second time this season would knock home the walk-off field goal. With the win we go one up in district seeding play, and improve to 5-2 on the season.
We will return to the MAC for the remaining three games of the season, hosting Bracken County in another district seeding event at 7:30pm next Friday night on Brossart homecoming.