Tigers lead at halftime, but can't finish off Prescott
It was another step forward for the New Richmond football team, but not a big step to suit the Tigers.
New Richmond led 9-0 in the second quarter of last Thursday's game at Prescott. The Tigers gave up a touchdown in the final seconds of the first half. Prescott used that momentum to outscore the Tigers 16-0 in the second half, leaving the Tigers with a 23-9 defeat. Thus, New Richmond ends the season with an 0-9 record.
While the Tiger offense created good field position in the first half, it was the defense that produced the Tigers' points.
The Tigers took the game's opening kickoff and drove to the Prescott 15 before being stopped. The Tiger defense then didn't allow Prescott to gain any ground. When Prescott tried to punt, there was a bad snap on the play. A Prescott player ran out of the back of the end zone with the ball, giving the Tigers a safety and a 2-0 lead.
The Tiger offense came even closer to scoring in its next possession. The Tigers drove inside the Prescott 10. They faced a fourth and goal from the Prescott 5. Tiger coach Joe Hutter called a rollout pass play. Quarterback Garret Fletch got to the outside and tried to make a run for the goal line. He was stopped six inches short of the touchdown.
On the next play, Prescott tried to a slant pass. Tiger safety Alex Johnston stepped into the passing lane, deflecting the pass into the air. He caught the tipped ball and ran four yards into the end zone for his first varsity touchdown.
The extra point kick by Brian Figueroa raised the Tigers' lead to 9-0.
In the second quarter the Tiger offense went on another long march, again only to be stopped within inches of the Prescott goal line.
Prescott's offense then caught fire. Prescott passes as much as any team in the conference. Late in the second quarter the Cards got their passing game working, using rollout passes to get the ball down the field in the final minutes of the half. In the final seconds of the half the Cards threw a jump ball into the Tiger end zone, and the Cards completed the pass for their first touchdown.
The momentum from that score carried the Cards through the second half. Prescott missed a field goal on its first possession of the half, but they were moving the ball well. In Prescott's next two possessions of the third quarter they were able to produce touchdowns.
The Tigers tried coming back in the fourth quarter, but they had two passes intercepted. Late in the game the Tigers gave up a safety, trying to create anything that would get the offense rolling. The Tigers did get a fourth quarter interception from sophomore defensive back Brock Peterson.
The two halves of the game were almost exact opposites. The Tigers controlled the ball for close to three-quarters of the first half, but Prescott held the ball for large chunks of time in the second half.
Tiger coach Joe Hutter said success in the red zone was the difference in the game.
"We punch in one of those touchdowns and its a whole different confidence game. The first 15-17 minutes of the half were all New Richmond," Hutter said.
Hutter said the Tigers have made large strides this season, but this is an example of what the team still needs to learn.
"We have to find ways to win," Hutter said. "This game tells our players that we're not that far away. We've got to get in the weight room and become more physical and we have to be mentally tougher on the field."
Danny Wells again led the Tiger offense, rushing for 90 yards in 23 carries at Prescott. Garret Fletch gained 46 yards rushing and was 3-7 passing for 31 yards. Jordan Frye caught all three Tiger completions.
All three of those players are seniors. Hutter said the mentality of the seniors was shown by lineman Steve Volkert. He missed the last month with an injury. But he kept rehabbing and got himself ready and was able to play in his last varsity game.
"Our seniors never quit," Hutter said. "That's a nice testament for our younger kids."
Prescott 23, New Richmond 9
New Richmond 2 7 0 0 9
Prescott 0 7 14 2 23
NR -- Safety
NR -- Alex Johnston, 4 yard interception return (Brian Figueroa kick)
Pres -- Clynt Kistler, 14 yard pass from Matt Magnan (Jake Charette kick)
Pres -- Kistler, 16 yard pass from Magnan (Charette kick)
Pres -- Justin Tobias 2 yard run (Charette kick)
Pres -- Safety
Rushing Yards 157 135
Passing Yards 31 206
Passes 3-7-0 int. 16-28-1 int.
Penalties 4-25 5-60
NR -- Danny Wells 23-90; Garret Fletch 12-46; Chad Aldous 9-17; Dane Davis 3-4
NR -- Garret Fletch 3-7-0 int., 31 yards
NR -- Jordan Frye 3-31