At St. Ignatius for a key Western C showdown this past Friday, the visiting Titans of the Flint Creek coop and the host Bulldogs squared off for a titanic battle with postseason implications.
The evening was also Senior Night to honor Missions bakers dozen seasoned seniors among the squad.
Flint Creek scoring on their first series was not unexpected. But during the subsequent Mission series, the ball was fumbled after a reception and the Titans recovered. They would score to move ahead by two possessions. An ominous start this close to Halloween was cause to worry, but the contest was only in its early stages.
Midway through the first frame, the Bulldogs would counter when Layne Spidel snared a long pass and raced down the Titan sideline into the end zone. The two point conversion pass matched the first Titan score, leaving the Bulldogs trailing by a mere possession.
During the subsequent Titan series with Flint Creek facing a fourth and long, Titan quarterback Kade Cutler tried some trickery by trying to pull off a fake punt with the tantilizing treat of gaining the necessary yardage.
Bulldog Troy Matt would sniff out the play short of the necessary real estate and Mission would take over on downs. Mission would capitalize on the defensive momentum when McClure connected with Charley Adams cutting across the grain for six.
Kolten Gardipee would reel in the conversion pass and Mission would take its first lead, 16-14, just as the quarter drew to a close.
Cutler would counter with a long run to open the second quarter as Flint Creek would retake the lead. Mission would answer by taking to the air as John Komotios reeled in 29-yard reception to retake the lead for the Bulldogs. A successful conversion reception by Jedi Christy would make it 24-20 for the home team.
At this juncture of the contest, it looked like the game was destined to seesaw back and forth, potentially hinging upon which team ended up with the ball for the final series.
Perhaps the Bulldog coaching staff on the sideline made a similar assessment, for they tried something less than conventional on the kickoff. Instead of booting the ball high in the air in an attempt to pin their opponent deep in their own territory, Mission opted for the onside kick, which trickled the necessary yardage and was then recovered by the kicking team at the 17-yard line.
Layne Spidel would snare his second TD reception for six. A Troy Matt conversion run extended their lead to two possession, 32-20.
Isaac Dumontier would orchestrate a pair of running scoring drives as Mission doubled up their opponent 44-20.
The subsequent Titan series would stall courtesy of a pass breakup and a sack by the defense as Mission would take over on downs. Just when they were knocking on the door of the Flint Creek end zone, a strategic fumble would forestall what might have been a proverbial nail in the coffin.
Flint Creek would advance the remainder of the length of the field, culminated by a short plunge by Cutler to pull within two possessions at the start of the final frame, 44-28.
Bryce Umphrey culminated the subsequent Mission possession by wriggling free of his defensive coverage, snaring the ball for a 30-yard TD reception from McClure,50-28.
Flint Creek countered with a Preston Metesh redzone reception, culminated by a conversion run by Cutler, and the margin was back to two possessions 50-36.
A Mission fumble on their next series would be recovered by Flint Creek with under two minutes remaining.
But at this juncture, the Bulldog defense stepped up. With a Flint Creek fourth down and six at the 33-yard line, Jedi Christy broke up a pass intended for a Titan receiver. Mission took over on downs and ran out the remaining time.
Coach Tyler Murray commented, This Senior Night win was special for several reasons. ... Great overall team win that started a touch shaky down 14-0. Im very proud of our team, from starters to role players/scout team..
The win secured one of the limited four berths for postseason competition. The season finale in Darby will nevertheless carry seeding implications.
The game performance pushed the Bulldogs over the millennial (1,000) mark in rushing, passing as well as receiving.
Mission 50, Flint Creek 36
Mission (6-1w, 7-1), Flint Creek (5-3)
Flint Creek 14 6 0 16 36
Mission 16 22 6 6 50
FC Kade Cutler 5 run (Cutler run)
FC Preston Metesh 2 run (pass failed)
MSI Layne Spidel 30 pass from Kellen McClure (John Komotios pass from McClure)
MSI Charley Adams 29 pass from McClure (Kolten Gardipee pass from McClure)
FC Kade Cutler 27 run (run failed)
MSI Komotios 29 pass from McClure (Jedi Christy pass from Kellen McClure)
MSI L.Spidel 16 pass from McClure (Troy Matt run)
MSI Isaac Dumontier 9 run (run failed)
MSI Isaac Dumontier 5 run (run failed)
FC Kade Cutler 2 run (Kade Cutler run)
MSI Bryce Umphrey 20 pass from McClure (pass incomplete)
FC P.Metesh 9 pass from Cutler (Cutler run)
RUSH FC 39-204 (Cutler 24-135), MSI 31-89 (T.Matt 21-69, Dumontier 8-24, McClure 2-(-)4). PASS FC 12-23-154 (Cutler), MSI 21-29-342 (McClure 20-28-332, Dumontier 1-1-10). REC FC 12-154 (P.Metesh 6-77, Daniel Brabender 3-57, Avery Metesh 3-20), MSI 21-345 (J.Christy 7-78, Trance Bird 2-72, J.Komotios 4-58, L.Spidel 2-48, C.Adams 3-41, K.Gardipee 2-28, B.Umphrey 1-20). PD MSI5 (T.Bird 2, Komotios, J.Christy, Joe Stults). FR T.Bird. SK MSI2 (T.Bird 1-12, Hayden Currie 1-7). TFL MSI 5 (T.Bird 1t1a, H.Currie 1t1a, Darwin Adams 1t, L.Spidel 1a, Miles Anderson 1a). TKL/AST FC 23t14a (D.Brabender 6t4a), MSI 28t43a (T.Bird 5t6a, C.Adams 5t2a, T.Matt 4t4a, M.Anderson 1t9a, H.Currie 3t3a, Dumontier 2t2a, D.Adams 2t2a, J.Christy 1t4a, L.Spidel 1t3a, Komotios 1t2a, J.Stults 1t2a, K.Gardipee 1t1a, Jason Moore 1t1a, Walker Murphy 1a, B.Umphrey 1a). (Fr18Oct19)
Flint Creek = Drummond-Philipsburg co-op