Saturday, August 27, 2022

North Andrew defeats King City to open conference season

by Jeremy Benson,

It was a matchup of two top ten teams in Rosendale to open the 2022 football season.  #10 King City Wildkats traveled to North Andrew to face the #2 Cardinals in a Grand River Conference game.  North Andrew had revenge on their mind after losing to King City 62-26 a year ago.  The Cardinals only lost one senior to graduation and returned many players from an injury-plagued 2021 campaign.

King City is coming off of a season in which they made it to the state semifinals, but they lost all-state running back Parker Muff and quarterback Landon Wells.  However, they have 17 seniors ready to take over this season.

The game did not start off well for the Wildkats.  They muffed the opening kickoff, and North Andrew was able to capitalize with a 23-yard touchdown run by Hayden Ecker.

That would be the only scoring for the Cardinals in the first half.  They would continually make mistakes in the first half.  Their next possession ended in an interception by Zeke Fisher.  After a King City fumble, North Andrew returned the favor with a fumble inside the 10-yard line.  The next two possessions included a bad snap pushing the Cardinals back and then an interception after a touchdown was called back because of a penalty.

King City was able to take advantage.  They returned the Ecker fumble to their own 36.  After a 30-yard run by Ty Mooney, Fisher ran it in for a 14-yard touchdown.  The 2-pt possession was good to tie it at 8.  Their next possession was a 55-yard TD drive that ended in an 18-yard TD pass from Mooney to Samuel Derks.  The 2-pt try failed to make it 14-8, which is where it ended at the half.

North Andrew came out in the second half and marched down the field to score.  Braxon Linville ended the drive with a 6-yard TD run with 6:52 left in the 3rd quarter.  There wouldn't be any more scoring for at least another quarter, but North Andrew's most important drive of the game did not end in a touchdown.  They started at their own 1-yard line and 13 plays later were at the King City 1-yard line with a 4th down.  It appeared that Linville had a touchdown from the near official.  However, the far official had signaled he was down.  They had marched 78 yards, but were stopped 1 yard shy.  Ecker was big on the drive with 76 yards rushing.

With King City pinned deep, they were not able to get a first down and North Andrew took over at the King City 6-yard line on the next possession.  Andrew Goff scored on the next play to put North Andrew up 22-14.  Goff would later add another TD on a 19-yard run to finish out the scoring 28-14.

I caught up with both coaches after the game.  In addition, I talked to Tommy Rezac of St. Joseph Post after the game to get his thoughts. 

North Andrew Stats (unofficial)
Braxon Linville, 1-7, 10 yds, 2 int

Hayden Ecker, 195 yds, 1 TD
Andrew Goff, 81 yds, 2 TD
Braxon Linville, 33 yds, 1 TD

Hayden Ecker, 10 yds

King City Stats (unofficial)
Ty Mooney, 1-3, 11 yds, 1 TD
Zeke Fisher, 0-6

Ty Mooney, 66 yds
Ron Pulliam, 12 yds
Zeke Fisher, 11 yds, 1 TD

Samuel Derks 11 yds, 1 TD

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