Football loses in double OT, players reflect

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In a nail-biter that came down to literally the last point, the Manitou football team lost their first round playoff game to the Brush Beetdiggers on Saturday, November 3.

This loss officially ended Manitou’s season, and was most likely the last time many seniors would play football.

“It’s hard being a senior and knowing that this could be your last game, with that final buzzer going and knowing that it’s over,” said senior captain KC Quarry.

The game got off to a quick start for the Mustangs; a long drive downfield resulted a touchdown by senior captain Chad Sienknecht.

The second quarter began with a Brush touchdown and extra kick, putting the Beetdiggers ahead.

Manitou quickly retaliated with a one-handed touchdown catch by junior Morgan Burnell, making the halftime score 12-7 Mustangs.

Quarterback Johnny Swanson fakes a pass and decides to run the ball.
Photo by Susie Smith

The Mustangs began the third quarter with a third touchdown and extra point by senior kicker Ashley Benson, but Brush dominated the rest of the second half.

“We came out kind of flat (in the first half); the ball seemed to go their way and they did a great job of coming after us,” said Brush head coach Randy Dreitz. “We were fortunate enough in the second half to be able to stop them and score some points.”

Brush scored twice, unanswered, in the second half, but the Mustangs were able to block both extra point attempts, making the score 19-19.

Manitou was unable to drive downfield to score in the fourth, so the game went to overtime.

High school overtime is designed to be time efficient and as fair as possible, with each team getting four chances to score from the ten-yard line.

“It’s tough, but it’s equal,” said Manitou head coach Dan Gieck. “Everybody gets an opportunity and whoever makes the plays is going to win the game.”

Both teams were able to score and make the extremely pressured extra kicks, forcing double overtime.

“It wasn’t the way I pictured it, but we just had to keep fighting,” said Sienknecht.

Manitou went first and scored again, but Benson was unable to convert the extra point, putting the Mustangs only six points up instead of seven.

Brush was able to score and made the extra kick afterwards, sealing Manitou’s fate.

“There are a lot of things involved [in a kick]. It’s nerve-wracking,” said Dreitz.

The Mustangs’ season ended in double overtime, with Brush advancing to play no. 1 Kent Devner.

The Mustangs walk back to the locker room after a double overtime loss to end their season.
Photo by Susie Smith

Both coaches and players reacted to the difficult end of their season.

“We definitely played hard today. I think they wanted it a little bit more throughout the middle of the game, but we definitely played hard,” said junior Johnny Swanson.

“All season long we played tough, so you can’t really be sad about it too much. It was a good year.”

“I knew what the kids were capable of, and I’m not surprised at what they’ve accomplished,” said Gieck. “It feels good to have been a part of that.”

Quarry reflected, with tears in his eyes, on his last year of football.

“I don’t regret any moment of this season. It was a heck of a run for us.”

By Keegan Bockhorst