BLOOMFIELD — It took 58 years, 11 playoff losses and three seasons during which this 12 months’s senior class of Falcons gained simply 4 video games to get to the brink of historical past.
It was solely becoming then, that it took among the finest halves and one of many greatest comebacks in Falcons historical past to realize the primary postseason win in program historical past.
That’s precisely what transpired Friday night time at Davis County Excessive College.
WB-ND rallied from an 18-point third-quarter deficit and accidents to 2 key starters for an unbelievable 30-24 victory over Davis County in.a Class 2A playoff sport.
And it took one ultimate massive play, an interception by sophomore Xavier Jinkens with the Mustangs marching for a attainable game-tying landing within the closing seconds, to lastly safe the win and finish the 58-year drought.
WB-ND (4-4) advances to play top-ranked Williamsburg (7-0) at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 at Williamsburg.
Davis County ends the season with a 3-Four file.
Because the Falcons lined up within the victory formation and senior quarterback Anthony Hoffman knelt down for the final play, the celebration was on.
Fifty-eight lengthy years of ready was over. And three years of heartaches and heartbreaks for the senior class was erased with arguably the most important win in WB-ND historical past.
“First issues first, all glory to God for all of this,” mentioned senior defensive again Caden Murphy. whose interception halfway by means of the third quarter led to the Falcons’ second landing and swayed the momentum within the Falcons’ favor. “I can’t consider one other staff, one other senior class, that deserves it extra. We knew we have been particular and I feel we confirmed it tonight.”
“It feels superb. Everybody doubted us, even our personal buddies didn’t assume we have been going to get it, however we ended up displaying up and profitable it. First time at school historical past. We did it,” mentioned Hoffman, who stepped in to play quarterback when the staff realized 30 minutes earlier than kickoff that Hayden Vandenberg wouldn’t be capable to play due to an harm.
“It feels completely superb. I feel it’s most likely the most effective feeling I’ve ever had,” mentioned senior David Gerstel, who recovered an onside kick within the third quarter, which ultimately led to the game-tying landing.
“It’s superb. It’s simply superb,” mentioned WB-ND senior lineman Ethan Eilers. “We’re such a household on this program. The youngsters which have been out since freshman 12 months which can be seniors, we’ve been by means of the crap. We’ve been by means of the onerous occasions. I can’t consider this. That is superb. We’re taking place within the historical past books as the primary staff to ever win a playoff sport in West Burlington historical past. I do know it’s completely different than most years due to the COVID and everybody qualifies, however I don’t assume this staff cares.”
The primary half was actually a catastrophe space for WB-ND. The Falcons had 5 possessions within the first 24 minutes. 4 of them resulted in turnovers, the opposite with a punt.
So as to add insult to harm, junior tailback Travain Donaldson, the second-leading rusher in Class 2A, went down with an ankle harm on the primary play of WB-ND’s second possession of the night time.
“We came upon 20-30 minutes earlier than the sport that we lose our beginning quarterback and beginning linebacker. I feel that was form of an eye-opener for us,” WB-ND head coach Jay Eilers mentioned. “The second offensive possession we lose a particular tailback. I feel that affected our entire soccer staff. I feel that impacts us up entrance. I feel it affected us defensively. We have been looking.”
Then, to rub salt into the wound, the Mustangs scored on a 53 yard cross on the ultimate play of the half. An official inadvertently blew a whistle earlier than quarterback Carson Maeder launched the cross for Caedyn Glosser, however the play stood.
Davis County then scored on the opening possession of the second half to take an 18-Zero lead.
A halftime pep discuss by the WB-ND seniors had the Falcons revved up and able to roll.
“We mentioned the seniors must step up and present some management as a result of we’ve been doing it since freshman 12 months,” Gerstel mentioned. “We have been freshmen displaying management to the opposite seniors and we wanted to maintain doing it. That’s what our coach advised us.”
“We have been down a number of scores at half. We went into the locker room and we made a giant change,” Ethan Eilers mentioned. “We by no means gave up. That’s one thing we’ve been preaching all 12 months. Final week we struggled towards Mid-Prairie and it nearly felt like we gave up. We’re not that staff anymore.”
WB-ND scored on 4 of its 5 possessions within the second half.
Hoffman capped a six-play, 42-yard drive with a three-yard scoring run to tug the Falcons inside 18-8.
The Falcons hit paydirt the second time they touched the ball. This time, Hoffman scored from 4 yards out, and Carson Chiprez’s two-point conversion run made it a two-point sport.
Davis County drove 89 yards in eight performs, taking a 24-16 lead on a 20-yard run by Maeder on the second play of the fourth quarter.
The Falcons have been simply getting began. On the Falcons’ subsequent play from scrimmage, Hoffman related with senior Brady Oleson on a 63-yard scoring cross. A two-point conversion run by senior Kendell Baker knotted the sport at 24 with 10 minutes, 56 seconds to play.
Fittingly, Baker scored what proved to be the game-winning landing on a four-yard run with 2:45 remaining. Baker, changing the injured Donaldson, piled up a whopping 226 yards on 30 carries because the abruptly jacked-up offensive line turned street graders.
“They picked it up actually good. I couldn’t be extra pleased with them,” Baker mentioned of his offensive line. “I knew my guys place confidence in me. I simply got here out and did what I do greatest — run the ball onerous and proceed to do it.”
“That’s an enormous factor as a result of our offense runs by means of our tailback. He was able that he may have simply put himself within the tank, however he didn’t try this,” Coach Eilers mentioned of Baker.
The WB-ND protection did the remaining. With freshman lineman Jordan Nupp hounding Maeder’s each step, he helped power an errant throw, which Jinkens intercepted to seal the Falcons’ victory.
“That was the one time I felt snug all night time. I felt good. I really like seeing our youngsters have fun,” Coach Eilers mentioned.
“I didn’t even know I used to be going to get the decide. I used to be in protection and I noticed it, grabbed it and ran,” Jinkens mentioned. “I noticed the dude in entrance of me, then he overthrew it and I ran and bought the ball.”
“That’s most likely the most effective sport I’ve had all 12 months, even my JV video games. We bought rolling. We bought some good defensive lifts and we simply saved going,” Nupp mentioned.
The Falcons cherished the first-ever postseason victory lengthy into the night time. However there may be nonetheless loads of work forward.
“We knew now we have put in a lot work for these 4 years with our senior class. We put in a whole lot of work. We went by means of actually robust video games,” Murphy mentioned. “We knew that this sport wasn’t going to be our final as a result of now we have to make a very good ultimate mark on the college.”
“It feels superb. We by no means did something like this. We’ve been ready so lengthy for a peak and we lastly bought it,” Jinkens mentioned.
“This isn’t our final sport. We not placing our stuff again. We’re going to win this sport. We’re going to be training once more on Monday,” Hoffman mentioned.
“It feels actually good, particularly as a freshman. That is the most effective I’ve felt all 12 months. We need to take this all the way in which to the finals,” Nupp mentioned.
“We’ve been on this state of affairs earlier than up at Eddyville and got here up quick. However to outscore an opponent, 30-6, within the second half was an enormous testomony to our youngsters,” Coach Eilers mentioned.
This group of men is one among my favourite group of men of all-time. I’m going to recollect them for the remainder of my life,” Ethan Eilers mentioned. “I really like each single one among these guys. Generally I don’t like them, however I really like them on a regular basis. That is superb. That is completely superb.”