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Monarchs stop I-EC gridders in play-off clash


November 4, 2020

Tiger senior Josh McQuarie (30) works to evade a Warner tackle in the play-off game in Warner last week.

You just knew that Ipswich/Edmunds Central and Warner would battle down to the wire in a Class 9A second-round high school football play-off game in Warner last Thursday. And they would do exactly as predicted with Warner escaping with a 20-14 win!

In a game of this magnitude turnovers often play a role in the eventual outcome and that was true in that game. And there were some impressive fourth-down defensive stands by both teams. As well as some costly penalties at inopportune times! For instance, trailing 14-12, the hosts fumbled at their own 35. But their defense forced a Tiger punt, giving them the football at their own 36.

The Monarchs then manufactured an impressive TD drive as well as the all-important two-point conversion for what would later prove to be enough. That's because a late Tiger drive would stall out on downs at the hosts 28-yard line. Warner would then generate a lengthy time-consuming drive which would end with a Tiger fourth-down defensive stand at its own 20. But the Tigers would have only 27 seconds left in which to march 80 yards for a score and weren't able to pull out a rabbit from their hat of tricks at that juncture of the game.

I/EC had deferred to the second half, winning the coin toss, but couldn't generate a TD drive right away in the third quarter. But a little later the hosts would fumble at midfield and I/EC was back in business. This time the Tigers reached the end zone, capped by a 10-yard TD pass from Ian Beyers to Josh McQuarie and Beyers added the two-point carry to briefly give the Tigers that 14-12 edge.

Ipswich/EC had gotten on the scoreboard first with a Carson Gohl touchdown run of three yards with 1:36 left in the first quarter after each team had traded scoreless possessions. What happened was that Ipswich/EC forced a punt and blocked it and took over possession of the ball at the Monarchs 32. That short drive would put I/EC up 6-0 but the Tigers weren't able to convert the PAT play.

It didn't take Warner too long to retaliate on the scoreboard and that they did, ignited by a nice kick runback to near midfield. Their PAT kick was blocked, though, leaving the game deadlocked at 6-6 with only 13 seconds left in the initial quarter. The Tigers responded with a promising drive that went nearly all the way into the red zone but was stopped at the Monarchs own 4 with an impressive goal-line stand to say the least. And given new life, the hosts ended the opening half with a 96-yard TD drive that took nearly the rest of the quarter and a 12-6 Warner edge at intermission.

Ipswich/EC totaled 114 rushing yards on 35 carries, led by Gohl (including that TD run) and Luke Peterson with 40 yards each. Ian Beyers ended up with 20 rushing yards. Next were Matt Hettich and Kaden Hix with seven yards each. Through the air, Ian Beyers added 11 pases in 27 attempts for 140 yards in a well balanced offensive attack. The Tigers' receivers were led by McQuarie, six catches for 55 yards featuring that lone aerial TD reception and Ty Kadlec, four grabs for 65 yards. Matt Hettich added one catch for 20 yards.

Ipswich/EC totaled 56 tackles with 41 solos and 15 assists. That effort was led by McQuarie, 10 solos and one assist and Eric Severson was next at six solos and one assist, followed by Zach Geditz and Matt Hettich each with three of each.

The seniors, alphabetically are Matt Hettich, Kaden Hix, Josh McQuarie, Austin Russell, Eric Severson and Tyler Tran.

The win advanced unbeaten Warner to a 9A state-semifinal clash vs. Wall in Wall on Friday. Ipswich/Edmunds Central closed out its season at 7-3.


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