ALBIA — The Albia Blue Demon football squad used three plays of 87 yards or more in the games’ first 17 minutes and then held on late to down Chariton 27-21 Friday night in Albia. Albia remains undefeated at 2-0 with the win.
Descriptive words abound in an attempt to explain what happened in this really good high school football game. Start with strange. It was strange to have a cool early September night for a game. It was unusual to have three kickoff returns of more than 80 yards and a 99-yard run from scrimmage. It was not an average statistical game. The losing Chargers dominated time of possession, yards gained from scrimmage, and number of plays run.
In a relativity high-scoring game, it was amazing that defensive stands finally determined the outcome.
The fairest description of the game would include speed, competitive, tough, and hard-hitting. Kile Overmyer for Albia and Wucely Andersen for Chariton exhibited breakaway speed. Andersen would have 44 carries, as he toughed out his 250 rushing yards. The competitive, hard-hitting game was finally decided with 16 seconds left.
The Chargers were first and goal at the nine in the game’s final 30 seconds. Albia stuffed three running plays and when the fourth down pass was incomplete, they just had to kill the clock. One of the defensive leaders, with 10 tackles, was free safety Curt Coughlin.
“I just get a good look at the play and flew to the ball” said Coughlin.
“I really put our guys on defense in a hole by going for it on fourth down late,” said Albia head coach Jerry Staton. “Our kids just all stepped up big to stop Chariton.
Albia took the lead as early as a team could. Overmyer went 87 yards with the opening kickoff. Albia went up 14-0 with just over three minutes to play in the opening quarter on a 99-yard run by Overmyer.
“I’ve never had two scores that long before” said Overmyer. “The touchdown run was on our base play that we work on everyday.”
The Blue Demons went up 20-0 early in the second quarter on a five-yard run by Alex Mason. Just 21 seconds later, the Chargers got on the board. After an 80 yard kickoff return by Dustin Harberts, Andersen went in from four yards out.
On the ensuing kickoff, Cole Spurgin went 93 yards to up the Blue Demon lead to 27-7 with just over 10 minutes to play in the half.
With the exception of a short punt, the Blue Demon kicking game was nearly perfect.
Staton talked about the play of his kicking game
“There are three parts to the kicking game. We work on all three continually.”
Chariton used a nine-play, 53-yard drive to pull within 27-14 at the midway point of the second. Anderson again scored from four yards out. The Chargers ran the two-minute drill to perfection at the end of the half. Chariton started on their own 13-yard line and Andersen hit Dalton Stites with a 32-yard halfback pass with just 31 seconds remaining in the half. Nobody in attendance could believe that the scoring was over for the game.
Staton’s Blue Demons, running out of a spread formation, ground out 184 yards rushing. With Overmyer leading the way with 142 yards, the Blue Demons had just enough offense to stay in the game and then let their defense keep Chariton out of the end zone.
“I’d still prefer to just line up and play smash-mouth football” said Staton. “We went to the spread almost out of necessity because everybody is featuring it.”
Chariton started the last half with two long drives, but came up empty. The second was a 20-play drive that started at their own 10-yard line. The drive ended with David Dennis’ first interception at the Blue Demon two-yard line.
The Blue Demon defense would spend nearly the entire fourth in their own end of the field. After a short punt, the Chargers started at the Albia 16-yard line. Dennis came up big again with his second interception on the same Charger pass play.
“I figured they’d throw at me since I’m the youngest guy in our secondary” said Dennis. “I was ready for the second one.”
Chariton fell to 0-2 with the loss but coach Curt Smyser talked about his post-game words to his team
“I told our guys to stay focused and that I was really proud of the effort they gave.”
Albia hosts Central Lee this Friday, while Chariton plays at fifth-rated Pella.
Albia 27, Chariton 21
Char 00 21 00 00 — 21
Alb 14 13 00 00 — 27
Scoring By Quarters
A — Overmyer 87 yard kick-off return (Overmyer kick)
A — Overmyer 99 yard run (Mason kick)
A — Mason 5 yard run (kick no good)
C — Andersen 4 yard run (Cole Pierschbacher kick)
A — Spurgin 93 yard kick-off return (Overmyer kick)
C - Andersen four yard run (Pierschbacher kick)
C - Andersen 33 yard pass to Stites (Pierschbacher kick
First downs 27 13
Rushes-yards 59-299 35-184
Passing yards 116 52
Total Yards 415 236
Comp-Att-Int 8-19-2 4-7-0
Return Yards 5-160 3-188
Fumbles-Lost 4-4 3-2
Penalties-Yds 9-90 10-62
RUSHING — Andersen 44-250 yards, Harberts 2-7 yards, Brendan Laing 3-11 yards, Riley Prough 8-29 yards, Dalton Storm 2-2 yards.
PASSING — Storm 7-18, 84 yards, Andersen 1-1, 32 yards.
RECEIVING — Prough 2-35 yards, Harberts 3-9 yards, Cody McCullough 2-40 yards, Stites 1-32 yards.
INTERCEPTIONS — none.
TACKLES — Eugene Zinchenko 9.
RUSHING — Overmyer 16-142 yards, Mason 9-37 yards, Coughlin 10-5 yards.
PASSING — Coughlin 4-7, 52 yards.
RECEIVING — Overmyer 1-8 yards, Spurgin 3-44 yards.
INTERCEPTIONS — Dennis 2.
TACKLES — Coughlin 10, Aaron Henderson 10, Jordan Crall 10, Spurgin 10.