In the opening round of the class 2A state playoffs the 4-4 West Franklin Falcons were looking to upset the undefeated Humboldt Cubs. They had the perfect weather conditions to attempt just that. But the Cubs had other plans. Or were just a lot better team , winning 52-15 after a slow start to the ballgame.
By slow I mean it wasn’t going perfect for Humboldt like they had been used to . The Cubs would win the opening coin toss and defer to the second half. The Falcons would take just four plays to put the home team in a situation they haven’t been in in 2018. Quarterback Clayton Noyons would score from 43 yards out to go up 7-0 after the extra point kick was good. That is the first time Humboldt has been down all season.
The Cubs would return the kickoff and start from their own 34 yard line. Four plays later they would return the favor but go up 8-7 after Dagen Goodner’s 28 yard touchdown run and successful two point conversion as well. Didn’t you just say SLOW START? Yes I did , but that was meant for the missed defensive assignments by the defensive ends early on in the game. Against an offense with triple option action going on the ends are crucial on keeping everything inside them.
On the Falcons second possession they would put the ball on the ground and Isiah Coronado would recover to give the ball back to the Cubs on the West Franklin 40 yard line. Conor Haviland would get warmed up and get things going with a 19 yard scamper. Then after some tough running Haviland would later score from 5 yards out . They would go up 14-7 .
The next possession the Cubs defense would force the games first punt with a 3 and out. The punt would change the field possession and the Humboldt would start on their own 22 yard line. With Havilands number called again he would change the field possession with one play after a 55 yard run. The very next play Goodner would score from 23 yards out and a successful two point conversion by Tucker Hurst would put them up 22-7 after one quarter of play.
Humboldt would have another good defensive stand just barely stopping the Falcons after a 4th and 6 quarterback sack by Watts but there was a penalty for late hit on fhe quarterback. After the yardage lost on the sack the Cubs would still take over on downs. Here is where the game went away from the home team for awhile. The Cubs offense would dig themselves a hole with a bad snap and a big loss on the play. That would put them in passing mode but was unable to connect on two tries. They would punt the ball for the first time that I can remember since week 1.
West Franklin looked really good and had found a weakness in the defense of the Cubs on its next drive. They would need 70 yards to get to the end zone . After 4 first downs and a lot of runs to the right side they would do just that and cut the lead to 22-15. You could feel it with the Humboldt crowd too.
After a penalty would negate a 38 yard touchdown pass to Coronado from Goodner the Cubs would have to dig a littler deeper to keep this drive going . Especially after they fumbled on the very next play . With a third and 14 to go Goodner would find Haviland for 19 yards to keep the drive alive. Goodner then would fight for a 27 yard touchdown run after dragging defenders the final eight yards of the play. That would give them the 30-15 lead they go into halftime with.
The second half was a lot of good and a lot of bad for the Cubs. The good was Goodner and Haviland were dominant along with the offensive line. The bad was they would end up with 14 penalties for the night. Most of them were holding or personal fouls. They will not be able to do that in the playoff rounds ahead and expect to win.
Humboldt would make a defensive personnel change on the front line. Tucker Hurst would move to defensive end and that allowed them to shut down the Falcons offense the rest of the night . I mean completely shut them down. West Franklin had 24 yards on the ground the entire second half after having 163 in the first .
The Cubs would receive the ball to start the second half and would score quick after Goodner ran a 57 yard option play then Haviland would have the nine yard touchdown to go up 38-15. They outscored the Falcons 22-0 in the second half to win 52-15.
Three things the Cubs will have to clean up before next weeks match up with Osage City will be penalties, defensive assignments , and putting the ball on the turf. Humboldt got lucky with the fumbles tonight . I believe they put the ball on the ground 5 times and never lost the possession. The weather might of had something to do with one of those.
On defense tonight junior Speed Heopker , senior David Watts , and Hurst played really well. Heopker lead the team in tackles with 12 and two for a loss. Watts did what he always does and that is blast through the line and disrupt everything.
Haviland would end up with 250 yards rushing with 3 touchdowns. Quarterback Goodner would have 211 yards on the ground with 4 touchdowns and 58 yards passing .
Up next for Humboldt will be the match up I have had my eye on since week 4 when I thought we would get this game and that is Osage City 8-1. It will be in Humboldt next Friday night at 7 o’clock. Osage City defeated Southeast Cherokee 28-6. I am going to take a guess and say the wet field conditions had something to do with that low scoring output from the Indians.