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Written by: David Burnworth on Sunday, May 16th, 2021
Yesterday the spring season ended and boy oh boy did it in with a bang. The Falcons and Chiefs unbelievably found themselves deadlocked after regulation. Turnovers by the Falcons kept the Chiefs in this one along with guts play by an offense who struggled to an unofficially 51-yards total. For me, a dumb fan when I see an offense dominated the way Iroquois was my first thoughts are first, the coaching staff has done an amazing job at making the players believe it is never over until the scoreboard says so, 2nd the players on the defensive side of the ball did not allow anything they have done on offense to interfere with what had to be done on the defensive side.
The Falcons potent offense would get a 20-yard run from their speedy quarterback Jion Washington, who would show the elusiveness of a young Randall Cunningham multiple times in this one. Washington, who throws a nice ball when he just drops back and throws it seemed to hesitate in letting the rock go a lot in this one would throw a pick to Pete Gaglio a short time after his nice run to end the drive. The Falcons defense had zero problems in shutting down the Chiefs ensuing drive forcing a punt just a short time later the punt would hit Evanuel Cook and would be recovered by Gaglio. Once again the Falcons defense swooped in to save the day beginning with a sack by one of the best players I got to see this spring, Maurice Vaughn on the Chiefs talented quarterback Trey Kleitz that led to another punt, and once again the rock would be misplayed resulting in another fumble that was recovered by the Cheifs, this time Matthew Lagares would do the honors.
The 2nd quarter would be dominated by defense, from both teams causing some unrest by the fans in the stands. Paul Donohue of the Cheifs made the first big play when he crushed Reuben Hampton resulting in a short loss, with 7:17 left in the half. Then with close to 5:51 left in the half Ryan Current would block the punt from Addison Copeland. Copeland was a tad slow getting the kick-off allowing Current to easily get the block. The half would come to a close with two nice plays by the Falcons. First Mekhi Bridgers went up the gut to gain 24-yards, then Marvin Royster made a nice catch but coughed the ball up when he was hit and Johnny on the sport for Iroquois was Nate McGoldrick. Just to emphasize how dominant the Falcons defense was in the first half. Iroquois started three drives in Falcons territory with another drive starting near midfield. The Falcons had held a very potent offense to minus three yards unofficially for the half.
There is an old sport saying that in not so many words says you may contain a beast for some time but you won’t stop him forever this was the case when it came to the Cheifs defense and Maurice (The Beast) Vaughn. Vaughn would growl a little on a fine 39-yard run that showed field vision, patience, and speed to awaken the Falcons offense. The drive hit a small speed bump when Mekhi Bridgers was driven down for a short loss by Jacobs Roberts. Recovery was quick with a circus-like catch by Copeland who fell backward but he still found a way to catch the pass for the 19-yard score. Thanks to some sweet line work by the Cheifs front seven Vaughn was stopped short on the two-point conversion keeping this a 6-0 game. The Falcons defense once again looked like the old Cowboys doomsday defense quickly dispatching the Cheifs offense. From there Reuben Hampton would race 24-yards taking the ball down to the Iroquois 1-yard-line. He would cap the drive off going the final yard for the score. Vaughn plowed in for the two-point conversion to make this a 14-0 game, with 7:01 showing on the clock. The quarter had 2:39 left when Copeland was lined up to punt the ball away, I am not sure if the fake punt was called or Copeland elected to run on his own but the result was a short loss that gave Iroquois the ball just 20-yards from pay dirt. With the passing game struggling for Iroquois thanks to a mega amount of pressure from the Falcons defense and enough dropped balls to cause a lesser quarterback to explode the Cheifs coaching staff went to their trick play page of the playbook with Super talented Blake Noland throwing the halfback pass to multi-talented Ryan Current for a 20-yard touchdown making this a 14-6 game. The last big play of the quarter came on a scramble on third and long by Washington that resulted in a huge first down.
Less than two minutes into the final frame the Falcons lead grew to 20-6 when Hampton made like Johnny Hector by going 49-yards for the score making this a 20-6 game. Kleitz finally had time to throw the ball with 10:21 left in the game and he found Noah Kedge for 32-yards. Kedge is a player who I think is going to make some college coaches very happy if he has plans to play college ball. Kleitz would hit Ryan Current for a gigantic 39-yard score even with Current tightly doubled covered. Kleitz has a gun and he is as deadly as they come when he is allotted anytime to throw the rock. The game remained 20-12 as the two-point conversion was stopped. With 2:37 left Kleitz again found Current again for 39-yards taking the ball all the way down to the Falcons 4-yard-line. Nolan capped off the drive by going the final 4-yards to make this a 20-18 game. He also converted the two-point conversion to lock this one up.
In the first overtime, the Falcons defense held the Cheifs offense from 2nd and third and goal from the two-yard line. First, a bad snap threw the timing off of the play allowing the Falcons defense to easily stop Nolan, then a direct snap to Nolan was blown up when Nolan slipped on the turf and again stopped easily by the defense. Kendall Mariacher then came in to try a very short field goal that was very low and very short to force the 2nd overtime.
The Falcons defense stopped the Cheifs in the 2nd overtime after giving up one first down. Nolan was held for no gain on first down, Then a hold on the offense negated a run that took the ball to the one-yard line. The ball was placed all the way back to the twenty. A drop pass came next, then it was an incomplete pass on a poorly thrown ball. On fourth down, Isaiah Jean-Pierre registered maybe the biggest sack of his high school career. From there it was the Vaughn show. He picked up close to 13-yards on the drive’s first play. He was held to a tiny gain on the next play. On fourth and goal from the three Vaughn shot through the line like a rocket and into the end zone for the championship win.
Passing 5-23 1 TD
Passing 10-18 1 TD 1 INT
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