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Morning Sun
  • Colgan rallies from 14-point deficits, but big kicks blocked in loss

  • St. Mary’s Colgan endured two 14-point deficits Friday night during their Class 3A, District 8 clash with Riverton.



    Riverton senior Jake Neal thwarted both a game-tying extra point and a potential 37-yard game-winning field goal as time expired, breaking free and blocking each kick to preserve a thrilling 21-20 Riverton win at Hutchinson Field.

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  • St. Mary’s Colgan endured two 14-point deficits Friday night during their Class 3A, District 8 clash with Riverton.
    Riverton senior Jake Neal thwarted both a game-tying extra point and a potential 37-yard game-winning field goal as time expired, breaking free and blocking each kick to preserve a thrilling 21-20 Riverton win at Hutchinson Field.
    “When we got down 14-0, I thought the kids really hung in there and did a good job,” Colgan head coach Chuck Smith said. “They could have folded real easy in the first half and they didn’t. I was real proud of their efforts in the second half and it was a great high school football game. It would have been a thrill to have won it with that last field goal but there were a lot of other plays that could have changed it other than that one so that didn’t make or break the game.”
    Riverton leaped ahead 14-0 by the 2-minute, 24-second mark of the first quarter — junior quarterback Chandler Underhill picked Colgan apart on a 18-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Deckard and a 64-yard TD pass to Landon North. Deckard ran a crossing route and Underhill found him in stride, and the speedy sophomore North simply showcased his speed.
    Meanwhile, Colgan generated no first-half points and committed four turnovers, two fumbles and two interceptions.
    Riverton stripped Luke Marquardt on a punt return (recovered by North) and Greyson Spriggs not only sacked fellow senior Dyson Dechant for a 14-yard loss, he wrestled the ball free for another Colgan turnover. North and junior linebacker T.J. McDonald intercepted Dechant.
    The second half was a different story as Riverton started committing turnovers and Colgan began scoring points.
    Drew Dawson set Colgan up in great field position on its second drive after halftime. The Panthers began the drive at the Riverton 33 and five plays later, Dechant hit Marquardt for a 13-yard TD on a perfectly-executed route and pass in the end zone. Dawson made a 18-yard first-down catch on a screen, with much assistance from an Aaron Twarog block.
    Riverton answered with its final scoring drive. With a fourth-and-12 at the Colgan 30 and 2:49 left in the third, Spriggs made a sensational catch down the sideline — grabbing a 25-yard pass, maintaining his balance and keeping at least one foot inbounds for a first-and-goal. On the next play, Underhill went in unscathed for a 5-yard TD and Riverton went back ahead 14 points.
    On its fourth possession of the second half, Colgan sustained a 11-play, 77-yard drive which culminated in a Conner Dayton 5-yard run. The Panthers found a rhythm in their passing game — for example, 37 yards and back-to-back-to-back first downs on completions to Dayton, Grant Normand and Dayton. Colgan overcame penalties of 21 yards on the drive.
    Page 2 of 2 - Sophomore linebacker Austin Commons, battling through ankle injuries, intercepted an Underhill pass. Earlier in the second half, Commons recovered a North fumble, created by the downfield hustle of Colton Gilbert on a 44-yard gain for naught by North.
    After the Commons interception, Colgan moved the ball down the field and drew to 21-20 on a 5-yard pass from senior Dechant to senior Nate Grimaldi.
    Colgan honored seniors Dechant, Grimaldi, Dayton, Normand, V.J. Piccini, C.J. Russell, Josh Brown, Tieler Commons and David Misasi.
    “They’re a great group of kids,” Smith said. “It’s been a pleasure to be around them and I hope we can win next week and extend it another week. Boy, everybody’s in our district 1-1 right now. That gives us a chance and all we want is a chance. It is a good district and we’re just glad that we have the opportunity.”
    With Galena upending Southeast 23-6 and Riverton defeating Colgan 21-20, that leaves all four District 8 teams 1-1 in district play. Southeast hosts Colgan and Riverton hosts Galena on Thursday; winners earn a playoff spot and playoff seeding depends on head-to-head matchups.
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