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Morning Sun
  • Red zone INTs too much for Colgan in 17-7 loss

  • It’s hard to win in the playoffs. It’s hard to beat a 10-1 team on the road, no matter what the name on the jersey. It’s darned near impossible when a team commits five turnovers, including three interceptions in the red zone.

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  • It’s hard to win in the playoffs. It’s hard to beat a 10-1 team on the road, no matter what the name on the jersey. It’s darned near impossible when a team commits five turnovers, including three interceptions in the red zone.
    Turnovers plagued St. Mary’s Colgan in the Class 3A state playoffs on Friday night, leading to a 17-7 loss to Rossville to end the Panthers’ season.
    “I felt like the kids played hard. We didn’t feel like we could line up and run right at [Rossville],” said Colgan head coach Chuck Smith in a post-game radio interview. “We threw it more than we’d like to. We were knocking on the door, we just hurt ourselves a little bit. But that happens sometimes.”
    The first half was a battle of seemingly matched teams.
    On the first play of Rossville’s second drive of the night, Tucker Horak took a handoff 46 yards to the Colgan red zone. two plays later, his brother Thatcher Horak scored on a 9-yard touchdown run.
    Although the Bulldogs had the first punch, Colgan punched right back, taking the ensuing drive 10 plays and 65 yards. The drive was sustained by a key third-down-and-10 pass from Colgan quarterback Dyson Dechant to Austin Kratz for 13 yards. The drive was capped off when tailback Conner Dayton took the ball 34 yards to the house to tie the game up at 7.
    Rossville began a strong drive and got as far as the Colgan 8 before the defense stiffened and sacked Bulldog quarterback Dalton Catron to force a 31-yard field goal by Taylor Hartshorn for a 10-7 Bulldog counterpunch.
    Colgan slugged back with a similar drive, marching to the Rossville 11. But Dyson Dechant’s pass was intercepted by Catron in the end zone on second down.
    Colgan’s defense stopped Rossville once on a three and out and once with an interception of their own by C.J. Russell, but still trailed 10-7 at halftime.
    The second half was full of opportunities ruined by Colgan turnovers.
    For instance, Rossville punted out of its own end zone on its first drive of the second half. But Drew Dawson muffed the punt and Rossville’s Nick Reesor recovered, giving the Bulldogs new life and a new set of downs at their own 41, although the Panther defense would shut down the drive.
    Another turnover for Colgan came on an attempted trick play in the fourth quarter. After a holding penalty set up a third and 20, Colgan tried a hook and ladder, with Luke Marquardt attempting a pitch after catching a pass on a hitch route. But the pitch sailed over the head of Dayton and was pounced on by the Bulldogs.
    Two plays later, Reesor rumbled into the end zone from 32 yards out for a 17-7 lead. He would be the most productive offensive player for either team, finishing with 139 yards on 13 carries with the one touchdown.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Colgan defense then did what it has all year — stop the opposing offense to create good field position. The Panthers would get the ball on back-to-back drives at the Bulldog 20 and 42. Both plays would reach the Rossville red zone, getting to the Bulldog 9 and 19, respectively.
    But both opportunities would end in interceptions, sending the Panthers to a 9-4 (5-3 CNC) record and sending Rossville to a second date with its rivals in Silver Lake, who defeated Caney Valley 40-0. Silver Lake won in Rossville (the Bulldogs’ only loss) 32-12 on Oct. 5.

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