Broncos edge FP in final minute
CRYSTAL FALLS—Opportunity knocked for Forest Park’s football team when the Trojans opened their 2015 season at Bark River Aug. 28.
But when nobody answered the door, Opportunity went to the Broncos’ door instead—and got a warm welcome. Trailing 13-6, Bark River scored with 51 seconds left and then converted a two-point conversion to steal away a 14-13 win.
The Trojans open 0-1, both overall and in the Mid Eastern Conference. They host Norway Sept. 4 in their home opener.
“We made too many mistakes,” said coach Dave Graff later. “Mental mistakes, penalties. Some of them were at critical junctures of the game, too.
“No. 1, Bark River was a very good team—very solid. In order to beat a good team, you’ve got to do the little things right. We were not able to win those little skirmishes. Bark River rose to the occasion.”
The season started with tentative play from both teams, with defenses dictating a slow pace. The first real threat came late in the first quarter, when the Broncos crossed midfield. QB Bryce Sundquist’s 19-yard pass earned a first down at the Trojan 35, and a pass interference penalty got another at the FP 24. But two short runs, a dropped pass and a fourth down sack by Jacob DeNell ended that threat.
Then Forest Park’s offense got in gear. QB Connor Kezerle’s option run and a pitch to Daniel Nocerini earned a first down at the Broncos 25. Another run moved the sticks to the Broncos 11. But a holding penalty forced 4th and 19, when Kezerle’s pass was intercepted.
Two Sundquist passes to Josh Madalinski got the Broncs down to the FP 26 as the half wound down, but a sack (Alex Teichert) and Nocerini’s interception insured the first half would remain scoreless (pointless?).
Things picked up quickly in the second half. First, Adam Hilberg’s long punt backed the Broncos deep into their end. Soon Bark River had to punt from its 16, but the punter booted the ball into a blocker, and Kyle Soderberg fell on the ball at the Broncos 10.
The Trojans made the most of their first big break. Four running plays ended with Nocerini punching it in from the 1, and we finally had a score: Trojans, 6-0. Kezerle’s two-point pass was incomplete.
Later in the quarter, the Broncos struck. Sundquist passed to Iver Stenberg, who broke a tackle and scampered for a 44-yard gain to the Trojans 15. One play later, Sundquist and Nick Dwyer connected for the score. FP stopped a two-point run just short, and the score stayed 6-6.