Happy homecoming for Comets football

By Norv and Mary Coblentz · Monday, September 24, 2012
The West Liberty football team made Homecoming happy for the many Comets fans who attended the Comets vs. Columbus Junction football game Sept. 14. West Liberty defeated the Wildcats 56-22. With the win, the Comets move to 2-2 overall, 2-0 in District 5 games.

The Wildcats received to start the game. There was a short return on the kickoff, then a big gain of 24 yards was made on a rushing play. Juan Martinez got the stop for the Comets. The Wildcats made it eight more yards before punting.

The Comets moved the ball very well in their first possession. Nick Boehme carried the ball for a first down, then Daniel Jacques caught a pass for another first down, this time at the Columbus Junction 34. A fumble was recovered by Columbus, ending the West Liberty drive.

It was Elliott Henderson who made the first two tackles for the Comets in the Wildcats’ second drive of the game. On second and four, Columbus ran up the middle. They got the first down. Then Bryan DeBock got a sack to make it second and 11. A penalty on the Wildcats and a stop by Boehme brought up fourth and long, and the Wildcats punted.

Beginning their drive at their own 22-yard line, Comets quarterback Tyler Newsom connected right away with Cole Roszell for a first down. Boehme powered up the middle for another first down, and a Columbus offsides penalty made it first and five near midfield. Boehme carried for short gain, then Newsom ran with it for the first down at the Columbus 25. Newsom couldn’t find a receiver and was downed for a small loss. Then a short pass to Boehme was stopped by the Wildcats as well. The Comets fumbled the ball but recovered it, making it fourth and 11. The Comets called a time out, then went for the fourth-down conversion. Newsom ended the drive as he began it, with a pass to Roszell, this time for the first touchdown of the game. The PAT kick was good by Raudel Fierro, who would go on to nail seven more extra points in the game. With 4:10 left in the first quarter, the Comets were on top 7-0.

Fierro’s kickoff was caught then fumbled. Edgar Castillo recovered the ball for the Comets, and it was first and 10 at the Columbus 17. Newsom completed a pass under pressure to Brett Becker for first and goal at the eight. A carry by Boehme took the Comets to the one-yard line. Newsom scored a touchdown on a quarterback keeper. Fierro’s PAT was good, and the Comets led 14-0 with 3:27 on the clock.

Columbus tried two carries that got them nowhere, then they went to the air. Riley Anderson intercepted a pass on Columbus’s third down, and it was first and 10 at the Columbus 36 for the Comets.

It was Newsom to Roszell again for a nine-yard gain to start the Comets’ short drive. A carry by Boehme made it first and 10 at the 23. A Boehme carry, a pass to Becker, and a carry by Roszell failed to get the Comets another first down, but a facemask penalty on Columbus did the job, making it first and goal for the Comets on the nine. An offsides penalty on Columbus made it first and goal on the four. Boehme carried the ball up the middle for a touchdown with 32 seconds to go in the first quarter. Fierro’s kick was good for a 21-0 Comets lead.

Fierro’s kickoff went into the end zone for a touchback. In the waning seconds of the first quarter, the Wildcats got off one play, a carry that was stopped by DeBock. Columbus punted on fourth down, and the ball went out of bounds at the West Liberty 43.

Becker snagged a pass from Newsom and made a nice run, getting all the way to the Wildcats’ 36-yard line. Newsom ran for eight yards, then a big block by Israel Montelongo, clearing the way for another run by Newsom, made it first and 10 at the 10. Boehme gained seven yards running up the middle, then ran the ball three yards into the end zone for another West Liberty touchdown. After Fierro’s PAT kick, the score was 28-0 West Liberty with 9:45 to go in the half.

Fierro’s kickoff was caught and the Wildcats had a big return, making it all the way to their 39-yard line before being brought down by Jacques.

The Columbus drive was helped along by a 15-yard penalty on the Comets for too many players on the field. Castillo, Becker, and Dakota Even had a good stop at the West Liberty 38. Stops by DeBock and Ryan Johnson brought up third and one at the 14, and the Wildcats converted. The Comets defense made a stand in the red zone and brought up fourth and six. After a Columbus time out, the Wildcats went for it, using a reverse handoff to make it six yards for the touchdown. The Wildcats got a two-point conversion on the ground for a 28-8 score with 5:42 left in the half.

Columbus tried an onside kick, and an alert Even picked it up on the bounce and fell on it, giving the Comets great field position at their own 46. Roszell took the pitch and had a big gain, getting to the Columbus 22. The Comets sputtered a bit with two penalties, an illegal block and illegal motion, but Boehme’s carry on first and goal at the 14 made it second and goal at the four. A pass from Newsom to Jacques scored the Comets’ fifth touchdown of the game. Fierro’s PAT was good for a 35-8 lead with 4:02 on the clock.

It was three and out for Columbus, and a bad snap led to a low punt which rolled to the West Liberty 40-yard line. The Comets marched 60 yards to score again with ground gained with a pass to Becker, an offsides penalty on Columbus, and a 21-yard run by Boehme for first and 10 at the Columbus 27. Boehme broke toward the outside on the next play and ran for a touchdown. The Fierro PAT was good for a 42-8 lead with 1:40 in the half.

Fierro’s kickoff was returned from the four to the 20, stopped by Luke Seele and Kohl Wheeler. Columbus’ hurry-up offense was effective, and they scored a touchdown on the strength of two long passes. The Wildcats’ two-point try was no good. With 11 seconds on the clock, the score was 42-14. The Comets had time for a pass to Becker for a few yards before the half ended.

Becker returned the Columbus kickoff all the way to the Wildcats 33 to start the second half. A pass to Boehme made it first and 10 at the 14. After an incomplete pass, Boehme went up the middle for another West Liberty touchdown. The PAT by Fierro was good, and with a 49-14 lead, the mercy rule went into effect, and the clock ran continuously throughout the third quarter.

It was three and out for the Wildcats. The Columbus punt rolled out of bounds at the West Liberty 39. Boehme carried the ball for six yards, then Becker took the pitch and ran to the Columbus 45 for a first down. Newsom connected with Roszell, and he broke a tackle and ran it in for a touchdown. Fierro’s PAT was good and the Comets led 56-14.

The Wildcats returned Fierro’s kickoff 40 yards, and Fierro got the stop. Columbus converted on third down, then converted on fourth down for first and 10 at the West Liberty 26. An incomplete pass and a carry stopped by Castillo, Henderson, and Wheeler brought up third and short, and the Wildcats converted again. An inadvertent facemask penalty on the Comets put Columbus at the 10-yard line near the end of the third quarter. The Wildcats converted on fourth down with a touchdown pass. A two-point conversion pass was also good, making it 56-22 with 10:40 left in the game. The clock stopped running continuously.

It was the Comets’ turn to go three and out, then a long Columbus drive ended with a fumble inside the West Liberty 10. Jehovany Coreas recovered the fumble for the Comets with 1:33 left in the game.

Becker, in at quarterback, completed a pass to Henderson for a first down, then Sam Weaver carried the ball up the middle for four yards. An illegal motion penalty on West Liberty made it second and 11, then a Comets’ fumble was recovered by Columbus with 37 seconds to go.

The Wildcats needed just 28 yards to score, but after a keeper got them to the 12-yard line for a first down, a personal foul and an incomplete pass made it third and long. The next pass was intercepted by Wheeler with three seconds left in the game. The Comets took a knee and the 56-22 win.

Wilton Head Coach Jeff Martin said his team’s turnovers were their biggest problem. “We cannot give good teams turnovers inside the 30-yard line,” he said.

West Liberty Head Coach Ben Slife is always happy with a district win, but he knows the game could have been a lot closer. “I’d like to have gotten our (starters) out a little earlier than what we did, but Columbus - they’re dangerous offensively.

“There are definitely some things we need to clean up. Our big thing going into this game is we knew we needed to stuff the box, and maybe we underestimated their quarterback and their receivers.”

The Comets face Central Lee at Donnellson Sept. 21. Thus far, the Hawks are winless.
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