Comets shut out Hawks

By Norv and Mary Coblentz · Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The West Liberty Comets’ football team scored from the air, from the ground, on an interception, and on a kickoff return, shutting out the struggling Central Lee Hawks 52-0 at Donnellson Sept. 21. With the win, the Comets go to 3-2 on the season, 3-0 in District 5 play.

The Hawks received to start the game, but it was three-and-out, and West Liberty started their first drive on their own 30. The Comets got one first down, on a long run by senior Ty Williams, before turning the ball over on downs at the Central Lee 31.

Central Lee didn’t get anything going on their next possession, punting on fourth and 10 after three incomplete passes. The Comets started on their own 42 and moved the ball well, but an incomplete pass to the end zone on fourth down gave the Hawks the ball on their own 24. Central Lee went for the first down on fourth and one and got a favorable spot. However, on the next play, West Liberty’s Edgar Castillo intercepted the ball. The Comets couldn’t connect on in the air and had to settle for a field goal, kicked by Raudel Fierro. With 4:18 left in the first quarter, the Comets held a 3-0 lead.

Fierro kicked off into the end zone for a touchback, and the Hawks marched to past mid-field, getting two first downs along the way. On third and 10, Israel Montelongo got the Comets’ second interception of the game. He ran the ball 35 yards for the first touchdown of the game. Fierro’s PAT kick was good for a 10-0 lead with 1:56 left in the quarter.

The Hawks turned the ball over on downs just as the second quarter began, and the Comets started their drive at the Central Lee 34. Williams took the pitch and ran down the line for a first down at the 21. Two plays later, on first and goal at the eight, Williams ran in for a touchdown. Fierro’s PAT was good for a 17-0 West Liberty lead with 10:52 to go in the half.

Penalties slowed the Comets on their next possession, and a fumble was recovered by the Hawks. Central Lee punted the ball on fourth and 12, and the low punt rolled to the Central Lee 46. Quarterback Tyler Newsom completed a pass for the Comets but a holding call made it first and long at the West Liberty 39. Newsom connected again, and Williams scored another touchdown on the pass play. Fierro’s PAT was good for a 24-0 West Liberty lead with 7:53 left in the half.

It didn’t take the Comets long to score again. The Hawks threw an interception on their first play of their possession; Jehovanny Coreas snagged it for the Comets. It was Newsom to Brett Becker for the next touchdown on a 22-yard pass play. Fierro’s PAT was good again, and the Comets led 24-0 with 7:32 on the clock.

Central Lee converted on fourth down with a pass for first and 10 at their own 43. An offsides penalty on the Comets wasn’t enough to help the Hawks get another first down. After an illegal block penalty on Central Lee, the Hawks punted on fourth and long.

The high punt went out of bounds at the West Liberty 42. Williams broke away for a long gain and a first down at the Central Lee 44. A pass from Newsom to Becker made it first and 10 at the Hawks 17, but that was as close as the Comets got. A field goal attempt was wide right, and Central Lee took over.

Cole Roszell got a tackle for loss on second and 10, and the Hawks were forced to punt on fourth and long with 52 seconds left in the half.

Another high punt gave the Comets the ball at the Central Lee 21. A pass to Roszell made it first and goal at the seven with 36 seconds on the clock. Williams took the handoff and ran up the middle for another touchdown. Fierro’s PAT kick was good for a 38-0 lead.

The clock ran continuously in the second half because the Comets’ lead was greater than 35 points, so the Comets only had time for two more scores. Central Lee kicked off to start the second half, and Williams ran the ball back 76 yards for a touchdown, running through holes created by great Comets’ blocks. Fierro’s PAT made it 45-0.

Another three-and-out possession by the Hawks gave the Comets the ball right back, and a poor punt gave them excellent field possession at the Central Lee 35. Newsom kept the ball for a small gain, then Roszell ran for a touchdown. The PAT by Fierro was good again, his seventh on the night, and the Comets led 52-0.

Central Lee tried their passing game again, and they punted after three incomplete passes. The Comets took over on their own 43 as the third quarter expired.

Becker was in at quarterback in the fourth quarter, and the continuous clock made it a short quarter. Becker completed a pass to Coreas for a first down t the 16, but a holding call made it first and 20 with under 10 minutes to play. Eliot Henderson tried a run and gained a few yards but the Comets tried a couple passes and turned the ball over on downs.

Central Lee got a first down but good pass protection by the Comets resulted in another over-on-downs. As time ran down in the game, Kohl Wheeler had a 13-yard run for a first down. The final score was 52-0.

Despite the lopsided win, West Liberty Head Coach Ben Slife saw some areas that still need work. “We need to be way more efficient in the run game,” Slife said.

“I wasn’t happy with how we were getting off the ball up front. We’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m nitpicking a little bit, but we’re going to be playing better teams down the road.

“I want to see us come out and compete (next week against Mediapolis). They’ve got a heck of a team, but we’ve got a good team, too.”

Friday, the Comets will face second-ranked and undefeated Mediapolis Bulldogs on the road.

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