Football comes up short in Mediapolis

By Norv and Mary Coblentz · Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The West Liberty Comets football team gave a good fight, especially in the first half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the second-ranked Mediapolis Bulldogs Sept. 28. The Comets fell to the ‘dogs 21-56 at Mediapolis. With the loss, West Liberty stands at 3-3 (3-1 in district play) with three games to go in the regular season.

Mediapolis took Raudel Fierro’s kickoff to start the game, and the Comets’ defense forced a punt. West Liberty took over after a fair catch on their own 37-yard line. A pass from Tyler Newsom to Brett Becker gave the Comets a first down near midfield, but they were forced to punt on fourth and 12. There was a long runback by Mepo, but a block in the back call put them back at their own 19 to start their drive. The Mepo quarterback faked a handoff, but Roszell was not fooled and sacked the QB for a yard loss. A pass to the far side gave the Bulldogs a first down, but incomplete passes forced another Mepo punt. Newsom blocked the punt and Israel Montelongo picked it up for the Comets and ended up near the red zone. Despite their good field position, the Comets came up empty after a field goal attempt went wide left with 5:34 left in the first quarter.

Mediapolis took over on their own 20, and it only took one pass play for the first Bulldogs touchdown. The PAT kick was good, and with 5:20 on the clock, Mediapolis had a 7-0 lead.

Ty Williams returned the Mediapolis kickoff for a few yards to the 19-yard line. A couple of rushing plays got a first down at the 30 for the Comets. Then Newsom connected with Williams on a long pass, and Williams ran for the touchdown. Fierro’s PAT kick was good, and the score was tied at 7 with 4:18 left in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs marched down the field effectively with most of the yards gained on quarterback keepers. Mepo converted on fourth down near the West Liberty 20. They moved the ball to the three-yard line as time expired in the first quarter, then the Bulldogs scored on a pass on the first play in the second quarter. The PAT kick was good, and the score was 14-7, Mepo, with 11:56 left in the half.

Williams returned the kickoff to the 28-yard line. A keeper gave the Comets a first down at the 43, then another kipper gave them a first down on the 47 in Bulldog territory. A couple of passes to Becker made it third and two, then Roszell powered up the middle for a first down at the 30. Nick Boehme carried the ball for a first down at the 17, then Mediapolis took a time out. When play resumed, an incomplete pass, a run for short yardage by Williams, and an offsides penalty against Mediapolis put the Comets at third and four at the 11. Newsom’s touchdown pass to Becker was followed by the PAT by Fierro to tie the game at 14 with 6:56 left in the half.

The tie didn’t last long, though, as the Bulldogs’s quarterback broke away and ran from the Mepo 24 to the end zone for a touchdown. The PAT was good, and the score was 21-14 with 6:32 to go in the half.

Williams picked the Mepo kickoff up on a bounce and returned it to the Comets 36. A Boehme carry gained a yard and Williams took the pitch for another couple, but an interception ended the West Liberty drive prematurely. The Comets’ defense was tough on the next Mepo drive with tackles by Juan Martinez and Carl Guardado and a sack by Guardado forcing a punt on fourth and 11.

The Comets started their drive on their own 28, and a classic hook and ladder play gave them a touchdown in short order. Newsom completed a pass to Becker, and Becker completed a lateral pass to Williams. Williams ran unhindered to the end zone. Fierro’s PAT tied the game at 21 with 3:21 left in the half. It was as good as it was going to get for the Comets.

The Bulldogs scored again on their first down after the kickoff on another long pass play. The PAT was good, and with 3:02 left in the first half, the Bulldogs had a 28-21 lead.

West Liberty’s next possession ended in a Mepo touchdown after an interception was run into the end zone by the ‘dogs. The PAT was no good, and the Mediapolis lead was 34-21 with 2:08 on the clock.

It went from bad to worse when Williams was stripped of the ball returning the kickoff. Mediapolis recovered with 1:57 to go in the half.

Again, a touchdown pass was thrown on the Bulldogs’ first down, but holding on the Bulldogs slowed them down. Mepo scored the final touchdown of the half with 58 seconds to go in the half. The two-point conversion try was good, and the Bulldogs had a 42-21 lead. The Comets moved the ball to midfield but did not threaten as time expired in the half.

The second half was all Mepo. It was three-and-out for the Comets then Mepo scored a touchdown and extra point for a 49-21 score with 9:57 remaining in the third quarter.

Three-and-out again for the Comets then Mepo drove from their own 20 to the West Liberty 7 before another touchdown pass and PAT made it 56-21 with 2:57 left in the quarter. With a 35-point lead, the continuous clock rule went into effect.

The Comets had two more possessions and got two first downs, one on a pass to Roszell and one on a carry by Boehme. Mediapolis got all the way to the West Liberty 20 before turning it over on downs.

West Liberty Head Coach Ben Slife liked what he saw in the first half. “I think we went toe-to-toe with a great football team for two quarters, but it’s a four quarter game,” Slife said. “We have to learn to play a full game.”

“We knew West Liberty was a quality team,” Mediapolis Head Coach Brian Borrison said. “They were a playoff team last year that won a game. They have a lot of guys back from that. Anytime you return a quarterback of Newsom’s ability, then you’ve got a good team. Then getting Ty Williams back - he’s an athletic kid, holy cow- I didn’t realize he was that big. He’s fast and they use him well.

“This is a good football team. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see them again somewhere down the road.”
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