Dolphins douse dreams of Dome for Battlers
The Battlers headed east to White, SD on Monday night to take on the undefeated Deubrook Dolphins in second round playoff action.
The game started with a Battler kick and a 92 yard kickoff return by the Dolphins. They didn’t make good on the extra point, so the Battlers trailed 0-6.
On Potter County’s first possession, with the breeze at their backs, the Battlers put together their offensive drive but couldn’t get it together before it was time to punt the ball away. The Dophins went to work and quickly moved into Battler territory.
The Battler defense held them and took over on downs at their own 25. With Chayce Hall under center, he handed off to Tate Nafziger who made his move with a quick first down pickup. From there the momentum continued for Potter County. Hall made a big first down, moving down to the Deubrook 35. The Battlers got down to a fourth and one, but the Dolphin defense stood their ground and took over at the Battler 14.
The quarter ran out with the Dolphins in control and gaining ground. To start the second, they continued the drive until they got to the 22 and put up a field goal kick, but it went wide left, putting the Battlers back in business.
The Battlers took over at the 20 and moved back across the field, until a pass was picked off by the Dolphins at their 40 yard line. Before long, Hall intercepted and brought the ball back for the Battlers to the Deubrook 38 yard line. They went back and forth until the Battlers had a first and 10 on their own 44. Nafziger kept the ball, pushed up the middle, and got the first down within the red zone. On the Dolphin 13, Nafziger connected with Derick Arbach to the 10, and Hayden Simon added another three, but the Battlers turned the ball over on downs at the seven yard line.
The 30 seconds in the half ticked off the clock and the first half was history.
Both teams went three and out in the start of the second, until the Battlers went to work. Tanner Heuer got in the mix and he moved the ball up 27 yards to the Dolphin side of the field. A 40 yard catch and run from Nafziger to Arbach brought them down to the five. Simon moved the ball down to the one yard line. A penalty moved them back, and Nafziger pushed in a two yard quarterback sneak for a 6-6 game. Hall’s kick was wide to the right, so the teams tied up.
It wasn’t long before the Battlers took over on downs after stopping the Dolphins on a fourth down pass play, but a fumble handed it back to the other guys. An intentional grounding call put the Dolphins in a fourth and punt that was downed midfield where the Battlers took possession but couldn’t gain much ground. They punted it away to the Deubrook team who started out in the shadow of their own goal posts and the third quarter was in the books.
The fourth was filled with back and forth possessions between the teams. The big Battler defense held the Dolphins and took over on the Deubrook 39 yard line on downs. A facemask penalty on the Dolphins moved the Potter County team 15 yards closer to the goal. The Dolphins got a roughing the passer penalty and the ball moved even closer. Hall held on and punched it in for a five yard score. He followed it up with the extra two points for a 14-6 lead.
The Battlers blew an on-side kick that went only eight yards and the Dolphins took over with a minute left and good field position on the Battler 48. A big pass went through the hands of Jace Everson and was caught by Deubrook at the 13. With four seconds left, the Dolphins scored. The two point conversion was good. The game tied and sent the game into overtime.
Each team gets a chance from the 10 yard line in high school football overtime rules.
Battlers took first possession with Hall in the QB position. He held on and moved it in six yards before Hall snuck it in for a score and his second TD of the night. The PAT was no good, so they settled for the 20-14 score. When it was their turn, the Dolphins passed in a touchdown right away, and made it in for the two point conversion. They finished it up with the Battlers down 20-22 as the Dolphins head into the semi-final game on Saturday.
Battler fans were given another great season of football from Coach Vern Smith and the Potter County Battlers.