It was cold – 41 degrees; it was windy – 22 mph sustained winds; it was raining – steady drizzle and getting worse; and it was the last dance for the five seniors at Battler Field. But on a night better suited for ghosts and goblins, the Potter County boys suited up and gave all they had to go wire to wire with the Hitchcock-Tulare Patriots. They lost 38 to 0 but even in defeat they walked off with their heads held high knowing they did everything they could to represent their schools, their communities, their teammates, their coaches, and most of all, themselves, proudly.
Of course, the Patriots’ stats far exceeded those of the Battlers, but yet, there was light on this dreary night considering expectations were down for Potter County due to key players being out with injuries and the season not being as fruitful as hoped. Cooper Logan stepped up to fill in at quarterback and instead of having him run the ball play after play, Coach Vern Smith had enough confidence to open up the full playbook for this young man to try and create an offense for the Battlers.
Defensively Cooper Logan led the way with 14 solo tackles, followed by fellow sophomore Jonathan Wheeler with 9 and senior Joseph Canchola with 8.
A great show that the Battlers were not going to simply roll over happened when time was expiring at the end of the first half, and instead of taking a knee and being content to let the half end, Coach Smith called a pass play. The Battlers were on their own 20-yard line, and Cooper Logan dropped back and hurled a pass a good 20 yards down field to Colt Wieseler, who had broken coverage and was at full stride. Unfortunately, the pass was too long, and it fell harmlessly to the ground with no time left on the clock, but it did give everyone hope and belief that maybe the second half might be more productive.
The best show of team strength and guts was when Rylee Zweber stepped into the quarterback position. On the final team possession of the game for the Battlers, Zweber got a first down by literally having the entire team push him across the line-to-gain. It was towards the end of the fourth quarter, the ball was on the Battlers’ 44-yard line, they needed nine yards for a first down, and he was immediately stopped by the Patriots as soon as he received the ball from center. But instead of going down, Zweber kept his legs pumping and pretty soon the rest of his eight teammates were behind him pushing. Neither he nor his teammates quit moving forward until he went the full nine yards for the first down. Zweber did not score a touchdown nor did the play lead to a touchdown, but it sure gave the team and their fans something to cheer and smile about.
The boys have two more games – Oct. 11 against Warner at Hoven and Oct. 18 against Faulkton Area at Faulkton. It is clear they have not yet given up on the season or themselves. Your support to show that you have not given up on them, either, would go a long way to see if they can put some bragging rights back for y’all, come coffee time when you are at one of your favorite eateries.
Potter County 0
PC 0 0 0 0 0
H/T 12 14 6 6 38
H/T – Bailey Binger 1 yd run (run failed)
H/T – Kyle Hamilton 29 yd run (run failed)
H/T – Cullen McNeil pass to Logan Gilbert 6 yds (Titus Waldner run)
H/T – Waldner 4 yd run (pass failed)
H/T – McNeil 18 yd run (run failed)
H/T – Jack Boomsma 14 yd run (pass failed)
OFFENSE: PC rushing 18-49 (Rylee Zweber 2-16, Jonathan Wheeler 2-7), passing 3-14 for 30 yds (Cooper Logan 2-12 for 25 yds, Zweber 1-2 for 5 yds), receiving (Drake Bassett 2-25). H/T rushing 46-326 (McNeil 15-93, Boomsma 11-103), passing 4-9 for 59 yds (McNeil 4-9 for 59 yds), receiving (Gilbert 3-42).
DEFENSE: PC (Cooper Logan 14 tackles, Jonathan Wheeler 9 tackles, Joseph Canchola 8 tackles). H/T (Logan Gilbert and Titus Waldner lead team effort).
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