Archive for Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Southwest holds on against Lancers

September 20, 2006


Coach Skip Bennett had prepared two speeches for his ninth-grade Southwest Bulldogs following last Wednesday's game against Shawnee Mission East.

One if his team won, the other if they lost.

"My losing speech was gonna be something to the effect of high school football never stops asking things from you," Bennett said. "No matter how much you give, you have to give some more. And you just didn't give quite enough tonight. And, of course, the other speech was you gave enough."

The Bulldogs gave plenty.

Southwest outlasted the Lancers, 26-24, but needed double overtime to do it.

The game began as a defensive battle. Neither team scored in the opening quarter. But in the second quarter a Bulldog touchdown was called back because of a holding penalty. However, Bulldogs running back Kirk Resseguie got it back with a touchdown on the very next play. The two-point conversion was no good, and the Bulldogs led at the half, 6-0.

In the third quarter neither team mustered much offense and the score remained 6-0 heading into the fourth.

But that changed on the first play of the quarter as the Lancers broke free for a 22-yard touchdown. They missed the extra point and the game was tied, 6-6.

On their next possession the Lancers threw another punch at the Bulldogs and scored on a 65-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion again was no good. But the Lancers had the lead with under five minutes to play.

The Bulldogs had lost momentum.

But Resseguie vowed he would not let his team down.

On their first play of the drive, in what began as a simple handoff up the middle, Resseguie cut back to the right and sprinted down the sideline for a 76-yard touchdown.

"I knew we had to score," Resseguie said. "I knew my team needed one, so I punched one in."

The Lancers would not give up.

With time running out, they moved the ball down the field deep inside Bulldog territory when Connor Stremel intercepted a Lancer pass downfield. But the interception was nullified because pass interference was called on Stremel.

The Lancers drive went backwards from there due to false start and delay of game penalties. On fourth-and-long, the Lancers desperation throw fell incomplete and the back-and-forth game went into overtime.

The Lancers won the toss and elected to play defense. Southwest lined up first-and-goal at the 10-yard line.

Coach Bennett thought his team had an advantage at that spot on the field.

"Going into overtime I felt confident," Bennett said. "We have to run the ball. And if we have a 10 yard field to work with, we can score anytime."

After a short gain on first down, Resseguie plowed into the end zone for his third touchdown of the game.

The Lancers came right back.

On second-and-goal the Lancers threw a pass to the front corner of the end zone, where Stremel was in perfect position to defend the play. But he was six inches to short and the Lancers had tied the game.

The Lancers then called for time to discuss their options for the extra point.

They elected to kick.

With the threat of defeat, the Southwest crowd cheered as the Bulldogs broke through the line of scrimmage and blocked the kick.

The game would go into double overtime with the score tied, 18-18. This time the Lancers had the ball first. And in two plays they scored a two-yard touchdown to take the lead for the first time in the game.

But the Bulldogs still would not give in.

"I thought we still had a chance even though we were down we would still pull through," Stremel said. "We've pulled through before. I wasn't scared."

The Lancers lined up for the two-point conversion. Having scored a touchdown over Stremel just minutes earlier, the Lancers ran the same play. But this time Stremel made the stop. The Bulldogs took over first-and-goal with the game on the line.

Trailing 24-18, the Bulldogs went right to work. On first down Resseguie ran for a 6-yard gain. On second down Resseguie scored his fourth touchdown of the game, tying the score at 24.

The Bulldogs were just three yards away from victory. But who would the Bulldogs give the ball to on the conversion attempt?

A Resseguie, of course.

This time Nick Resseguie made the game's final play as he toted the ball across the goal line. The Bulldogs escaped with the win. The crowd erupted and Resseguie cheered for his own performance and the team's victory.

"I was really nervous. I was shaking," Resseguie said, following the double-overtime thriller.

Coach Bennett said he was proud of the play by Resseguie and Stremel, but they just exemplified what his team was all about.

"When it came time to decide who was gonna win -- it could have been either team," Bennett said. "And for us to do that it's a big step in your maturity as a high school football player."


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