Trent Peterson had four catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns in the Bearcats Section 8 Championship game. The Bearcats fought hard against Stephen-Argyle Storm but fell short, 20-27, of advancing in the playoffs.
(Photo Courtesy of Sheila Billings)
Travis Rich, KCC Bearcat Senior, carried the ball 10 times for 46 yards. The Bearcats, who had lost to the Stephen-Argyle Storm 0-42 during the season, showed the Storm they weren’t going to be shut down so easily this time. They fought back and forth before losing 20-27.
(Photo Courtesy of Sheila Billings)
By Mark Bernstrom
The (6-4) Bearcats took on the (10-0) Stephen-Argyle Central Storm in the Fargodome for the Section Championship Game this past Thursday.
This was a game played with a lot of grit and heart by a determined KCC team. The game started off with fireworks as Trent Peterson ran the opening kickoff all the way back for a 85-yard touchdown, and the point after run was good by Maurice Sele. In the ensuing drive the Storm had to work hard against the Bearcats defense as they faced numerous third and longs, but was able to convert when they needed to. They capped off their drive with a Nathan Kotts 8-yard run and a successful point after run by Collin Neuschwander. The Storm’s Hunter Yutrzenka and Isaac Durand connected for two more touchdowns in the first half to take a 19-7 lead into halftime.
At halftime the Bearcats knew that they were giving the Storm’s offense some fits, but just had to adjust a few things to be more effective the second half. Those adjustments paid off as SAC had a hard time moving the ball against KCC’s defense throughout most of the second half. TheBearcats’ passing game took off in the third quarter with two passing touchdowns from Josh Rynning to T. Peterson. The first was a 10-yard pass connection and the second was a thrilling 76-yard strike to take a 20-19 lead half way into the third.
KCC’s defense continued to show their muscle as the Storm had a hard time building a drive until half way through the fourth quarter. The Storm was able convert on some money downs to keep their drive alive, and then finished off with a 1-yard run by Brody Pietruszewski. Then the Storm had a successful two-point conversion to retake the lead 27-20 with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter. This set up what dreams are made of for Rynning. The Bearcats had a chance to take the ball down the field to either tie or win the game. Rynning and Peterson connected early in the drive to put the ball deep into Storm territory. Rynning used his legs to gain yards and keep the drive alive, along with running plays from Travis Rich and Daniel Gonzalez. The Bearcats had the ball within the 20-yard line with under two minutes to go. A false start put the Bearcats outside the 20, and unfortunately could not convert. The Storm took over on downs and did the victory formation to close out the game, and win the section championship game 27-20.
The coaches would like to thank the Bearcat community for all of their support this season. A season is not possible without the support of administrations, students, parents and community members.
A common quote by Coach Waling is, “Seniors lead and underclassmen follow.” This season was true to that, even down to the final play of the year. This year was led by hard working group of seniors, Josh Rynning, Trent Peterson, Gabe Vagle, Travis Rich, Judah Westerberg, Gus Peterson, Keaton Hultgren and Sam Gates. Each one of these seniors lead the team on each side of the ball as there was very little opportunity to take time off during a game. They never complained and did what they had to each and every game to give themselves and their teammates a chance to win the game.
We also had huge contributions from our underclassmen. Our interior line was made up of all juniors that consisted of Mitchell Docken, Regan Klein and Cade Langen. These three held the middle on offense and was the first line of attack on defense. These three fused together as the year went along and did a lot of the dirty work that goes unnoticed throughout the season. The other juniors that played an important part in this season were Zachary Vig, Matthew Stewart and Maurice Sele. Vig was a starting linebacker who had a big year along side Westerberg. Stewart was a utility guy that did whatever the coaches asked throughout the game, and Sele became a solid extra-point kicker that helped propel the Bearcats through the playoffs.
We also had three sophmores that gained a lot of experience with tons of playing time on both sides of the ball – Tyler Bakken, Daniel Gonzalez and Adam Gustafson. These three saw the field often and improved greatly that it was hard to take them off the field at times. They stepped up on special teams, offense and defense to make plays on a regular basis.
Your freshman year is the hardest year when it comes to football, but these five kids stuck it out Evan Austad, Josephine Evenson, Jacob Rice, TJ Gathridge, and CJ Pankratz. These freshmen had important roles when it came to practice with scout teams to get the older kids ready, and to play any position needed for that week leading up to the game. During games they did a great job with having water, equipment and anything else the coaches assigned them to during the game to have ready. It’s the people in the background that don’t get noticed but have an important part in the team’s success.
Again, thank you to all seniors and underclassman for your dedication and hard work for another fun and exciting season. Go Bearcats!
Section Championship Game Box Score
1 2 3 4 Final
KCC 7 0 13 0 20
SAC 13 6 0 8 27
4-13 att, 142 yds, 2 TD
4 catches, 142 yds, 2 TD
13 att, 51 yards
10 att, 46 yards
9 att, 21 yards