11-26 Semi-Final football
Tyler Hood brings down a Connell Eagle during Chelan’s semi-final loss on Saturday, November 26.
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Chelan’s football season ends in Moses Lake
Connell stops the Goats 42-14 - Goats bring home 3rd place
By Richard Uhlhorn
Considering how well the Chelan Goats defense had faired up to last Saturday’s semi-final game against Connell, everyone was shocked at how easily the Eagles marched down field during their first possession to score the first touchdown. “After the first two defensive plays when we stopped them behind the line of scrimmage, I thought, ‘Wow, this is the defense we’ve been waiting for all season,’ ” said Coach Darren Talley after the game. “From that point on, I couldn’t figure out what happened.”
Connell was obviously prepared to take care of Chelan’s big running threats; Michael Amsel Jr., Cole Schwartz and Matt Peterson, holding each of them to minus 1 yard, 13 yards and 45 yards respectfully. That’s shutting down guys who collectively rushed for 2,478 yards combined during Chelan’s 11 wins to its one loss against Connell early in the season.
Chelan’s offense was stopped until Amsel was able to connect with Matt Peterson on a 13 yard pass play at the end of the first half. By then Connell had 21 points on the board to Chelan’s 7.
Everyone was expecting a different game in the second half. Chelan had proven itself again and again in second half efforts, but Connell was having none of that and scored with 2:54 remaining in the third to go up 28-7. An interception with only 37 seconds remaining in the third knocked some more wind out of the Goats efforts.
In the fourth quarter with 4:58 remaining, Connell’s Kade Eppich romped into the end zone for a 53 yard pass play that caught Chelan chasing. With the score 42-7, Cole Schwartz finally got Chelan’s second touchdown from a hand-off by Tanner Hendricks who replaced Amsel at quarterback late in the game.
Matt Robinson had an excellent individual effort on the field catching four passes for 93 yards. Amsel passed for 122 yards on 10 of 24 attempts. Matt Peterson received for 35 yards and a touchdown. Erick Oscarson caught two passes for 23 years and Tanner Hendricks pulled down several passes for a total of 39 yards.
Defensively, the Goats had a hard time stopping Matt Hadley who scored three times for the Eagles. The Connell team was fast, aggressive and almost perfect on Saturday.
Chelan senior tackle Jerry Isenhart Jr. was honored with the Sportsmanship Medal after the game. This is an honor bestowed on players who have shown exceptional sportsmanship throughout a game. According to Coach Darren Talley, Isenhart is undoubtely one of the best linemen in the Caribou Trail League if not the entire state.
Consider the fact that the only other game Chelan lost this football season was to Connell early in the season says a lot about the team that emerged this year. It is the fourth year in a row that the Goats have made the State Playoffs and the second time they have made it to the semi-finals. Connell has been a sticking point for the Goats and this year was no different.
Connell will go on to play Cascade Christian this coming Saturday, December 3, in the Tacoma Dome. They lost last year to Cougars. Cascade Christian on the other hand had a difficult time beating Montesano, but did in 29-28 in a third overtime. The Cougars connected on a pass play and then converted for two points on another pass play to give them the win.
Chelan 0 7 0 7 - 14
Connell 14 7 7 14 - 42
Matt Robinson – 93 yards receiving; Michael Amsel Jr. - -1yard rushing; 122 yards passing; Erick Oscarson – 23 yards receiving; Tanner Hendricks – 9 yards receiving, 39 yards passing; Billie Poppie – 9 yards rushing; Matt Peterson – 13 yards rushing, 35 yards receiving; Cole Schwartz – 45 yards rushing.
Matt Robinson – 4 tackles; Amsel – 5 tackles; Peterson – 6 tackles; Schwartz – 6 tackles; Konnar Stevens – 6 tackles; and Asa Schwartz – 6 tackles.
Year to Date:
Matt Robinson – 77 yards rushing, 509 yards receiving, 26 yards passing
Michael Amsel Jr. – 938 yards rushing, 1296 yards passing
Erick Oscarson – 147 yards receiving
Tanner Hendricks – 36 yards receiving, 166 yards passing
Konnar Stevens – 325 yards rushing, 116 yards receiving
Billie Poppie – 135 yards rushing, 7 yards receiving
Matt Peterson – 637 yards rushing, 625 yards receiving
Cole Schwartz – 903 yards rushing, 19 yards receiving.
Congratulations to the entire football team for an incredible season of football. Following is a wrap-up on the season by Coach Darren Talley.
All of the Chelan players and coaches would like to say, “thank you to all the family, friends, and fans that supported us through the 2011 football season”. It was a year that started all the way back in the summer playing 7 on 7 passing league games at Wenatchee High School. This team came together at football camp at the end of July, with a mission and a dream. The dream and mission took its bumps and bruises before the season even began, with some key injuries, personal issues, and troubles getting everyone on track and eligible. Once those small items smoothed out the dream and the mission were back on track and took the 2011 football team deep into the playoffs where we met foe after foe that also believed and dreamed in their team. Shaking hands with Riverside (Spokane) in the crossover post season game, Cle Elum in the 1st round, Royal City in the quarter finals, and then Connell again in the semi finals is a personal testament to boys and men knowing the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, and placing two hands together in a handshake moment and memory that will last a lifetime.
Thank you to all the players (freshman to seniors) that worked in the heat of summer, and the cold in early winter always trying to put their best foot forward. Thank you to all the family and friends that braved those same elements to love and support the team. Thank you to all the coaches for their many hours on and off the field to give the team the tools needed to compete on such a high level, and are some of the best coaches in the state.
Last thank you to a group of seniors that will not be forgotten for their outstanding four years of football: As 9th graders they were a part of the first team to get back to the playoffs since 1980, and only the second time in our school’s history. A state top 16 finish. As 10th graders they were a part of the first group in Chelan history to win a post season playoff game ever pushing all the way to meet Connell the semi finals a 3rd place finish in State, which included a post season victory over Cashmere the defending state champions – the first victory over Cashmere since 1999. A state top four finish. They will be remembered for the quarter final playoff game verses Omak at the Wenatchee Apple Bowl that went back and forth, with Chelan finally kneeling in victory formation in a 27 – 22 win. Some calling this the best high school game they had ever seen. As 11th graders they were a part of the first group in Chelan history to win 10 games in a season. They were the Undefeated CTL League Champs for the first time in 50 years. They brought the “Bronze Shoe” home in the victory over Cashmere in the regular season that had been in Cashmere’s trophy case since 1999. They only lost to one team - Connell the defending state champions (twice) once in non league play, and again in the quarter final playoff match up. A state top eight finish. As 12th graders they gave everyone a smile each day as they entered the locker room, with their calm, cool, always looking for fun attitude. They gave us dance moves in the locker room to music that will not be forgotten. They will be remembered for the regular season game against Cashmere at Cashmere where the game ended on the one yard line going into the end zone, with no timeouts left and the clock expiring, one point short in a 35 – 36 loss that some think was the best high school game again that they had ever seen. They gave us friendships for a lifetime, without the normal small squabbles that happen in a year with 50 high school boys together in close quarters for 3 months. They gave us another year to remember going 9 – 4, and reaching the semi final game versus Connell in the playoffs again for the third time in 3 years taking home another 3rd place in state trophy. A state top 4 finish. They will be remembered for the 1st round playoff victory over Cle Elum in a driving snow storm. They will be remembered for their quarter final victory over Royal at the Wenatchee Apple Bowl on a frozen snow covered field. History makers and great memory makers you will be remembered. They will be remembered as the first group in Chelan history to go “four years straight to State in a row”. They will be remembered as more than football players – they became our sons.
Thank you Seniors it has been an unbelievable four years together and you will not be forgotten!