“It was awesome to go home,” said Falls City head coach Steve Marbach, who graduated from Judson High School. “It looked different from when I was there. Offensively we made big plays but our defense held them to seven points. It was a monumental feat.”
After a penalty on the opening kickoff against Burton, the Beavers forced the Panthers to re-kick. The re-kick resulted in an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Austen Camber, knocking just 16 seconds off the clock. Cody Jendrusch kicked the extra point to put Falls City’s lead at 7-0. Jendrusch was a perfect 3-for-3 on extra point attempts in the game. Burton countered with 2:14 left in the first quarter on a 2-yard run by Juwan Mathis. Mathis also kicked the PAT to tie it up at 7-7, which stood through the end of the first quarter. The Beavers retook the lead at the 11:55 mark of the second quarter as Cameron Soto connected with Dean Gaskamp on a 7-yard passing score to put the score at 14-7, which stood throughout the remainder of the second quarter.
With 37 seconds left in the third quarter, Soto connected with Gaskamp again for a touchdown, this time on a 22-yard play. Rather than kick the PAT, Cody Houdmann took the snap out of the kicking formation and ran in the two-point conversion to extend the lead to 22-7. The final score of the contest came with 2:11 to play in the fourth quarter on a 52-yard run by Soto, putting the final tally at 29-7.
Statistically, the Beavers gained 306 yards of total offense, with 255 yards rushing over 35 carries and 51 yards passing over five completions. By comparison, the Panthers gained 346 yards of total offense, with 234 yards rushing over 46 carries and 112 yards passing over four completions. In terms of penalties, the Beavers were flagged seven times for 60 total yards and the Panthers were flagged 12 times for 72 total yards. In terms of turnovers, the Panthers were intercepted twice in the contest, both times by Gaskamp.
“Dean made some huge plays throughout the game but the strength of our team is you never know who the guy is going to be each week,” said Marbach. “Burton’s counter game was good but we had a plan to slow them down. It was incredibly physical throughout the night.”
This week, the Beavers will face the Tenaha Tigers in the Class 1A Division II State Semifinals. The game will take place on the northwest side of Houston at Berry Center Stadium in Cypress. Falls City is the designated Home team for the contest.
“They won the state championship last year and consistently go deep in the playoffs,” said Marbach about the Tigers. “You don’t find yourself in the state semifinals if you’re not an excellent team. It’s going to take a full effort from us this week. They’re blazing fast, so we’re going to have to execute on our tackling.”
Kickoff in Cypress is set for Friday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.