Special to the County Press
WOODSBORO – The 2012 edition of the “Bird Bowl” was a tale of two teams with two very different stories, with Woodsboro edging out Pettus, 42-34.
The Pettus Eagles were a playoff team last season, but were looking for their first win of this season. The Woodsboro Eagles just missed the playoffs last season and came into this game with an impressive 6-1 record.
Throw out the records and any other pregame talk because when these two friendly rivals get together, anything can and usually does happen.
Tyler Quesada rushed for 239 yards, scored three touchdowns, threw for two touchdowns, and threw for a couple of two-point conversions to lead the Woodsboro Eagles to an exciting victory over the Pettus Eagles last Friday night in Woodsboro. With the win, Woodsboro improves to 7-1 on the year and evens their district record at 1-1.
“We were not surprised by Pettus at all,” said receiver J.T. Blaschke. “They are a much better team than their record indicates and they always play us tough. We made a lot of mistakes out there tonight and we will need to work harder at practice to correct ourselves. Coach Miller always tells us that if we practice well, we will play well.”
Both teams started slow as indicated by a scoreless first quarter. Woodsboro took the early momentum during the second quarter by stopping Pettus on a fourth and seven. Four plays later, Quesada fired a pass to Jacob Nesloney who broke a tackle and turned the play into a 39-yard touchdown pass.
Conner Payne kicked the extra point to make it 7-0 midway through the second quarter.
Pettus wasted little time in letting everyone know they came to play. On their next series, Casey Jones broke free for a 63-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7-7.
The fireworks continued as Quesada raced 47 yards for a touchdown on Woodsboro’s next series. The kick was no good and Woodsboro led 13-7 with 6:16 left in the first half.
With time winding down in the first half, Nesloney sacked the Pettus quarterback and jarred the ball loose. Nesloney recovered for Woodsboro, giving his team excellent field position at the Pettus 36-yard line.
Facing a fourth and 15, Quesada hit Debray Bonner with a screen pass that Bonner turned into a touchdown, giving Woodsboro a 19-7 lead after one half of play.
The momentum continued for Woodsboro. Andy Villareal took the second-half kickoff and returned it 46 yards to the Pettus 49-yard line. Seven plays later, Quesada followed his blockers around the right side in route to a 27-yard touchdown run. Quesada hit Logan Moses with a pass for the two point conversion exten-ing the Woodsboro lead to 27-7.
Woodsboro’s Zach Lopez alertly recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Woodsboro was unable to take advantage as they fumbled on their next two series. Pettus took advantage, by scoring to make it 27-14.
Pettus attempted an onsides kick and Wyatt Foss recovered for Woodsboro. On the very next play, Quesada outraced everyone for a 52-yard touchdown run. Quesada hit Villareal with a pass for the two-point conversion to make it 35-14 after three quarters of play.
The scoring and some good defense continued into the final quarter. Pettus scored to cut the lead to 35-21 and attempted another onsides kick that was recovered by Freddie Arriaga.
Woodsboro drove deep into Pettus territory, but an interception in the end zone stopped the drive. David Carmichael intercepted a pass to end Pettus’s next series.
Woodsboro put together a drive that was capped by a Bonner two-yard touchdown run. Payne kicked the extra point to make it 42-21.
Pettus fought back and added two more scores to make it 42-34 before Woodsboro managed to run the clock out. Bonner added 140 rushing yards for Woodsboro.
“It feels good to win again,” said Jonathan Flores. “We did not have as good a game defensively as we would have liked, but a win is a win and we will take it. We missed some coverage assignments tonight and we did not tackle as well as we should have. We will fix it though.”
Blaschke and Flores both agreed it will take their very best effort to beat Falls City next week.
“We will need to practice hard all week and make sure we follow our game strategy with no room for error,” both players said.
“Falls City is as good as they come. It will be up to everyone on our team to step-up and contribute something big or, small to go up there and bring back a win for us. We hope to see our whole community behind us.”
Woodsboro will travel to Falls City this Friday night to take on the Beavers. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.