Fortunately for the Beavers their opponents, the TMI Panthers, proved to be a welcome opponent for turning their luck around, as Falls City’s running game and tough defense was enough to come out of TMI with a decisive 40-6 victory.
“It feels good to get the win,” said Falls City head coach Mark Kirchhoff. “We struggled early but our busts are getting less and less every week. We’re starting to eliminate our mistakes. We thought we handled it better. In the second half we were able to move the ball well and open some holes.”
After a scoreless first quarter, the Beavers turned it up a notch in the second quarter, scoring thrice. With 11:20 on the clock, junior quarterback Cameron Soto veered right and took the ball into the end zone on a 10-yard run. The extra point by senior Scott Lyssy was good, giving the Beavers a 7-0 edge.
Later in the quarter, at the 6:29 mark, junior running back Phillip Lyssy scored on an 8-yard run, with Scott Lyssy’s kick being true once more. The last score of the first half came with 3:29 until halftime as senior running back Tyler Wiatrek scored his first of four rushing touchdowns of the game, this one off an 11-yard run. The extra point attempt failed, however, leaving the score at 20-0 as both teams headed for their locker rooms at halftime.
In the second half, the Beavers kept the game well in hand. The lone score of the 3rd quarter came with 8:59 to go as Wiatrek scored his second touchdown of the night on a 9-yard run. Like before, though, the extra point attempt failed, leaving the score at 26-0 heading into the final quarter of the ball game.
In the 4th quarter, both of Falls City’s touchdowns came on the legs of Wiatrek. At the 11:48 mark, Wiatrek scored on a lengthy 45-yard run, with Scott Lyssy’s kick finding its mark. Wiatrek’s and the Beavers’ final score of the night came with 4:01 left to play on a 3-yard run. Lyssy’s final kick was good, giving the Beavers a commanding 40-0 lead. The TMI Panthers would not go down without a fight, as they put together a drive that resulted in a touchdown off of a 1-yard run. The extra point attempt would fail, however, leaving the score at 40-6 as time expired.
By night’s end, the Beavers gained 441 yards of total offense, with 360 rushing and 81 passing. The Panthers, by comparison, gained 193 yards of total offense, with 49 on the ground and 144 through the air. Despite the score, both teams saw the officials’ yellow handkerchiefs fly repeatedly as the Beavers were flagged 11 times for 100 yards and the Panthers committed 8 penalties for 70 yards. In the battle over turnovers, the Panthers threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles while the Beavers threw only one interception.
Despite the negatives, Kirchhoff praised his defense for their efforts. “I thought defensively we were better,” said Kirchhoff. “We tackled well and we were pretty solid. It wasn’t anything as far as an alignment issue. We were just getting comfortable.”
This week the Beavers welcome the Yorktown Wildcats to Beaver Stadium for their annual Homecoming game.
Kirchhoff said that containing the Wildcats’ speed and explosiveness will be a real task for his young squad to accomplish.
“They’re pretty solid and keep coming at you with that tremendous speed,” said Kirchhoff. “That’s gonna be a huge task for us, trying to contain them and tackle well. We’re hoping we can control the football and keep it on the ground.”
Kickoff in Falls City is set for Friday, September 16 at 7:30 p.m.