GARWIN - The Wolverines were ready for it, they just didn't execute.
Prepping for the onside kick in practice this week, GMG mishandled one midway through the second quarter, which proved to be a game changer in BCLUW's 48-17 rout over the Wolverines in Class A District 4 play Friday.
After the Comets (2-6, 1-4) seized a 20-14 lead with a 15-yard scamper from Taylor Case with just less than six minutes to play in the half, BCLUW pounced on the ensuing onside kick that caromed off a Wolverine before going 10 yards.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
BCLUW’s Deonce Cushinberry lowers the boom in first half action at Garwin Friday. Cushinberry rushed for a pair of touchdowns in the Comets’ 48-17 victory over the Wolverines.
"We actually prepared for that all week and talked about the ball needing to go 10 yards. It was just a mental error," said Wolverines coach Kyl Gillespie. "It's not something that we weren't prepared for, it was just a bad mental error. We kind of hung on our head on that one and they scored again causing a 14-point swing real quick."
BCLUW needed just two plays to cash in as Case used a cutback to break free on a 50-yard sprint before Connor Ubben punched in the two-point conversion to increase the lead to 28-14 entering the half.
Leading up to the crucial play, the Comets were simply trying to make the GMG offense go to work after giving the Wolverines (1-7, 0-5) a short field - and nearly a touchdown on the previous kickoff.
"On (GMG's) previous kickoff return they almost took it all the way back on us, so we wanted to at least make them run some plays. We just decided to go for it and see if we could get another score before half," said BCLUW coach Jess VanderWeert on his decision to try the onside kick.
"We executed and we were able to take advantage."
Snapping a five-game skid, the Comets picked up where they left off early in the third as Mac Simpson used a second effort to push his way into the end zone from eight yards out stretching the margin to 34-14.
Dropping its sixth game in a row, GMG ended the 20-0 run with a 34-yard field goal from Austin Vaughn, but it was too little, too late. Deonce Cushinberry and Luke Asche cemented the win with scoring runs of 5 and 10 yards respectively in the fourth.
The Wolverines drew first blood with a four-yard scamper from Vaughn to take a quick 7-0 advantage just over three minutes into the contest. The Comets responded seven minutes later with a one-yard plunge from Cushinberry. BCLUW moved in front with a three-yard sweep from Case early in the second to pull ahead 14-7. Luke Petty scooped up a Wolverine fumble on the ensuing drive and raced in for the score from six yards out to knot the game at 14 all, before the Comets running game went to work sparking a 20-0 surge.
"We came off the ball pretty hard and got them back on their heels a bit. As far as what they do, we limited their big plays for the most part," said VanderWeert.
Case rushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries, while Cushinberry added 116 yards and a pair of scores on 10 carries. Luke Asche (11 carries, 68 yards) and Mac Simpson (three carries, 51 yards) also contributed to the Comets' ground assault that finished with 440 yards on 50 carries.
Vaughn rushed for 65 yards and a score on 17 carries, while Blake Warren finished with 35 yards on nine rushes. Perry led the Wolverines' defense with 10 tackles, while Tyler Krull made nine stops and Matt Smith had eight. Warren recovered a fumble for GMG, though the home team also coughed up the football four times on the evening.
The came was called with just more than 2 minutes to play due to lightning.
BCLUW returns home to battle Iowa Valley, while GMG entertains Gladbrook-Reinbeck next Friday in the final games of the season for both squads.