2016-11-10 / Sports

Pickford Wins Regional Football Title in Thriller

By Stephen King


The Pickford Panthers won their first eight-man football district title Friday, November 4, with a 30-28 victory over Engadine in overtime on the road. Here the team poses for a picture after the game with their trophy. This year’s championship team includes (not in order) players Joey Boik (#11), Jonah Bailey (#12), Derrick Edington (#16), Jimmy Storey (#18), John LaMothe (#20), Garrett Reed (#24), Ben Sullivan (#25), Matt Bush, Austin Beamish (#28), Lane Warner (#30), Wyatt Boik (#32), Quynton Pollman (#35), Jack Horton (#52), John Eckola (#54), Garrett Dodds (#56), Melanie McKechnie (#61), Jacob Cornwell (#65), Seth VanLuven (#69), Chuck Goeschel (#72), Nolan Benson (#75), Nathan Kronemeyer (#78), Travis Green (#80), and Trevor Shaw (#85), head coach Josh Rader, assistant coaches Steve Mary and Garde Kangas, and manager Haydn Rader. The Pickford Panthers won their first eight-man football district title Friday, November 4, with a 30-28 victory over Engadine in overtime on the road. Here the team poses for a picture after the game with their trophy. This year’s championship team includes (not in order) players Joey Boik (#11), Jonah Bailey (#12), Derrick Edington (#16), Jimmy Storey (#18), John LaMothe (#20), Garrett Reed (#24), Ben Sullivan (#25), Matt Bush, Austin Beamish (#28), Lane Warner (#30), Wyatt Boik (#32), Quynton Pollman (#35), Jack Horton (#52), John Eckola (#54), Garrett Dodds (#56), Melanie McKechnie (#61), Jacob Cornwell (#65), Seth VanLuven (#69), Chuck Goeschel (#72), Nolan Benson (#75), Nathan Kronemeyer (#78), Travis Green (#80), and Trevor Shaw (#85), head coach Josh Rader, assistant coaches Steve Mary and Garde Kangas, and manager Haydn Rader. Friday night, November 4, the Regional Championship for 8-man football saw the host Engadine Eagles putting their 10-0 record to the test against the 9-1 Pickford Panthers. In their first meeting, in Pickford, the Eagles were able to steal away a thrilling 42-32 win, the first time the Eagles have been able to beat the Panthers since 1998. However, that night, the Panthers were playing without Derrick Eddington, their 6’7”, All Conference and All U.P. Wide Receiver. This night, with Eddington back on the field, the Panthers were able to return the favor and come out of Engadine with an equally thrilling 30-28 win.

Panthers coach Josh Rader said, “This was a great win. Engadine is an excellent, well-coached team. They’ve had a great year. But, tonight, our line did a great job. Wyatt Boik and Lane Warner did an excellent job of moving the football on the ground. Then, Derrick came up big for us a couple of times tonight. I’m really proud of these guys.”

Pickford started off well with Warner and Boik both making some good runs. Eddington capped off the drive by using his height and reach to reel in a high lob pass and go for the touchdown. They added the extra two and were up 8-0.

Engadine came right back. With Scout Bigger moving the ball well, it looked as if Engadine was going to make an instant reply to the Panthers score. A loose ball on about the one yard line ended that drive. They were able to hold the Panthers and then on the next drive, were able to cross the end zone. And the battle was on.

Back and forth the momentum went as they traded scores. Then, just before the half, Pickford was able to add another and, at the half, the Panthers were up 22-14.

Then, two of the top scoring offenses in the 8-man game went silent in the third.

Early in the fourth, Engadine added a touchdown on a Bigger run. A Brawley dive added two more and the game was tied at 22.

On their next possession, the Panthers were unable to breach the Eagles defense. A short punt gave the Eagles good field possession. A Brawley to Devon Legault pass moved them deep into Panthers territory. A few plays later, another Bigger run added six before the Panthers defense went into action and held on the conversion.

With time ticking down, it was the Panthers’ turn. Again, led by some excellent running by Boik and Warner, the Panthers were able to move the ball well. A short Boik run capped off the drive and the score was tied at 28. Then, Coach Rader added a little trickery: the infamous half back pass. This was a short pass to Boik that Boik then passed to Eddington, who made the easy catch for the extra two.

With two minutes left, with one of the most explosive offenses in the U.P., the game was far from over. The Eagles tried desperately to get a score but stalled at about midfield and turned the ball over on downs. With about a minute left, the Panthers ran out the clock for the 30-28 win.

Wyatt Boik said, “First, I want to thank my line. Without them, we couldn’t have done this. And, this was a great win tonight.”

Even though he was a little worried about the Eagles taking the lead late in the game, he said, “I know we are a good team and knew we could come back. The line did a great job making the holes and we were able to go down and get the score. Derrick made a nice catch and we got the lead and the win. Now, we have to start getting ready for next week.”

Pickford will face North Central of Powers in Gladstone Saturday, November 12.

Panthers Offensive Statistics: Jonah Bailey, four of six passing for 78 yards and a touchdown; Wyatt Boik, 40 carries for 249 yards and three touchdowns, six of six passing for 37 yards; Lane Warner, seven carries for 37 yards, six receptions for 43 yards; Derrick Edington, four receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown.

Panthers Defensive Statistics: Lane Warner, nine tackles; Garrett Dodds, eight tackles, one sack; Chuck Goeschel, eight tackles; John Eckola, six tackles; John LaMothe, six tackles; Wyatt Boik, five tackles; Derrick Edington, four tackles, one sack; Jack Horton, three tackles.

Eagles Offensive Statistics: Trevor Brawley, four of seven passing for 100 yards, five carries for 10 yards; Scout Bigger, 23 carries for 273 yards and a touchdown, one reception for 25 yards; Jarrett Dailey, five carries for 17 yards; Andrew Blanchard, two receptions for 42 yards; Devon Legault, one reception for 33 yards.

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