September 5th-6th-ANTWERP: A stoppage in play and postponement in mid-game did nothing to shortchange the intensity of the contest between Antwerp and the visiting Hilltop Cadets. A sizable portion of this game was played on Friday night, as scheduled, but surrounding thunderstorms delayed the completion of the match-up until Saturday afternoon.
The Archers drew first blood as quarterback Josh Poulson completed a 67 yard pass to Trenton Copsey for a first quarter touchdown. Running back Justice Clark was able to pound in the two point conversion attempt, giving Antwerp an early 8-0 lead. On the ensuing kick-off, however, Mikel Burlew exploded for a 75 yard return and touchdown for the Cadets. Hilltop quarterback Quinn Smith tried to even the score with a conversion of his own, but his pass fell incomplete. This made the score 8-6 Archer advantage.
Hilltop took the lead in the second period. Tyler Suboski was on the receiving end of a 30 yard touchdown strike from Smith. Again, the two point conversion pass attempt was missed by Smith. Still the Cadet had taken control of the game, 12-6.
The third quarter saw the Cadets add three more points to their total, thanks to the leg of Justin Ashenfelter. The kicker nailed a 29 yard field goal for the score. The Antwerp combination of Poulson and Copsey wasn’t finished quite yet, though, as the quarterback and receiver hooked up for a 15 yard touchdown pass. Jarett Brute made the first extra point of the game by either side, and the third period concluded to a 15-15 tie.
Defense ruled the fourth quarter, as both offenses struggled to put points on the board. In fact, the first score of the period came with only 13 seconds left on the clock. Ashenfelter landed an impressive 43 yard field goal to give Hilltop the victory over Antwerp, 18-15.
In the losing effort, Antwerp actually out gained the Cadet offense with 355 total yards versus Hilltop’s 278. This advantage came from a huge rushing differential, as the Archers ran for 161 yards as a team, while Hilltop only managed to rush for 38. The Cadets ruled the skies, however, passing for 240 yards compared to Antwerp’s 194.
Hilltop also won the turnover battle, throwing only 1 intereception as opposed to the Archers 2 pics. Antwerp did control the time of possession, holding the ball more than twice as long as the Cadets.
This game was won predominantly on the arm of Smith who completed 16 of 33 passes for 240 yards for Hilltop, adding a touchdown and interception to those numbers. Smith was also the team’s leading rusher, carrying the ball 11 times for 23 yards. Running back David Smith had 7 rushes for 13 yards.
The leading receiver for the Cadets was Zack VanDyke, hauling in 6 receptions for 117 yards. Tyler Suboski made 5 catches for 61 yards, and Mikel Burlew looked in 4 passes for 53 yards.
Antwerp’s Poulson went 9 for 16 passing, with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Both of those touchdowns were caught by receiver Trenton Copsey, who reeled in 5 catches for 118 yards. Willie Jones had 5 receptions for 54 yards.
Nick Barnhouse led the Antwerp rushing attack with 19 attempts and 99 yards. Justice Clark adde 11 rushes for 66 yards.
Perhaps the biggest story on the night, rushing wise, at least, was the -18 yards dealt to Poulson. The Hilltop defense was able to sack the mobile quarterback 3 times during the course of the game, also containing his running ability all throughout. This strategy may very well have made the biggest impact on the outcome of this game.
Next week, Hilltop will play their home opener against Holgate. Ideally, this will take place on Friday night at 7:00 P.M. But, as this week has proven, one can never be totally sure.