By John A. Ballentine
The Stark County High School Rebels opened their 2017 football season at Elmwood-Brimfield last Friday evening, but came up short on the final score. The Rebels lost to the Trojans by a 36-12 margin.
The Rebels failed to score any points during the second half of the game, while the Trojans put three touchdowns on the scoreboard during those two same quarters.
Scoring began in the game with Stark County’s Hunter Keisewetter inching the football over the goal line. In what appeared at first to be a stop by Elmwood-Brimfield close to the goal line, Keisewetter was able to struggle and fight for the score. The Rebels had the extra point blocked and led 6 – 0 with 3:24 remaining in the first quarter.
Twenty-one seconds later, the Trojans’ Andrew Endres broke wide left for a 62-yard scamper to the end zone. A two-point conversion play was successful and gave Elmwood-Brimfield the 8 – 6 lead at the close of the first quarter.
With 9:36 remaining in the second quarter, Stark County regained the lead with a 15-yard pass play for their second touchdown. Once more the Rebels failed with the extra point attempt. They led 12 – 8 until the 3:04 mark of the first half.
Endres scored his second touchdown of his four on the evening with an 11-yard run. Again, the Trojans tacked on a two-point conversion and retook the lead 16 – 12 when the first half ended.
Elmwood-Brimfield scored again with 8:55 remaining in the third quarter when Endres bobbled the hand-off, dropped the ball, scooped it up and went one-yard into the end zone. Once more the two-point conversion succeeded and the Trojans were ahead 24 – 12 over the Rebels.
Although a young and inexperienced Stark County team successfully moved the ball toward the end zone on numerous attempts, they were unable to cash in for a score. At the 3:44 juncture of the third quarter, Elmwood-Brimfield behind Endres again, scored with a 12-yard pass and run play. The score stood at 30 – 12 after the Rebels blocked a pass on the two-point conversion attempt.
The fourth quarter was nearly a mirror image of the third quarter with Stark County moving the ball between the two twenty yard lines, but never scoring. Elmwood-Brimfield scored a final touchdown at the 7:14 mark of the final quarter, but failed again on the extra points attempt, making the score 36 – 12.
The two teams matched one another the remainder of the game by advancing the ball, but not being able to score again. Elmwood-Brimfield picked up the win, while Stark County looks to reverse their fortunes next week in Wyoming when hosting Lewistown. It will be a 7 p.m. kick-off time on September 1.
Around the region are scores from week one of the Rebels upcoming opponents (* indicated): *Princeville 49-9 over *Lewistown; *Annawan-Wethersfield 14-6 over Knoxville; Farmington beat
*Mercer County 42-21; *Ridgewood lost 28-27 to Peoria Heights; in overtime, *West Central topped North Fulton 12-8; Illini West crushed *United 46-22; and Abingdon downed *Mid-County 26-14.
By John A. Ballentine