Chieftains Roll to 5-1; Biggest Games Still Ahead
Junior Runningback Brian Farney (21) follows the blocking of Neal Gugelmeyer (11) for a good gain in last Friday’s win over Norwich.
South Barber rolled to a 54-18 win over Norwich Friday night on a perfect night for football in front of a good home crowd, giving the Chieftains a 5-1 overall record and 2-0 in 8-man, Div. II District 4 play.
But by far the most important games are coming up the next three weeks. This Friday night, South Barber travels to Caldwell, which is 1-1 in district play and 2-1 overall after knocking off previously undefeated Pretty Prairie last week. The one district loss is to state-ranked Attica-Argonia. The winner will have a good foothold on one of two playoff spots in District 4, while a loss makes the playoff road much tougher. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.
After that, the Chieftains host Pretty Prairie (5-1, 1-1) which plays Attica-Argonia this week. South Barber’s final game will be on Thursday evening, Oct. 29, at the AA Titans in Argonia. Should be a fun and exciting finish to an already outstanding season.
Chieftains Strike First
South Barber took the opening kickoff at their own 30 and it looked like the drive was going nowhere after a penalty. But on 4th down and 15, junior quarterback Grant Cantrell launched a long pass down the middle to junior receiver Gavin Doherty, who caught it in stride and took it in for the 55 yard touchdown. The points after try failed but the Chieftains had a quick 6-0 lead.
That didn’t last long, however, as a good Norwich running game pounded the ball downfield and tied the game at 6-all with a 2-yard plunge.
A good kickoff return to the Eagle 32 by freshman Neal Gugelmeyer set up the next South Barber score as Cantrell found Spencer Kimmell open in the flat, and the 165-lb. junior took it the distance for a 14-6 lead after Cantrell ran for the extra points.
South Barber made it 22-6 late in the first quarter with a big dose of Neal Gugelmeyer, who ripped off runs of 14 and 12 yards to get the ball to the Norwich 15 yard line. A penalty set the ball back to the 20, but Gugelmeyer got some nice blocking up front and busted through to score on the next play. Cantrell added the extra points.
The second quarter of play was dominated by defenses as neither team was able to score, although a long run into the endzone by Gugelmeyer was called back on a penalty.
Put Game Away
The Chieftains forced a Norwich punt to open the second half of play, then started to put the game away with another big dose of Neal Gugelmeyer, who pounded the ball down to the Eagle 5 before taking it over for a 30-6 lead after also scoring the points after.
Norwich answered right back, however, with a nice scoring drive to make it a 30-12 game. After a good kickoff return by Gavin Doherty, it was Grant Cantrell doing most of the damage as he used his scrambling ability to rip off three big runs down to the Norwich 9 yard line. Gugelmeyer finished the job with a touchdown, then caught a pass for the extra points and 38-12 lead.
A scrappy Norwich squad, which came into the game with a 2-3 record, showed it still had some fight left early in the fourth quarter when they used tough running and a South Barber penalty to get a first down on the Chieftain 1 yard line. Next play, a quarterback keeper scored the final Eagle points making the score 38-18.
South Barber was far from done, however. Runs by Gugelmeyer and Cantrell and a nice pass reception by junior Brian Farney moved the ball deep into Eagle territory before a fumble stopped the drive. The Chieftain defense then did its job with Spencer Kimmell picking off a pass and sprinting 51 yards into the endzone. He also caught the pass for extra points for a 46-18 lead with just over four minutes left in the game.
The Chiefs quickly forced another Norwich punt and this time Grant Cantrell took the snap and took off on a 40 yard touchdown run. Gugelmeyer scored the points after for a final 54-18 score.
Head coach Matt Cantrell and his staff of Roy Henson and Berton Walz made a point this game to get several players into the game to give the starters a break, and they performed admirably. South Barber rolled up 269 yards rushing led by Grant Cantrell with 150 yards on 27 carries and Neal Gugelmeyer with 110 yards on 21 carries. Brian Farney ran the ball one time for 5 yards and Gavin Doherty had two carries for 4 yards.
Cantrell was 7 of 8 passing for 100 yards and two touchdowns.Gavin Doherty had two catches for 45 yards, Spencer Kimmell two receptions for 32 yards and Brian Farney one catch for 20 yards. Neal Gugelmeyer also had two receptions for 3 yards.
Spencer Kimmell was in on 21 tackles and senior Tyler Martin had 14 stops to lead the defense. Grant Cantrell had 10 tackles and assists followed by Neal Gugelmeyer with 8, freshman Cole Coggins 5 and Ruben Torres 3 stops. Also getting tackles were Kolby Pavlu, Gavin Doherty, Brian Farney, Joseph Bowden and Kadin Banks.