Young Players Step Up in 46-0 Win
By REX ZIMMERMAN
South Barber capitalized on Norwich mistakes to blank the Eagles 46-0 Saturday afternoon. The Chieftains led 30-0 at halftime and ended the game on the 45-point mercy rule with about four minutes left in the third quarter.
South Barber, 2-0, will host Burrton this Friday, September 16, and will host Attica/Argonia on the following Friday, Sept. 23, for homecoming.
Copter Brings In Game Ball
Norwich was kicking off a fundraising drive for its school foundation, and a helicopter landed at midfield to bring in the game ball on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The game had been postponed from Friday evening due to bad weather in the area and the fact that Norwich received around seven inches of rain a couple of days earlier. Despite the extra day to dry out, the field was still pretty soggy in some areas.
The Eagles were fired up as they took the opening kickoff on their own 25, but that excitement was quickly dashed by the Chieftain defense, highlighted by a sack by freshmen Trevor Rooks, who was one of several young players stepping up while starters Spencer Kimmell and Ruben Torres stayed on the sidelines nursing minor injuries.
The Eagles were forced to punt, but the snap went over the kicker’s head and was downed on the 1-yard line. Senior quarterback Grant Cantrell went right up the middle on the next play and also ran for the extra points as the Chieftains were on top 8-0.
Norwich again couldn’t get a first down against the Chief defense, but the punt was fumbled right back to the Eagles. This time, key plays by defensive backs Brian Farney and Trae Rathgeber helped set up another punt to the South Barber 13.
Cantrell then went to work, finding sophomore Brent Grismer out to the 34. Another pass to Rathgeber got the ball inside Norwich territory, where the drive seemed to be stalled South Barber facing a 3 down and 18 situation. Cantrell stepped back, found sophomore Cole Coggins coming across the miiddle, and tossed him short pass, which he turned into a big play by busting tackles down to the Eagle 15. It took all four downs, but Cantrell finally scored from 11 yards out for a 16-0 lead after a pass to sophomore Neal Gugelmeyer for the points after.
Trevor Rooks stopped Norwich’s next drive with a fumble recovery on the Eagle 23, but the Chiefs found the moist field made the ball slippery for them, too, as they fumbled the ball right back. Neither team could get a drive going as the game rolled into the second quarter, but a sack by junior Kolby Pavlu helped force an Eagle punt, and waiting on the receiving end was Trae Rathgeber. He started left, reversed field to pick up some blocking, and had an escort all the way for the touchdown, making it a 24-0 lead after Cantrell added the extra points.
orwich fumbled the ball back to South Barber after the kickoff with Trae Rathgeber recovering on the Eagle 10. Three plays later Cantrell carried over from two yards out for a 30-0 after the missed extra points try.
The Eagles had their best shot at points late in the first half after taking a Chieftain punt at midfield. They used a couple of good runs and penalties to get th ball down to the South Barber 4 yard line. The defense held tough, however, and stopped Norwich on 4th down at the 5 yard line as time ran out in the half.
Quick Second Half
Coach Matt Cantrell and his squad didn’t waste any time putting this game in the win column after taking the opening kickoff to start the second half. A run by senior Gavin Doherty moved the ball out the the Chieftain 26. The ball was fumbled on the next play, but picking it right up was Cole Coggins, and he just kept on going all the way for a 40 yard touchdown and 38-0 lead after Gugelmeyer added the extra points.
Following the next Norwich punt, Cantrell stepped back and hit Gugelmeyer with a pass and he raced to the endzone untouched for a 44-0 lead. The Chiefs missed ending the game right there as the extra points try failed.
Gavin Doherty intercepted an Eagle pass on the 18, but the Chieftains were stopped on downs at the Norwich one yard line. No problem, though, as Trevor Rooks (remember, he’s having a big game) sacked the Eagle runner in the endzone for a safety. That ended the game with a final 46-0 score.
South Barber quarterback Grant Cantrell was 10 of 13 passing for 146 yards and a touchdown and carried the ball 14 times for 15 yards. Top rushers were Neal Gugelmeyer with 43 yards on 13 runs and Cole Coggins with 47 yards on one carry. Trae Rathgeber had 6 yards on 2 runs. Gugelmeyer led receivers with 5 catches for 83 yards followed by Cole Coggins with 1 reception for 28 yards and Brent Grismer one catch for 20 yards. Trae Rathgeber caught 3 passes for 15 yards.
The Chieftain defense played outstanding football, holding a big Norwich offense to just 28 yards rushing on 32 carries. The Eagles were also 0 for 5 passing.
Leading the way was defensive back Trae Rathgeber with 12 total tackles, with Neal Gugelmeyer adding 8 stops and Kolby Pavlu and Trevor Rooks 7 tackles each. But this was a total team defensive effort, and also getting on the tackle charts were Gavin Doherty, Grant Cantrell, Brian Farney, Gage Cantrell and Kadin Banks.
The Chieftains host Burrton this Friday.