WILBER – Wilber-Clatonia held off North Bend Central in a back and forth playoff game Friday night in Wilber.
The Wolver fifth-seeded Wolverines defeated 12th seeded North Bend Central …….in the first round of the Class C2 State Playoffs.
With the win, Wilber-Clatonia improves to 9-1 and advances to play at fourth-seeded Oakland-Craig next Friday night.
North Bend Central got the ball first and it didn’t take them long to score. A 37 yard touchdown pass from Austin Endorf to John Emanuel capped a four play drive that spanned 74 yards. The two point conversion failed, keeping the score at 6-0.
An interception thrown by Wilber-Clatonia gave the ball right back to North Bend Central at the Wilber-Clatonia 49 yard line. The defense would hold, though, forcing a three and out.
Wilber-Clatonia took over at their own 35 yard line. A 50-yard pass play by Michael Pulliam followed by another 15 yard pass play from Pulliam to Zimmerman got the Wolverines deep into Tiger territory. Hunter Cerveny scored from six yards out and the extra point was good, giving Wilber-Clatonia a 7-6 lead.
North Bend Central went three and out on their next drive and the Wolverines took over at their own 30 yard line. A 20 yard run by Coltin Rezabek and a 43-yard run by Cerveny set up a seven yard touchdown run by Rezabek. The extra point was good, giving Wilber-Clatonia a 14-6 lead.
North Bend Central took the ensuing kickoff all the way to the Wolverine 30 yard line. They took it down to the three yard line, but a penalty and a sack made it 3rd and goal from the 18. The Tigers would convert, though, on a wheel route down the far sideline, cutting their deficit to 14-13.
The next four drives of the game resulted in four punts. Wilber-Clatonia was finally able to get a scoring drive together midway through the second quarter. Passes of 14 yards and 42 yards from Pulliam to Mason Zimmerman got the Wilber-Clatonia deep into Tiger territory. Pulliam eventually capped the drive with a quarterback sneak touchdown on fourth and one. That extended the Wolverine lead to 21-13.
North Bend Central would answer, though. Starting at their own 22, two complete passes and a pass interference kept the drive alive. Then, a 49-yard touchdown pass from Endorf to Emmanuel cut the Tiger deficit to 21-19.
With time still left in the first half, the Wolverine offense was forced into a three and out and North Bend Central had one last chance to add points before half.
A 29 yard pass set up a 37 yard touchdown pass for North Bend Central with 14 second left in the second quarter, making the half time score 26-21.
Wilber-Clatonia took their first drive of the second half into North Bend Central territory, but the drive resulted in a missed field goal.
The Wilber-Clatonia defense forced a timeout, though, and Tad Moldenhauer would return the punt 60 yards for a touchdown, giving the Wolverines the lead back at 27-26.
North Bend Central got buried deep in their own territory on their next drive after an 18 yard loss on a sack by Cerveny. They were forced to punt and the Wolverines got good field position at the North Bend Central 43 yard line.
A run of 19 yards by Cerveny and 11 yards by Rezabek set up a 14 yard touchdown pass from Pulliam to Cerveny. The two pointer missed, making the score 33-26.
The Tigers responded with an eight play scoring drive that was capped by a tow yard touchdown pass. They missed the extra point, though, keeping the score at 33-32.
Wilber-Clatonia started their next drive at their own 49 yard line. Eight plays later, Pulliam rumbled into the end zone from 14 yards out, extending the Wolverine lead to 40-32 early in the fourth quarter.
The Wolverine defense held the Tiger offense to a three and they took over at their own 41 yard line. They put a time consuming drive together and Rezabek would finish the drive with a one yard touchdown run with 4:50 left in the game, extending the lead to 47-32.
The Tigers would answer, though, and put together an eight play scoring drive. The biggest chunk came on a 35 yard pass. Endorf capped the drive with a nine yard touchdown pass, his sixth touchdown pass of the game. That cut the Wilber-Clatonia lead down to 47-39 with 3:40 left in the game.
The Wolverines offense was able to move the chains on their next drive, though, running the clock out and preserving the hard-fought win.
Other Sunland playoff scores
BRLD 56, Freeman 39
McCool Junction 48, Sterling 8
Seward 42, Norris 7
Bloomfield 38, Meridian 14
Osmond 40, Diller-Odell 30
Creighton 82, Southern 28