Extra points make difference in Hancock loss to Ashby
Friday night found the Hancock Owls football team in Ashby where both teams were looking for their first win of the season. Right from the start of the game the intensity level of both teams was running very high. Ashby received the opening kickoff and put together a seven play drive to score the first points of the game. After a 24 yard return by Patrick Koehl, the Owls would have great field position and their chance to put some points on the board. Hancock found pay dirt from five yards out as Austin Steege capped off an eight play drive for the Owls as he ran the ball in for six.
On Ashby's next possession the Owls picked off a pass to give them great field position. Hancock would drive the ball down to the eight yard line before the Arrow defense stiffened to keep the Owls out of the end zone.
Ashby took the ball and drove down the field and scored to make it 16-6 after a successful two point conversion. On Hancock's next drive, Ashby picked off a pass that would setup Ashby's third score of the game. Hancock would take advantage on a miscue by Ashby on the Arrows' next possession. After forcing the Arrows to go three and out, the ball went over the punter's head and Hancock would take over with great field position. It would only take the Owls two plays before Bryan Shaw ran in the ball from two yards out to make the score 24-12.
With under a minute to go in the half Arrows had the ball inside the red zone, but the Owls defense got tough and eventually forced a fumble with two seconds left in the half.
To start the second half the Owls were able to drive the ball but on fourth and long from the Arrow 23. Ashby picked off a pass to put an end to Hancock's threat. The Owls defense played tough during the third quarter forcing a punt and picking off an Arrow pass on Ashby's only two possessions of the quarter.
The Owls controlled the ball for most of the quarter but would only find the end zone once as Taylor Holleman hit Jordan Miller on a seven yard throw and catch.
Hancock started the fourth quarter just like they ended the third, with great defensive play and scoring once again on a phenomenal catch by Miller on a 31 yard pass from Steege to tie the game at 24-24 with 10:56 to go in the game. The Owls tryed to kick the extra point to take the lead, but the kick was blocked to leave the game tied.
The Arrows did not take long to retake the lead when on their next possession they scored off a deflected pass that fell into Ashby's hands for a 78 yard touchdown. The Owls got the ball back but a holding call put them into a third and long which they were not able to convert. The defense stopped the Arrows once again to get the offense back the ball, but with just under three minutes and deep in their own territory they were once again forced to punt. The Owls defense would once again put Ashby into a fourth and long. With Hancock out of timeouts the Arrows needed a first down to take the game. Ashby once again threw a jump ball to their tight-end who came down with the ball to seal the win for Ashby.
"I was very impressed at how our guys fought the entire game and came back to tie things up," commented coach Chad Christianson. "They showed a lot of heart and determination. This was one of those games when extra points really hurt you. Both teams scored four touchdowns but Ashby was successful on all of their extra tries and Hancock did not convert."