September 16th, 2017

Colts come from behind to beat Fern Creek

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Ed Peak

Staff Writer


Colts come from behind to beat Fern Creek
Ryan O'Shea and Larontay Standard / photo by Ed Peak

Sometimes things become harder because of self-inflicted mistakes. DeSales' football team must have felt that way Friday night. The host Colts put on a strong second half in route to a hard earned 21-13 win over Fern Creek.

"We started off pretty slow," said senior Larontay Standard. "We thought we were going to come out and run it down their throats like we always do. We had to change it up a little bit. We worked on our passing game and that's what we did."

DeSales (4-0) found itself trailing 13-0 late in the second quarter. Fern Creek's LeSean Gray had touchdown runs of 35 and five yards. Both scores were setup because of Colts miscues.

In the first quarter, quarterback Aaron Pfaadt who misfired on his first eight passes, was intercepted by the Tigers Atorion Cook at the Tiger 49. It took Fern Creek just five plays as Gray broke tackles twice in scoring from the 35 with 8:21 left in the first quarter.

Late in the second quarter a high snap from the DeSales center to punter Max Johnson went over his head where he fell on the ball at the Tiger six. Three plays later Gray scored from the five making it 14-0 with 3:08 to go in the second quarter.

But DeSales ranked fourth in the Class 2-A Associated Press poll didn't panic and didn't flinch.

The Colts got going just before halftime at the 37 with 3:02 remaining. It took them six plays as Pfaadt hit a wide open Standard in the right corner of the end zone for a touchdown with 1:15 to play in the second quarter to pull within 13-7.

"In the first half, I don't know what it was, said Pfaadt. “I just wasn't hitting my receivers. In the second half I started running the ball, started building my confidence up. Jordan (Watkins) made those two big plays, big catches helped a lot."

Pfaadt was just two for eight in the first half but finished eight of 21 for 95 yards.

The big play for the Colts defense came early in the third quarter. Fern Creek quarterback Isaiah Hester was picked off by junior Shawn Kaufman making only his second start. Kaufman returned the pick from the DeSales 44 to the Tigers 13. A personal foul against Fern Creek moved the ball to the six. On second down Carlos Ordway's four yard run and Noah Herbert's kicked gave DeSales a 14-13 lead with 10:57 left in the third quarter.

"When I saw the ball coming through the air I knew all I had to do was brake up to it and make a good play on it," said Kaufman. "The interception made a big difference.

“I felt it was a big turning point. We had gained some momentum in the second half. The team pieced some points together that we needed to," said Kaufman.

DeSales put the finishing touches on its victory driving 63 yards in seven plays early in the fourth quarter. Chase Pfaadt's five yard run for a touchdown completed the drive with 6:52 to play. Aaron Pfaadt's 38 yard pass to a leaping Watkins was the big play during the drive.

"I believed we were going to come back because we are a second half team," said Kaufman. "We always have the stamina to come back."

A drained DeSales coach Harold Davis had nothing but praise for his team. "That was a great win for you," Davis told his team.

"We made some mistakes," said Davis. "I don't know. This group has gotten down three times against these bigger schools. I'm very impressed with the way these kids have responded. They are responding so well."

Fern Creek (2-3) ranked ninth in the Class 5-A AP poll has lost three straight. However, Davis had nothing but good words for the Tigers.

"That's another great team we've played," said Davis. "I know they are well coached. For us to come back the way we did, I'm excited."

Fern Creek had one final chance driving to the Colts 29 where on fourth down where Ryan O'Shea intercepted a Hester pass at the nine with 2:51 to play.

"It was pretty big," said O'Shea. "Our offense wasn't getting anything done so our defense had to step up and we did. I knew our team would come back really good. The second half we really got into it."

Gray finished with 77 yards in 12 carries as Fern Creek totaled 155 yards of offense.

"I think we're in a good spot," said Davis. "We've got a lot of injuries. We've got kids coming in and they are responding."

DeSales missed two field goals and missed on another scoring opportunity when Pfaadt was intercepted at the goal with 25 seconds left before halftime.

"Our mistakes created some of their (scores)," said Davis. "Aaron was throwing the ball where he was supposed to but the receivers weren't getting to where they should be. But those are things are correctable."

..............

Chris Dishman, class of 1983, a state track champion and all-state football player who played at Purdue and 13 years in National Football League with the Houston Oilers and several other teams was honored after the first quarter.

Several members of the 1987 DeSales team and coach Don Hettich were honored at halftime for their 30th anniversary.

 

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