In a different kind of year, it was fitting that this week would dump a lot of snow and interrupt practice and shuffle some games around the area. But the game between the Rothsay Tigers and the Wheaton Herman-Norcross Warriors would be played as scheduled. It took a few plows moving snow around to get it cleared but the field looked good in shape for football.
The Tigers would win the coin toss and start on offense. After completed a pass to get the first down, they would stall and be forced to punt in their opening possession. The Tiger defense would look up to the task tonight as they forced a punt after only 3 plays by the Warriors. On their second possession the Tigers would get going, crossing midfield but a fumble would cut their drive short.
On the Warriors second possession they would find some success in the passing game getting all the way to the goal line. But an interception would stop any hopes of points and a good return would see the Tigers start around midfield. With momentum swung back over in favor of Rothsay they would look to be the first to score, but another fumble on the next play would give Wheaton Herman-Norcross the ball back right away. This time they would take advantage of the Tiger fumble and put in the end zone on a 9-yard touchdown run. After a successful 2 point conversion the Warriors would take the lead, 8-0. The Tigers would match them on their next possession scoring on a 2-yard sneak and get the extra 2 point conversion to tie the game up 8-8 midway through the second quarter.
After trading punts the Warriors would get one more chance before halftime. The Tiger defense would force a turnover on downs and get one more chance themselves. After getting back to Warrior territory, Rothsay would take a shot downfield on a long pass attempt, but an interception would stop them for a halftime score of 8-8.
In the second half the Warriors would waste no time converting a long pass on the first play of the half and using that to lead them into the end zone on an 8-yard pass. The Tigers first possession of the half would yield the same result but by running the ball, eventually scoring on a 9-yard run to tie the game 14-14. Rothsay would force another punt and get the ball back. Using a long drive and they would take their first lead of the night on the 14th play of the drive and throwing for a touchdown on a 4th and 3 from the 7-yard line. After failing the 2 point attempt the Tigers would lead 20-14 halfway through the 4th quarter.
Trailing for the first time the Warriors would have to find a way into the end zone. On a 3rd an 8 a Tiger interception would almost seal the win, but a fumble during the interception, would not only give the Warriors the ball again but a fresh set of downs. They would use the time and eventually tie the game on a 1-yard touchdown run. With only 30 seconds left the 2 point attempt would be the game winner as the runner just crossed the line before fumbling the ball into the end zone. With only seconds remaining the Tigers could not match the comeback and the game would end Whaton/Herman-Norcross 22 Rothsay 20.
“I thought we fought hard,” Rothsay coach Joshua Nordick said after the game. “We controlled the line of scrimmage, but they made a few more plays then we did and got it done when it counted.”
The Tigers were led by senior Colby Larson (31 carries for 239 yards, 1TD, and 10 tackles) behind a offensive line consisting of Karsyn Zilmer, Ethan Bennett, Chris Carrillo, Wylie Brenden, and Jett Kulack.