H-BC claims State Nine-Man Crown
For three years it has been a dream. A dream that has died one game short of a state final appearance twice. But this year, things were different. This year, Hills-Beaver Creek had the desire, and the talent to capture the Minnesota State Nine-Man Championship. But it didn’t come easy. The Patriots and their foe, the Argyle Eagles, rallied back and forth in the first half of play to carry a 14-14 tie into half time. But it was H-BC breaking loose in the third quarter, scoring two TDs to gain a 28-14 lead. Argyle answered back mid-way through the fourth quarter to come within seven. It was then the game went down to the wire. The Eagles, stationed at the 23 line after a face mask penalty was assessed on H-BC, Argyle’s quarterback Nathan Lubarski completed a 19-yard pass to Chris Feller to the four. With 27 seconds on the clock, H-HB Coach Dave Deragisch called a time out. When they got the ball on the four yard line I started thinking about what defense to run,” Deragisch recalled. But then Jason (Bosch) came through and made a big tackle setting them back to the 11.” With just one second away from a state championship, Deragisch once again called for a time out. “I just started thinking again about how to keep them from scoring,” Deragisch added. How to keep Argyle from scoring was on everybody’s mind. But those thoughts were soon erased when senior Neil Bly tipped Lubarski pass as time ran out and the H-BC Patriots were named the 1990 State Nine-man champs. “It’s just a great feeling,” Deragisch said. “I really have to give the players all the credit, and have to feel good for them. They’ve put in a lot of work over the years to earn this.” From the very start of Friday’s game, victory swirled through the minds of the Patriots and their fans. But Argyle posed as a threat from their opening drive. Beginning at the 37-year line, the Eagles marched down the field in six plays. They scored from four yards out when Jon LaBine carried it in with 10:00 to play. The Patriots stopped their two-point conversion attempt for a 0-6 score. The Patriots answered back immediately. Set up at the 15-yard line, Bly picked up two yards, followed by a Chad Miller run for five. Once again, Miller ran the ball for the needed first down yardage. Stationed at the 36-yard line, Miller sprinted into the end zone as the line opened a passage with 7:54 to go in the first quarter, the Patriots held a slim 7-6 lead. Discontent to trail, the Eagles once again plotted for another score. Argyle began at the 10-yard line, eventually moving the ball to the one-yard line when LaBine ran it. One of the Eagles’ main running attacks, Jason Yutrzenka, scored the two-point conversion to take the lead, 7-14 with 3:09 to go. But the Patriots answered back as Miller ran the ball on the three occasions for first down yardage at the 25-yard line. With first and 10, Miller was dropped back for a loss of three on the play. Next, quarterback Blake Wysong bobbled the ball and recovered for another three-yard loss. With third and 16, Wysong fired off a 39-yard pass that was caught by Scott Ebert at the 22-yard line. Miller and Bly shared the next three plays, driving the ball to the 15-yard line. On fourth and five, Wysong hit Ebert for a TD. Bosch’s extra point kick sailed through the goal posts to knot the game at 14-14. The Patriots stopped Argyle on their next three possessions. On the first attempt, the Eagles were forced to punt it away. However, the Patriots were unsuccessful in their scoring bid. On the second Argyle possession, Tim Baker intercepted a Lubarski pass and the Pates would take over at the 27-yard line, where the Pates would begin an eight-play drive. With fourth and seven at the 33-yard line, the Patriots faked a punt, but fell just short of the first down. With just 51 seconds left in the first half, the Patriots began at the 12-yard line. A Wysong pass to Jason Langford moved H-BC to the 38-yard line for a first down. Once again, Wysong targeted Langford, but this pass would be deemed incomplete. On third and 10, Miller ran it to the 29-yard line for the first down. As 29 seconds remained on the clock, Wysong carried the ball nine yards. On second and 1, the senior quarterback hit Ebert for a five-yard gain and a first down. On the next play, Wysong, unable to find an open receiver, was sacked as time expired. On H-BC’s first offensive series of the second half, the Patriots started their way downfield from the 15. Bly and Miller each gained two yards in a carry, followed by a completed pass from Wysong to Bosch. In the next five plays, junior running back Miller moved the ball to the 13-yard line. However, the Pates were called on holding. With third and 10, Wysong hit Wade Kellenberger for first down yardage at the seven-yard line. Miller ran it in on the next play for H-BCs third TD of the day. With 8:01 to go, Bosch booted the extra point for a 21-14 ball game. After Argyle was unsuccessful in their next drive Ebert returned the punt to the 29-yard line. A procedure against the Pates moved the locals back five yards. On first and 15, Miller broke through and sprinted 55 yards for his third TD of the day. Bosch’s extra-point kick upped the lead, 28-14. This score by Miller tied the Prep Bowl record for most TDs scored rushing. This record is currently held by five other individuals. The Eagles got on the board with 5:24 to play in the fourth. With first and 10 at their 20 yard line, the Eagles came within the TD of the Patriots as LaBine raced in for six points. Their PAT kick was good for a 28-21 score. H-BC performed two more times on the offense, but were unable to capitalize on either drive. Then, the eagles began their move to the goal. But as fate would have it, Bosch came up with a big defensive play, followed by Bly tipping the ball incomplete for the state title as time ran off the clock. “All of our players came through and made big plays when they needed to be made,” Deragisch said. “I just think all of the guys who played, everyone of them made a big play in the game, whether it was catching, running, throwing or hitting, they all came through.” Indeed the Patriots did come through. One of the most under-rated players this season, Wysong, completed 8-13 passes Friday morning for 139 yards and one TD. On the receiving end was Ebert with three catches for 61 yards and a TD. Langford and Bosch each nabbed two for 27 and 21 yards, respectively. And Wade Kellenberger caught one pass for 20 yards. Miller, who reestablished a new Prep Bowl record in number of yards rushing, claimed 217 yards in 27 carries and three TDs. He was joined in that division by Bly with 24 yards in 10 jaunts. The team charted 245 yards on the ground in 41 runs and 139 yards in the air. Argyle was contained to 171 yards on the ground in 47 runs. Leading that division was LaBine with 60 yards in 18 runs and three TDs. Yutrzenka gained 55 yards in 11 runs. In their passing game, Lubarski was 8-15 for 95 yards. He was intercepted once by Baker. On the receiving end of Lubarski’s passes were Chris Urbaniak and wade St. Germain with two each for 24 and 29 yards, respectively. Feller, Yutrzenka, Chad St. Germain and LaBine each caught one pass for 18, 12, 12, and two yards, respectively. Going into Friday’s game, the patriots knew Argyle was capable of a strong running game. Deragisch noted his squad “made some adjustments” after the first quarter, switching from a 4-4 defense to a 4-3. However, “It was their passing game at the end that hurt us. I was surprised by how well they could throw the ball,” he recalled. Darin Knobloch finished the day just one tackle short of a Prep Bowl record. Knobloch recorded 20 tackled, while teammates Rich Westphal and Tim Baker each had seven. Four players were cited with six tackles: Wade Kellenberger, Langford, Bosch and Bly. Kellenberger was also credited with a fumble recovery. Pulling down five each were Ebert and Stuart Moser, while Marc brown and Damon Knobloch had three apiece. Before his knee injury Friday morning, Jon Blomgren tallied two tackles. The Patriots end the season with a 14-0 mark and the State Nine-Man Championship.