KEYSTONE HEIGHTS - In the battle of 2-7 teams looking to close out 2022 on a high note, the P.K. Yonge Blue Wave brought an air assault into the Keystone Heights Indians’ back yard. Through 191 …
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS - In the battle of 2-7 teams looking to close out 2022 on a high note, the P.K. Yonge Blue Wave brought an air assault into the Keystone Heights Indians’ back yard. Through 191 passing yards, including a second play on offense flea flicker touchdown that covered 53 yards, the Blue Wave used all their weapons to hit the Indians. Not rolling over, the Indians countered with what they had, but a lack of any air threat allowed the Blue Wave to shut down Homecoming and Senior Night with a 35-22 season ender that did not close the book on 2022 the way Head Coach Chuck Dickinson wanted.
“We couldn’t stop them and we just weren’t tackling very well,” said Dickinson. “They scored five of seven possessions; we scored three of six. You have to answer when they score. We had one series that was not very good. Other than that, I thought they fought hard all night. You always want to win for the seniors and underclassman going into the off season. We have a lot of work to do to prepare for next year.”
The Indians lost the coin toss and were on offense to open the game. Using a steady dose of Cartez Daniels and Tyler Sapp pounding the rock, the Indian hallmark of grind it out in the trenches went to work and ate up the clock using over half the quarter to go the 63 yards putting the first score on the board with a Sapp touchdown from a short first and goal from three yards out. Daniels ran in the two point conversion to get ahead 8-0.
On the return, two plays later and using only :25 seconds off the clock, the Blue Wave tried and hooked up with the flea flicker, a double reverse pass that found a wide open receiver deep down the right side, caught the ball, spun and ran the last few yards into the endzone. The missed point after left the score 8-6. Back on offense, the Indians were working the ball well into Blue Wave territory when they failed to convert a fourth down pass, handing the ball back to the Blue Wave with :33 seconds left in the quarter.
The Blue Wave used their ground game highlighted by senior running back Rashuan Walden who led the Yonge ground attack of 247 yards. After the mix bag of run pass to drive to the Keystone 17 yard line, the Blue Wave found Deldrick Goston in the endzone to go up 13-8 with 7:02 remaining until half.
The Indians went right back to work with their tank battalion attack marching down the field to the four yard line. On first down and goal to go, Sapp got the ball and the entire team swarmed him using a rugby scrum to cross the goal line with 2:16 left until the half. The point after attempt was no good, 14-13 Indians with the lead. Keystone used a high pop-up kick to get the coverage under the ball and stop a Yonge runback, forcing them to go to work on the 41 yard line. Again, the deep pass was the key to driving the field, finishing with a corner touchdown pass to put the Blue Wave ahead 20-14 with :20 seconds until the half.
The third quarter was a Blue Wave highlight reel with a 60 yard run by Walden which brought the score to 27-14 at 10:32, and another four yard run for touchdown, 35-14 with 7:04 to play in the third.
Keystone never quit and finally picked off a Blue Wave pass in the fourth quarter. Sam Ulsch read the play and gave his Indian team new life with over 8:00 still to play. Keystone reached deep into the bag of tricks and pulled out a hook and ladder, pass and lateral to net over 30 yards. On a first and 10 from the 23 yard line, Daniels broke our another run and notched the final Indian score at 5:04 to get the 35-22 final score. The Indians executed an onsides kick to try one last attempt to get their hands on the ball, but the Blue Wave covered the play and ran the clock out on the ground.
“We only had 10 seniors this season,” said Dickinson. “We started four or five, had some injuries, but started four freshman tonight. We had a lot of kids that had to step up. They did well and these kids got a lot of experience this year. Hopefully that will transfer to next year, some experience we can build on.”
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