Saturday, September 5, 2009

{south albany stuns willamette}

papa and kyler.....zac's best friend.

lane stutzman and zac hunter during the national anthem.

team captains: zachary, kyler, brycen, and lane

It was a tale of two halves at South Albany Friday night.
After allowing a touchdown late in the third quarter to visiting Willamette to make it 20-0, junior Bryce Stutzman scored an 86-yard touchdown on the ensuing kickoff to spark a 21-0 Rebels rally over the final 15 minutes of play to win the season opener, 21-20.
Stutzman, who is the focal point in South Albany's new offense, was the spark and the flame for the Rebels as the tailback amassed 143 yards on 34 carries.
On the game's opening drive, Stutzman had a 70-yard scoring run called back on a holding penalty. That followed an offensive pass interference call on the previous play, thus negating 101 total yards.
The penalties killed South's early momentum, but Stutzman knew his team would rebound.
"I think (the penalties) were a big reason why we struggled. It's tough to go and score a touchdown and have it called back," Stutzman said. "It hurt us early ... but the defense in the second half really came to play. They really brought our team back and special teams came up in a big way to help us win."
Stutzman got into the end zone again on a 9-yard run with under eight minutes remaining to get the offense on the board.
But South would take the lead thanks to a defensive stand which forced the Wolverines to punt.
As the kick left the foot of Willamette's Jacob Hughes, the lanky T.J. Gibson slipped through a seem to block the kick before senior Brandon Campo landed on the ball in the end zone.
"We've put in time everyday on special teams ... we actually didn't call for a punt block on that play, we called for a return ... but when you are 6-4 and you got long arms, that is a pretty easy thing to do," coach Tony Matta said of Gibson.
The second-year head coach knew there were bugs to work out in his new offensive scheme but he credits Friday night's turnaround to his entire team's resilience.
"Every week I tell these guys something bad is going to happen and how you react to that is going to dictate how well you do ... you have to be able to overcome the adversity during the game," says Matta. "They came out and battled and that is all they have to do."
Before Stutzman could grind out the final minutes, South's defense had to do its part.
Inside the Rebels' 10-yard-line, defensive back Zac Hunter broke up a fourth-down pass attempt in the endzone. It was the senior's second drive-ending play of the game but he says it was a total team effort.
"It was our entire defense that stepped it up in the second half," said the former quarterback in the double-wing. "We really came together as a team. It was all intensity and a great effort. The first half was not us and in the second half we played our game."
South's game will continue to rely heavily on Stutzman.
"You walk in our weight room and (Stutzman) is the hardest working guy in the room. And it shows out here when it is time to get paid," Matta said of his workhorse.
"I told Bryce that in this offense you are going to get 25 carries a night and I think he would take 45."
Stutzman's reply: "I'll take it."
South Albany 21, Willamette 20
Willamette . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 0 6 0 - 20
South Albany . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 0 7 14 - 21
First quarter
W - Woodke 3 pass from Geyer (kick failed) 7:17, 6-0
W - Visarraga 5 run (Busenbark from Geyer) 2:22, 14-0
Third quarter
W - Hidalgo 4 run (pass failed) 3:01, 20-0
SA - Bryce Stutzman 86 kick return (Robbins kick) 3:01, 20-7
Fourth quarter
SA - B. Stutzman 9 run (Robbins kick) 7:52, 20-14
SA - Campo recovery from Gibson punt block (Robbins kick) 6:08, 21-20
Individual statistics
RUSHING: Willamette 27-135, Hidalgo 21-121, Visarraga 2-11, Mohr 3-8, Geyer 1-(-1). South Albany 41- 113, B. Stutzman 34-143, L. Stutzman 2-5, Heckman2-(-2).
PASSING: Willamette, Geyer 15-28-2 150. South Albany, Heckman 4-15-0 68.
RECEIVING: Willamette 15-150, Woodke 6-38, Haines 2-33, Koehler 2-33, Hoskins 1-25, Hidalgo 4-21. South Albany 4-68, Robbins 2-38, B. Stutzman 1-22, Gibson 1-8.

1 comment:

Miss Anne said...

I bet you are beyond proud.
I can't imagine how awesome it must be to watch him compete in a sport that he not only loves, but is so good at.