Exeter Blue Hawks Football '15

Fri, Sep 04, 2015 07:00 PM @ Exeter
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Timberlane 0 0 3 6 9
Exeter 0 7 7 0 14

Rally falls short, Timberlane drops heartbreaker

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Friday, September, 04 By David Willis
Staff writer

EXETER, N.H. — For a moment, it appeared a dream debut could be within Timberlane's grasp.

With just over a minute to play in the game, Exeter's snap on a field goal attempt was low, and Austin Hall busted through the line and dragged down the holder to give the ball to the Owls.

Quarterback Jason Hughes then led Timberlane on a hurry-up drive, twice connecting with Jacob Post to bring the ball to the Blue Hawks 32-yard line. But after a dropped pass and two incompletions, a desperation heave was intercepted with four seconds left and Exeter took a 14-9 victory.

"We were right there against a team many think could win a state title," said Owls coach Kevin FItzgerald. "But a play here and a bad penalty there put us in a bad spot. We would make a play, and then a mistake would hurt us."

Timberlane appeared to be in prime position for a rally midway through the fourth. Zach Thibeault burst  into the backfield for a sack to force Exeter to punt with 6:37 to play. 

But on the ensuing kick, two Owls knocked down the punter and were flagged for roughing the kicker. 

"That play was huge," said Fitzgerald. "It was the right call. Our guys really hit the punter. That ended up being a very costly penalty."

Exeter followed that penalty by running 11 more plays, burning more than five minutes and all three of Timberlane's time outs. 

The Owls took the ball back at the Blue Hawks 21, and one connection to Tyler Furey and a 31-yard catch-and-run to Post gave the Owls a chance with 23 seconds left. But they would not pass the 32-yard line.

"Hughesy made a few big plays for us," said Fitzgerald. "He is athletic and a great competitor. But it's tough when there's just over a minute left and no time outs. But we competed."

Timberlane was limited to just 27 yards of offense in the first half. But the Owls opened the second half with an impressive drive, and Hughes put them on the board with a 37-yard field goal.

Exeter responded with a score, but the Owls bounced right back. A Post 33-yard touchdown was called back for holding, but four plays later Hughes took a broken play and scrambled 30 yards for a score. However, that was as close as Timberlane would get.

"We showed guts and were right there with a very good Exeter team," said Fitzgerald. "But we just made too many mistakes and it cost us." 

Game Statistics:


Second Quarter

E — Kyle Ball 1 run (Caden Blazek kick), 5:28

Third Quarter

T — Jason Hughes 37 field goal, 2:38

E — Sam Kalish 21 run (Blazek kick), 1:15

Fourth Quarter

T — Hughes 30 run (pass failed), 9:27



RUSHING: T (26-97) — Jason Hughes 10-44, Tyler Furey 13-47, Jake Post 3-5; E (35-201) — Kyle Ball 16-114, Allen Jackson 9-27, Cam Flanagan 8-51, Sam Kalish 1-9, Mason Wallace 1-0

PASSING: T — Hughes 4-16-2, 67; E — Ball 2-4-0, 15

RECEIVING: T — Post 2-40, Kyle Faucher 1-20, Furley 1-7; E — Jackson 1-10, Hunter Long 1-5

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