A look back at the 2AD2 Semifinals games and how Gruver and Mart made it to the Wednesday’s championship game at AT&T.
Albany Lions vs. Gruver Greyhounds
Albany jumped to an early lead after Gruver turned the ball over on downs when a fake punt failed and Albany kicked a short field goal and then Ryan Hill returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown. The Lions led 10-0 at the end of the 1st quarter.
Gruver got on the board in second quarter when Brice McLaughlin burst up the middle for a 52-yard run that put the Greyhounds deep in Lion territory. 2 plays later Creed Callaway scored from 4 yards out. Jalin Conyer ran in the two-point conversion to make the score Albany 10, Gruver 8 and that would be the halftime score.
The Greyhounds would take the lead in the middle of the 3rd quarter on a 38-yard pass from Keegan Kelp to Jalin Conyers. After the two-point conversion failed, the Greyhounds led 14-10.
The score stayed 14-10 until a flurry of scoring late in the 4th quarter. The Greyhounds pushed the lead to 22-10 on a 28-yard touchdown run from Connor Haynes and a run for the two-point conversion from Jalin Conyers with 4:24 remaining in the game. The Lions answered back on the next drive. On 4th and 10, Ben West found Hill for a 45-yard pass completion to keep the Lions alive and then two plays later West found Hill again, this time for 26-yard touchdown completion. Hill kicked the PAT and the Lions cut the Greyhound led to 22-17 with 3:34 remaining in the game.
The Lions recovered the onside kick and had a shot to retake the lead. But the Greyhound defense stepped with an interception of West pass. The Greyhounds iced the game on 29-yard touchdown run from Conyer. Callawy rushed in for the two-pint conversion and the Gruver Greyhounds wrapped up a 30-17 victory over the Albany Lions.
Mart Panthers vs. Falls City Beavers
The final score doesn’t reflect how close this game was until late.
The Panthers got on the board first on an 8-yard run from Roddrell Freeman. The snap was mishandled on point after attempt but Freeman (the holder) lobbed a pass into the end zone and Anthony Sauceda game down with it to give the Panthers an 8-0 lead at the 7:52 mark of the 1st quarter.
The Panthers pushed the score to 14-0 after recovering a Falls City fumble on a 4-yard run from Shatydrick Bailey. The two-point conversion failed.
In the 2nd quarter, the Beavers faced a 4th and 11 from the Mart 14. Mart was called for pass interference on the play and The Beavers took advantage of the fresh set of down and scored on a 4-yard run from Keyshawn Johnson to cut the Panther lead to 14-7 with 5:14 left in the first half.
Mart pushed the lead to 20-7 with 2:28 left in the half on a 20-yard run from Freeman. The PAT failed.
On the next drive, the Beavers were forced to punt. The punt was partially blocked and the Panthers took over ball at the Falls City 34 with 53 seconds remaining. The Beavers were able to keep the Panthers out of the end zone end the drive at the half at the Falls City 8-yard line to maintain the 20-7 score at the half.
There was no scoring in the 3rd quarter and the score remained 20-7 headed to the 4th quarter. But the Beavers were driving and were at the Panther’s 20-yard line. Keyshawn Johnson scored on a 5-yard run to cap an 18 play, 80-yard drive that consumed 9 minutes off the clock.
The score was now Mart 20, Falls City 13 with 10:42 remaining in the game. But that was as close as the Beavers would get as the Panthers pulled away in the 4th quarter.
Roddrell scored from 16 yards out on the fifth of five consecutive carries to push the Mart lead to 14 (27-13) with 6:40 remaining in the game.
And the next drive, the Beavers fumbled the ball away again. And on the first play after the fumble, Bailey raced down the sideline for a 68-yard score to make the score Mart 33, Falls City 13 with 3:59 left in the game.
Falls City turned the ball over on downs and Tyrek Horne but an exclamation point on the Panthers victory on the first play with a 33-yard touchdown run to make the final score Mart 40, Falls City 13.