Hawks erase 14-0 deficitMid-Prairie picks up 4th win in a row with comeback
WELLMAN — The Mid-Prairie football team refused to back down, Friday, at Dwight G Sattler Field.
Not when it trailed by two touchdowns, nor when a Tipton drive lasted 13 plays at the start of the fourth quarter.
This persistence paid off as the Hawks came from behind for a 21-14 win and shut out Tipton in the closing half.
“Two weeks in a row we have kind of been in a dog fight,” said Mid-Prairie head coach Pete Cavanagh. “I’m really proud of our kids to come back and play well. We sure did not play well in the first half. We gave them a lot of opportunities in the first half. We shored everything up.”
Senior Eesaa Baylor came up with one the biggest plays of the day, pulling in a 17-yard catch on 3rd and eight advancing the ball to the 9-yard line.
Senior quarterback Reid Miller threw the game-winning touchdown to senior Zachary Schwartz for a 5-yard score with 5:41 left.
The Tigers drove 32 yards to Mid-Prairie’s 20, before the Hawks halted the drive as junior defensive end Jordan Ulin batted away a pass on fourth down.
“I don’t know how many times they had third or fourth down and they got it,” Cavanagh. “We finally bent but would not break.”
After falling behind 14-0 in the second quarter, Mid-Prairie had yet to capitalize on opportunities.
“We were playing well,” Cavanagh said. “It was just a mental lapse.”
Senior kicker Austin Errthum missed a pair of field goals on Mid-Prairie’s first two possessions.
“It is part of being a field goal kicker,” Cavanagh said. “You are going to miss.”
Tipton sophomore Jordan Challis put his team on the board with a 57-yard touchdown. Baylor nearly answered with a 49-yard burst but fumbled the ball away.
Tipton senior Alex Wiley passed to senior Josh Smith from 5 yards out as the Tigers converted that turnover into points with a 61-yard drive.
Errthum got his first of two shots at redemption. He connected with Miller for 61 yards to set up the team at the 2. The Hawks would score twice in the next two minutes.
Schwartz made his first of two touchdown receptions with a 2-yard snag.
Errthum opened the second half by breaking a tackle on the first play from scrimmage for a 72-yard rushing touchdown to tie the game.
“He has the opportunity to not only be our kicker but one of our great skill kids,” Errthum said. “He made a nice run. He made a nice catch down the sideline in the first half.”
Besides the fumble in the red zone, Baylor had a credible night with 120 yards on 19 rushes for a 6.3 average.
“We have got a lot of seniors,” Cavanagh said. “Those kids need to step up and play. I thought they did. Eesaa Baylor made some nice runs at the end of the game and our O-line stepped up.”
Errthum had 166 all-purpose yards on the receiving and rushing sides.
“It is a lot of fun,” Errthum said. “You never get this back; you might as well spend it as you want.”
Miller made smart plays, the lone exception being a fumble on a hand-off. He had 162 yards, two touchdowns and 66.7 percent completion rate.
“That was one of our best drives of the year,” Cavanagh said. “Our backs were against the wall. We made plays when we needed to. Then our senior quarterback made a nice throw down on the goal line to Zach.”
Mid-Prairie faces Columbus at home at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4.