Knights nip Wolverines at the wire

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 9, 1999

GLENVILLE – The past few years, there haven’t been much better rivalries than the one between the Alden-Conger and Glenville-Emmons football teams.

Saturday, October 09, 1999

GLENVILLE – The past few years, there haven’t been much better rivalries than the one between the Alden-Conger and Glenville-Emmons football teams. It grew in intensity Friday night.

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This time it didn’t come down to the final quarter. It was decided on the final play.

Vinnie VanEnglenburg threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Tim Bruns with no time left on the clock, capping a wild fourth quarter and lifting Alden-Conger to a thrilling 28-24 victory at Glenville.

&uot;We could have given up, but the kids just would not lay down and die,&uot; said Knights coach Gary Nelson. &uot;That last drive was a gut-wrencher. We did everything we had to do to sustain that last drive – and finish it.&uot;

&uot;It was pretty exciting,&uot; said Wolverines co-coach Bob Staska. &uot;But it would have been a lot more fun if we would have won.&uot;

The Wolverines controlled the game with their ground attack in the early going, driving 71 yards in 14 plays and 50 yards in 15 plays while taking a 12-0 lead on a pair of Ryan Mathis touchdown runs midway through the second period.

Then the Knights struck. Sam Guanella took the ensuing kickoff and found a gap, racing 76 yards for a touchdown to cut it to 12-6.

The Knights were stopped on the G-E 1-yard line in the final second of the first half.

The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter.

Mathis picked up a fumble and returned it 45 yards, setting up a 20-yard touchdown run by Josh Delger to put G-E up 18-6.

The Knights answered with a 28-yard touchdown pass from VanEnglenburg to Bruns. A two-point conversion cut it to 18-14 as the fourth quarter began.

After an exchange of punts, the Knights took over around their own 10-yard line with 2:30 left in regulation. On fourth down and 7 from the G-E 46, Guanella hit VanEnglenburg with a 46-yard touchdown pass. Another two-point conversion gave the Knights a 22-18 lead with 1:29 left.

The Wolverines quickly responded, with Ben Erickson hitting Delger with a 40-yard pass to the A-C 12. Erickson scored from there, giving G-E a 24-22 lead with 1:10 remaining.

The Knights got the ball at their own 30 with no timeouts. VanEnglenburg spearheaded the drive final, scrambling to avoid several sacks while completing a pair of third-down passes and breaking runs of 14 and 18 yards before completing the touchdown to Bruns.

VanEnglenburg finished 16-for-29 passing for 189 yards and no interceptions. He ran for 83 yards on 11 carries. Paul Scrabeck caught six passes for 67 yards, Bruns four for 59 and Shane Thorson four for 54.

The Knights outgained the Wolverines 341-266 in total yards but G-E had the edge on the ground, 166-102.

Mathis led the Wolverines with 83 yards rushing on 23 carries. Delger had 80 yards on 15 tries. Erickson was 7-for-16 for 100 yards and no interceptions. Delger had five pass receptions for 78 yards.

The coaches agreed that the rivalry between the teams has been spirited, to say the least.

&uot;Both teams were up for this game,&uot; said Staska.

&uot;The way it’s been the last few years, one team comes down the field and the other one answers,&uot; said Nelson. &uot;We had enough to answer tonight.&uot;

The Knights, 4-2, host Lyle/Austin Pacelli this Friday while the 3-3 Wolverines travel to Grand Meadow.