By Kim Staudinger
RUDYARD The Blue Sky/KG Eagles knew when the defending state champion Wibaux Longhorns traveled to town Saturday, they would be in for the game of their lives.
Even though the Eagles, who had perhaps played their best game of the season last weekend, were ranked number one coming into the game, Wibaux was right behind at number two. Still, it was the Eagles who appeared to play hesitant, seemingly as if they were the ones trying to pull off the upset, not Wibaux.
"We knew the level we had to play to win the game," Blue Sky coach Gregg Wasson said. "We didn't do the things we needed to do and they did."
With the 60-28 win, Wibaux's 22-game, two-year winning streak continues as the Longhorns advance to the state championship game next Saturday against Scobey.
After the Longhorns came out onto the field, everyone understood what the Eagles had to fear. Wibaux's line looked more like a brick wall than a conglomerate of football players. Standing at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, quarterback Ty Zinda was just the beginning of the overwhelming size Wibaux presented. Running back Greg Ford, tailback Dustin Frasch, fullback Trey Weyer and end Brandon Michels all are more than 6 feet tall and 190 pounds.
Wibaux also had four other players weighing in at more than 230 pounds one at an incredible 330 pounds. The two biggest players for the Eagles stand at 6-foot-2, 250 pounds and 6-foot, 246 pounds.
"They were big," Wasson said. "We had a tough time controlling them. Both their backs are good kids. They kept fighting for those extra yards."
Despite the size disadvantage, the Eagles started off strong answering Wibaux's first score with a score of their own on a 55-yard pass from Jon Lipp to Casey Crites.
But Wibaux responded just over a minute later with another score and its second two-point conversion of the game, giving the Longhorns a nine-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
Six seconds into the second quarter, Wibaux scored again on a 15-yard pass from Zinda to Ford. The Eagles soared back and scored on their next possession off a 1-yard quarterback sneak, cutting the deficit to 10 points. Unfortunately that was all the scoring Blue Sky/KG would do until the fourth quarter.
"Especially in the first quarter, we didn't make the plays we needed to make," Wasson said. "In the second quarter, we kind of lost our composure. They had a couple of big plays and that hurt us."
Wibaux's strength began to take its toll on the Eagles as seniors Weyer and Frasch broke through tackle after tackle, for five touchdowns for the Longhorns' offense, which accumulated nearly 400 total yards on the game.
"All that pounding on our defense being on the field that long cost us," Wasson said. "We didn't make them punt enough, that's for sure."
A 52-yard touchdown run by Frasch, who also caught a 72-yard pass and a 33-yard pass in the second half, highlighted Wibaux's scoring brigade.
Blue Sky/KG's final score came with 39 seconds remaining in the game on a 20-yard pass from Lipp to Roger Larson.
"The kids had a good year. It was fun. I sure enjoyed it," Wasson said. "We just came into someone better."