by Lindy Williams
The Crane Mustangs’ football season came to a close on Saturday, Nov. 11. The Mustangs played the Hosanna Christian Lions for the quarter final round of the OSAA 1A Football State Championship. The Lions came away with the 40-32 win.
The Lions received the opening kickoff and made quick work of their drive. Silas Sanchas ran in the Lions’ first touchdown with 7:41 left on the clock in the first quarter. Sanchas also received the handoff for the two-point conversion, but the attempt was no good, leaving the Lions with a 6-0 lead.
Crane’s first possession ended quickly as the Hosanna Christian defense forced a turnover on downs, returning the ball to the Lions’ possession.
Hosanna’s Waylan Cole found an opening, then sprinted 50 yards to the 1-yard line. The next play, Cole punched in the touchdown. Sanchas ran in the two-point conversion, increasing Hosanna’s lead to 14-0, with 1:51 left in the first quarter.
Crane made efficient work of their next possession, and two runs by Jay Jay Balowski brought the Mustangs to the 14-yard line as first quarter ended.
To start the second quarter, Miles Maupin ran the ball to a first-and-goal position. Maupin then ran in Crane’s first touchdown of the day. The two-point conversion attempt was no good, and the Mustangs trailed 14-6 with 10:29 left to play in the first half.
On their next possession, a bad snap left Hosanna Christian at second-and-21. Cole ran for 11 yards on third down, but the fourth down pass attempt was intercepted by Crane’s Jacob Dunn, returning the ball to the Mustangs’ hands.
A few plays later, Balowski ran in the Mustangs’ second touchdown of the day. The two-point conversion attempt failed, and the Mustangs trailed slightly at 14-12, with 8:45 left to play in the second quarter.
Hosanna’s next possession was helped down the field by a late hit penalty against the Mustangs and a 26-yard pass completion. Hosanna then received a block in the back penalty, and recovered their own fumble, putting them on the 1-yard line. Hosanna continued to push for the goal, and despite a false start penalty and a tackle by Dunn for a loss, the Lions’ Cole ran in the touchdown. The two-point conversion pass was incomplete, and Hosanna led 20-12 lead, with 4:42 left in the second quarter.
Crane’s next possession ended quickly, forcing a punt by Maupin. The punt was blocked as the ball bounced off an oncoming Hosanna Christian player’s helmet. Hosanna capitalized on the field position, and Sanchas scored his second touchdown of the day, and with 1:31 left in the first half, the Lions led 26-12.
Crane recovered the onside kick to begin their next possession, and a 35-yard pass from Maupin to Balowski put the Mustangs in scoring range. Dunn punched in an 11-yard touchdown run, and the two point conversion failed. The Mustangs trailed 26-18 with 48 seconds to play before halftime.
In their final drive of the first half, Cole found an open field and ran for what looked like a sure touchdown, but Balowski punched the fall free just before the end zone. The ball bounced out the back of the end zone, which returned the ball to Mustang hands on the 20-yard line.
The Crane offense came alive in their last drive of the quarter and a big pass from Maupin to Balowski resulted in a touchdown. The two-point conversion pass to Chase Joyce was good, tying the game at 26-26 at halftime.
Crane received the kick to begin the second half, but quickly lost possession and was forced to punt the ball.
Sanchas capitalized on the Lions’ next possession and ran in a touchdown and two-point conversion with 7:21 left in the third quarter, putting the Lions back in the lead, 34-26.
After an incomplete pass to Balowski, Maupin fumbled the ball on Crane’s next possession, and Hosanna recovered. Sanchas ran in another touchdown for the Lions, and the two-point conversion was stopped by Crane’s Dunn. With 6:53 left in the third quarter, Hosanna led 40-26.
The Mustangs and the Lions would trade possession several more times throughout the game. The next score came late in the fourth quarter when Maupin connected with Balowski for a Mustang touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good. The Lions let the clock wind down on their final possession and the game ended with a 40-32 score.
The Mustangs now move into their winter sports schedules. The basketball and wrestling schedules will be published at a later date.