One play difference in United loss
WYOMING -- After a 48-minute scoreless stalemate between United and Stark County, Friday, Sept. 12, it was the first play of overtime that made the difference.
Stark County running back Luke Turnbull scored on a 10-yard run and the Rebels (3-0) stopped United (2-1) a yard short of the end zone on its overtime possession to hand the Red Storm a 6-0 defeat in a matchup of top-10 teams in Class 1A.
Rain during the day and throughout the game turned the playing surface into a muddy sponge and made carrying the ball about as difficult as holding onto an ice cube. The teams combined for 15 fumbles, losing six of them.
"With the conditions and everything and having it go down to the wire like that, you can't ask for a more exciting game," United quarterback Patrick Olin said. "It could've turned out better for us but it didn't."
Eighth-ranked Stark County received the ball first in overtime, and Turnbull took a toss on first down around the right side and in for the score. Turnbull was stopped short on the two-point conversion.
"We didn't adjust defensively and they took advantage of it," United coach Tim Engebretson said of the touchdown. "They did that to us a couple times where they went unbalanced and we didn't adjust."
Turnbull said he didn't anticipate going in right away, especially after the teams combined for only 321 yards in regulation.
"I though it'd be fourth-and-2. Gridiron, you know?" he said.
After a run for no gain and an incomplete pass to begin ninth-ranked United's possession, Olin completed a pass to Adam Olin to set up fourth-and-goal from the four-yard line.
Patrick Olin came around the right side on a bootleg but was stopped a yard short of the goal line.
"Their defensive end and their corner showed pretty quick, and they're pretty quick guys," Olin said. "I just couldn't get around them."
United's best scoring chance in regulation came on its first possession of the second half. The Red Storm chewed eight minutes, 31 seconds off the clock and went 54 yards before stalling at Stark County's eight-yard line. Erik Watson came on to attempt a 25-yard field goal that was blocked.
"(Watson) hits them pretty consistent from there," Engerbretson said. "I think the snap was decent, considering the weather. Nothing was perfect, but the ball was going in if he doesn't block it."
One week after rushing for school-record 309 yards, Stark County limited Adam Olin to 72 yards on 24 carries.
"They were keying on him and they had some special things for him," Engebretson said. "They did a great job on him."