The Duncan Banner
One word could be used to sum up the first quarter for the Velma-Alma Comets Friday night: disastrous.
Thomas-Fay-Custer was in no mood to play around, as the Terriers struck quick to take a commanding 35-0 lead and never looking back as V-A saw its season come to an end in the second round of the playoffs 55-6.
“The kicking game was such a huge factor tonight,” Velma-Alma coach Greg Gothard said. “We were starting on the 20 or deeper everytime. They (Thomas) played such great defense though and blocked us extremely well. Coach (Bob) Ward is a great coach and has a really good group of players. We just simply dug ourselves a hole and never could get out of it.”
By the time Chaipen Nease punched it in from 1-yard out, it was 35-0 and the first quarter had just ended.
But, the real damage had been done long before then.
On the Terriers first drive, they only needed five plays, before quarterback Tyler Mannering got THS on the board with a 9-yard touchdown run, which was the first of two in the quarter for the senior.
Mannering got his second at the 5:13 mark, this time from 16 yards out, making it 14-0 Terriers.
Then, came the backbreaker for the Comets.
Facing 2nd and 8 from the V-A 22-yard line, quarterback Andrew McGuire’s pass was stripped away from Austin Dennis by Hunter Herrera and returned 25-yards for the pick six, giving Thomas a 21-0 lead with 4:36 left in the first quarter.
“After 21 points, then it almost becomes a near impossible task against a defense like Thomas’.” Gothard said. “I’m very proud of the seniors though and the rest of this team for fighting and never giving up.”
Chezden Nease added an 8-yard touchdown run to make it 28-0.
Velma-Alma managed to get a consolation score early in the fourth quarter, as Garrett Dearmond pounced on a fumble in the endzone, making the score 48-6.
Chaipen Nease collected another touchdown in the second, while Collin McFeeters and Kade Blakley scored in the third and fourth quarters respectively.
Dallen Mercer finished with 25 carries for 101 yards, while passing for 31 yards in his final game as a V-A Comet. Evan Albertson ran for 31 yards on seven carries, while Kelton Brown collected 21 yards on eight carries in the contest.
V-A finishes its season at 8-4 while Thomas remains undefeated at 12-0.
“These six seniors left a very strong legacy and gave everything they could,” Gothard said. “I’m proud to be a Velma-Alma Comet and I’m proud of these kids. I know the rest of the coaches and the town of Velma are extremely proud of them as well.”