Rich Hill vs Liberal @ Liberal 10/14/16
Excitement down to the wire is the only way to describe this game. The Rich Hill Tigers and the Liberal Bulldogs came into this game seeking a second win on the season. The field conditions were extremely brutal as heavy rains made footing very questionable over most of the field. Both teams had some bad plays, along with some big plays. After kicking off and exchanging drives that did not result in scores, the Bulldogs were inside the Tiger’s 10 yard line. Instead of sticking to their run heavy offense, they chose to pass. A choice that would Jacob Querry would make them regret. In coverage on the goal line, Jacob jumped up and grabbed the ball for an interception, racing down the sideline, taking it the full length of the field for a 100 yard score! This has got to be a school record. A botched extra point attempt resulted in Myles Becker running the ball into the end zone for 2 points. Tigers up 8-0.
The next Bulldog’s possession resulted in a blocked punt giving the Tigers a big break. After driving down to the 14 yard line, they lined up for a field goal, but it was no good. Liberal regained possession and drove the field again, but could not get a first down deep in Rich Hill territory. On the 4th play of the Rich Hill drive, Taron Mumma connected with Dillon Tourtillott down the sideline for a 75 yard catch and run for a touchdown! Dalen Lewis did a good job of escorting Dillon by getting in the way of would be tacklers until Dillon crossed the goal line. Taron ran in the 2 point conversion and the Tigers were up 16-0. Liberal responded with a drive and score. A failed 2 point conversion made the score 16-6. The Tiger drive was short lived and in punt formation the snap went over the kicker’s head. It was covered by the Tigers on the 24 yard line, but that resulted in a turn over on downs to the Bulldogs. They took full advantage of the miscue and on the next play ran the ball in to score. The 2 point conversion was again stopped and Rich Hill remained in the lead 16-12. That would be the score going into half time.
The second half started with a BANG as on the first play after the kickoff, Taron Mumma threw another 75 pass down the sideline. This time it was to Jacob Querry who caught it in full stride. The 2 point conversion was no good and the score moved to 22-12. After the ensuing kickoff ended in a partially blocked punt by the Bulldogs, the Tigers were set up on the 50 yard line. A bad read on a post pattern resulted in an interception and the Bulldogs had the ball right back. The next few possessions went back and forth with no one scoring. Another botched punt attempt gave the Bulldogs the ball on the Tiger’s 15 yard line. Several plays later they scored and got the 2 point conversion to move the score up to 22-20. Rich Hill then drove the field down to the 25 yard line, but a holding penalty negated a first down and forced a punting situation again. A Third punting error resulted in the kick being blocked and gave the ball to Liberal on their 45. Their third play was a long run and score. The try for 2 was good and the Bulldogs had their first lead of the game, 20-28.
The Tigers started their final drive of the game on their 36. Mostly thru the air they moved the ball all the way down to the 8 of the Bulldogs. A third down fade pass in the corner of the end zone was incomplete, setting up 4th and 4 from the 8. On the final play pass protection broke down before the pass could be thrown and the game was over. Coach Wolfe said, “Our kids fought with heart.” As of the time of this writing, the Rich Hill Tigers passing offense is ranked #1 for Class 1A statewide on MaxPreps.com. The Tigers have thrown for 1,571 yards. In the WEMO conference they are also ranked #1 in passing, with 3 receivers in the top 6 and 4 out of the top 8.