Late TD lifts SWU on road
EDGERTON -- In a game that had a state-tournament like atmosphere to it Friday night, the Southwestern United Wildcats went on the road and came home with a huge Southwest Ridge Conference football victory over the Edgerton Flying Dutchmen, 36-30.
"This was an awesome game, and a great team victory," SWU co-head coach Jason Fisher said. "Our defense stepped it up in the second half, and we made big plays when we needed to."
Alex Leopold -- who was a workhouse by carrying the ball 49 times for 304 yards -- rushed for a 4-yard touchdown with 46 seconds remaining, providing the game-winning points. Lon Eichenberger found Lloyd Kalfs for the two-point conversion, and SWU had a 36-30 lead.
The game started with Edgerton (4-1) scoring on its first possession of the game, as Kevin Vander Schaaf (34 rushes, 286 yards) capped the Flying Dutchmen's six-play, 53-yard drive with the first of his four touchdowns -- an 11-yard scamper with 7:54 remaining in the first quarter.
Trey Manitz connected with a leaping Jordan Bouw for the two-point conversion, and Edgerton held an early 8-0 lead.
SWU (5-0) responded by driving 50 yards on 12 plays, and scoring on Shaun Mathias' 1-yard touchdown reception from Eichenberger. Octavio Jimenez booted the PAT, and SWU trailed 8-7 with 3:36 left in the first period.
On Edgerton's ensuing possession, Trevor Leopold blasted around the left side to sack Manitz on fourth-and-two from the Wildcats' 38-yard line, getting SWU back in business
The Wildcats would then take the lead, as Mathias provided another big play -- sprinting 41 yards for a score on a reverse, putting SWU in front with 49 seconds left in the first quarter. Jimenez tacked on the PAT to make it 14-8.
Mathias again came up big for SWU, as he intercepted a Manitz pass at his own 20-yard line to bring Edgerton's ensuing drive to a halt.
However, Edgerton got the ball right back by recovering an Alex Leopold fumble, and the Flying Dutchmen cashed in on their opportunity this time.
Vander Schaaf danced away from the Wildcats' defense, scoring from 16 yards out with 5:25 left in the second quarter. He also ran in for the two-point conversion, giving Edgerton a 16-14 lead.
It didn't take long for the Wildcats to answer, as Leopold busted through for a 54-yard gain -- to Edgerton's 5-yard line -- on the first play of the next series. Two plays later, Leopold plunged in from three yards out, and Jimenez's PAT made it 21-16 SWU with 4:17 left before halftime.
Keyed by a 34-yard sprint by Marty Van Peursem, Edgerton came back to take the lead with 1:30 left, as Vander Schaaf broke in from a yard out. The two-point try failed, leaving Edgerton with a 22-21 halftime lead.
SWU opened the second half with two great scoring chances, but both attempts failed. Jimenez's 27-yard field goal attempt was wide, and -- after Riley Van Westen picked off a Manitz pass -- the Flying Dutchmen stuffed Alex Leopold at the 1-yard line on fourth-and-goal.
Vander Schaaf then shifted all the momentum to Edgerton's side, as he sprinted 99 yards for a touchdown with 1:47 left with in the third quarter. He also ran in for the two-point conversion, and Edgerton led 30-21.
However, Van Westen brought all of the momentum back to SWU, as he followed good lead blocking and took the ensuing kick 80 yards to the house with 1:33 left in the third quarter.
Jimenez booted his fourth PAT, and SWU was down by just two (30-28) heading to the fourth.
After stopping Edgerton twice and having one of their own drives stall, the Wildcats received the ball at their own 45-yard line with 4:56 left in the game.
Alex Leopold carried the ball 10 times on the Wildcats' final drive, scoring from four yards out on his 10th rush with 46 seconds left. Eichenberger found a leaping Kalfs in the corner of the end zone for the two-point conversion, and SWU led 36-30.
Edgerton had one more chance, but Van Westen's interception at SWU's 10-yard line with five seconds left sealed the victory for the Wildcats.
"They played a great game," Edgerton head coach Andrew Fleischman said. "They beat us on the line, and they drove down the field when they needed to."
SWU 14 7 7 8 -- 36
Edgerton 8 14 8 0 -- 30