Friday, September 22, 2017
Maconaquah High School
North Central High School
After a three-hour bus ride and a 30-minute lightning delay, the Maconaquah Braves rose to the challenge facing the undefeated and AP 10th ranked North Central Thunderbirds (6-0) Friday evening. Those in attendance were treated to a defensive slugfest that saw the hosts edging the 2-4 Braves in a double-overtime thriller, 19-16. It was only the third multiple-OT game in school history and first OT game since Coach Mark Hartman’s first win at MHS (vs Mississinewa) in 2009.
The Braves had won their previous six overtime games that they had been in, but fell short at the end when the Thunderbirds scored from two-yards out on third down in the second extra session. Maconaquah had just taken a 16-13 lead on Ethan Larason’s 34-yard field goal.
Hard-hitting defenses set the tone early as both teams went in at halftime looking at a scoreless first 24 minutes of action. NC got as far as the Brave 32 early in the second quarter, but was stopped on a fourth-and-two. MAC, meanwhile, reached the NC 21 before a Larason 37-yard FG attempt sailed left. Larason’s six punts, which included bombs of 49 and 53 yards kept the Thunderbirds pinned deep in their own territory most of the night.
Collin Silvers got MHS on the board with 2:12 showing in the third act with an eight-yard TD. The Braves defense stopped NC on its next three possessions before the hosts knotted things at 6-6 with 2:03 left in regulation , putting together a 12–play 64-yard drive which included a crucial fourth-and-12 pass play.
Silvers led the Braves in rushing for the fourth straight game, getting 96 yards on 27 carries. Jacob Shaffer, Zac Straub, Nick Davis, RJ Beam and Adam Bowman continue to open the holes for Silvers and bruising backfield co-hort Aaron Sedwick, who bulled for 47 yards on 10 totes. The duo also were among the top Brave tacklers, which included Paxton Kintner and Bowman.
Maconaquah got the ball in the first OT and Silvers scored from the seven after getting three on first down. Larason’s kick made it 13-6. North Central scored from three yards out on fourth down and tied it at 13-all with a PAT kick that barely made it through the uprights, setting up the second overtime
The Braves return home to face the Northfield Norsemen Friday night.