CATLIN — Friday night’s matchup between the Salt Fork Storm and the Westville Tigers was a bizarre game.
Each team at least 5 turnovers, both had over 200 yards passing and each team went on a 23-0 streak in the 42-29 contest. The Storm trailing by 10 with 7 minutes left in the game turned it around defensively, forced some key turnovers and were able to sneak by Westville with the win.
“The game was rough in the beginning, we bounced back in the end when it mattered and I’m really proud of all the guys for stepping up.” Garrett McFadden said.
Both teams showed sparks of greatness and had key players show up big on the stat sheet. For the Storm Garrett McFadden had 193 receiving yards with two touchdowns, one for 69 yards and the other 63.
For Westville, Dalton Hilligoss had 202 yards offensively with 176 of that receiving. He also had three touchdowns.
Both teams struggled early on in the contest and in the first quarter only the Storm scored. Jacob Hughes threw his first touchdown pass to McFadden who took it 69 yards for the 6-0 lead.
Early in the second quarter, Westville resorted to a little trickery and masterfully executed the hook-and-latteral play. Kyle Brazas tossed a quick out to Jeff Thompson, who upon make the catch turned toward the sideline and pitched it to Hilligoss, who took it in for the score.
With 4:30 left in the half the Storm scored on a nine yard run by Seth McClane that would lead to a 12-6 halftime score.
Both coaches were disappointed in how their offenses came out and made adjustments that worked quite well. The teams scored a combined 18 points in the first half, and in the second 53 points were scored between the two sides.
We told them when there’s opportunities to make plays, good athletes make those plays. I thought Kyle played well and when the receivers had the opportunity to make plays they did,’’ Westville coach Guy Goodlove said.
“Coach told us we need to step it up big if we wanted to win.” McFadden said.
Salt Fork got the ball to start the second half and they wasted no time. With just 46 seconds off the clock McFadden scored his second touchdown. Austin Ringus kicked the extra point and the Storm then led 19-6.
Westville responded on their drive with points of their own. Brazas tossed a 26 yard touchdown pass to Thompson and then hit Thompson again for the 2 point conversion cutting the lead to 19-14 in favor of
On Salt Fork’s next possession the Tiger defense held the Storm to a three and out. When Westville got the ball back Brazas tossed a quick pass to Hilligoss who maneuvered around defenders for a 79-yard touchdown and Westville’s first lead of the night. Brazas tossed it to Hilligoss again for the two-point conversion and a 22-19 lead.
Westville would score one more time in third quarter. After an interception, the Tigers used the momentum created by their defense to get their lead to 29-19 on another pass to Hilligoss.
But just as Westville was hoping to slip away with their first win of the year, some big plays on Salt Fork’s defense turned the game around.
“Our kids were down a little bit but after a few plays, but our kids woke up and started playing with some passion,’’ Salt Fork coach Brian Plotner said.
After an interception the Storm closed the gap to 29-27 wih a Hughes run. The quarterback would score twice more on the ground to take the lead and then extend it.
Westville now sits at 0-3 after losses to state-ranked teams Cerro Gordo/Bement and Salt Fork along with a defeat at the hands Villa Grove.
“We played well enough to win the ball game, we just didn’t finish.” Goodlove said. “We didn’t play well against Villa Grove, we played a little better against Cerro Gordo but we played a whole lot better tonight against the 5 who we are.
“I’m proud of the way we played and I’m proud that we keep getting better each week. We’re sitting here at 0-3 and I hope our attitude stays positive because I think this team has a chance to be a playoff team if they keep believing.”
Vermilion Valley Conference Glance Conf. Overall Team W L W L Bismarck-Henning 1 0 3 0 Geo-RF/Chrisman 1 0 3 0 Salt Fork 1 0 3 0 Oakwood/A-P 0 0 0 3 Milford/CP 0 1 2 1 Hoopeston Area 0 1 0 2 Westville 0 1 0 3 Friday, Sept. 13 games Salt Fork 42, Westville 29 Bismarck-Henning 17, Milford/Cissna Park 15 Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman 54, Hoopeston Area 0 Arcola 21, Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac 13 Friday, Sept. 20 games Westville at Bismarck-Henning, 7 p.m. Hoopeston Area at Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac, 7 p.m. Salt Fork at Milford/Cissna Park, 7 p.m. Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman at Cerro Gordo, 7 p.m.