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home : sports : sports Tuesday, June 28, 2016

10/23/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
A big second quarter broke open the game for the Central football team during Friday’s game with Anamosa. The Sabers scored three touchdowns during the period with quarterback Logan Sheppard (left) and receiver Emmitt Enyeart combining for two of them. Sheppard scored the third touchdown as well on a run and the Sabers routed the Blue Raiders 48-14. Photos by Ross Eberhart
Sabers wrap up home campaign with rout of Anamosa

By Ross Eberhart
Sports editor

It was not exactly the performance head coach Mike Miller wanted, but it was still more than enough for the Central football team during its home finale with Anamosa.

After a tight first quarter, the Sabers took over Friday night's contest, scoring 41 unanswered points to surge to a 48-14 victory.

It proved to be a dominating performance. Central gained nearly four times as many yards as the Blue Raiders (441-114) and limited Anamosa's rushing attack to just over 2.3 yards per carry.

The number from the game that stuck with Miller the most, though, was eight. That was how many penalties the Sabers were whistled for.

And it was not just the number that bothered the Saber headman. Three times during the first half, the Central offense had to gain at least 15 yards for a first down due to flags and a number of penalties were due to lack of concentration.

"I think we lacked a lot of focus," Central head coach Mike Miller said. "Way too many penalties and they were able to move the ball on us.

We talked, going into the week, about really concentrating on the things we can control, and we lost focus of those things Friday night."

The Sabers made it look easy on the game's first drive.

Central's first three plays - separate runs by Jake Feldpausch, Jake Kagemann and Tyler Stillmunkes - gained 55 yards and moved the ball all the way to the Anamosa 20.

Two-straight runs by quarterback Jesse Brackey set up a third-and-short for the Sabers and Feldpausch proceeded to bull into the end zone, running over a defender in the process, for a touchdown. Keegan Lass added the extra point and it was 7-0 just over two minutes into the game.

Running the same triple option attack, the Blue Raiders quickly picked up a first down during its first drive, but then went backward with Justin Schwennen and Riley McDowell combining on a sack on third down to force a punt.

The ensuing Saber drive, though, ended in disaster as an option pitch by Brackey hit the turf and was recovered by Anamosa.

The Blue Raiders made the most of their opportunity too. The visitors converted a fourth-and-eight on the Saber 29-yard line and then scored three plays later with Ty Houska punching it in from two yards out.

"We put the ball on the ground inside the 30 and you can't do that against any team," Miller said. "You've got to give credit to Anamosa, they executed better than what we had seen on film."

Disaster nearly struck again when junior Ryan Olson lost track of a bouncing Anamosa kickoff. The back, though, was able to pick up the ball and advance it to the 39-yard line.

The Saber offense took over from there. Stillmunkes rumbled 18 yards for a first down and Brackey hooked up with Feldpausch for 24 more yards to the Anamosa 17.

Brackey completed another pass, this one to Stillmunkes for nine yards, as the first quarter came to a close.

Miller planned to give the defense a new look and as the second quarter began it was junior Logan Sheppard under center.

The new quarterback made quite an impact as he kept the ball on option on the first play of the new quarter and ran the final eight yards for a touchdown. The extra point was blocked, but it was 13-7.

It was the beginning of a big quarter for Sheppard, who gave Central the ball right back as he ripped the ball away from Randy Von Behren on the first play of Anamosa's next drive.

The Sabers' momentum was stemmed by a false start penalty and Sheppard was sacked on the repeated first down to create a second-and-24 situation.

Stillmunkes regained a huge chunk of the yards with an 18-yard run, but Sheppard was stopped on his running attempt to make it fourth down.

Central decided to go for it and the move paid off as Sheppard found receiver Emmitt Enyeart on a slant. Enyeart did the rest, sprinting into the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown. The point after was good and it was 20-7.

The next Anamosa drive ended quickly as Lucas Looney sacked quarterback Gavin Timp for a seven-yard loss and the Blue Raiders were forced to punt the ball back to the Sabers.

Central picked up 24 yards on first down when Anamosa was called for a five-yard facemask on Stillmunkes' 19-yard carry, but then were pushed back on a holding penalty.

The Sabers were again able to overcome their predicament, though, thanks to Sheppard and Enyeart, who combined for another touchdown pass. This time the senior receiver streaked down the middle of the field and brought in a 37-yard throw for the score. Central was called for another penalty on the extra point, but Lass' attempt was good from the longer distance and it was 27-7.

"I thought we threw the ball really well - I think we had only one or two incompletions (Brackey and Sheppard combined to go 8-of-9 on their attempts)," Miller said. "We planned before the game to get Logan into the game. He and Jesse are very similar, but gives the defense a little bit of a different look."

Central forced another Anamosa turnover on the Blue Raiders' next drive with junior Lucas Daniels falling on the ball.

The Sabers, though, were called for another penalty and this time Central was unable to recover.

They came close, though, as Feldpausch caught a pass from Sheppard on fourth-and-15, but was tripped up just before reaching the first down (Feldpausch was injured on the play and the senior did not return).

That proved to be the last scoring threat of the first half and the two teams went into halftime with Central up 20.

Anamosa received the ball first in the second half and did not pick up a first down.

Things got even worse for the Blue Raiders on the punt as Kagemann found some daylight and returned it all the way back to the Anamosa 15.

Central found the end zone just three plays later as Brackey avoided pressure in the pocket and leaked outside where it was clear sailing for a 10-yard touchdown. The extra point was good and it was 34-7.

The Blue Raiders came back with their longest drive of the game. Anamosa ran 10 plays, but the Central defense held firm and a 41-yard field goal attempt by Timp was short and wide, giving the ball back to the Sabers.

The ensuing Central drive was all about the run. The Sabers stayed on the ground for seven consecutive plays and steadily moved the ball down the field.

Brackey had the biggest run of the possession, as he was able to scamper down the sideline for 30 yards. The final three carries of the drive went to junior Ryan Burke, the final one resulted in a 13-yard touchdown to make it 41-7.

Anamosa went three-and-out on its next drive and Kagemann put the exclamation point on Central's fourth win.

The senior fielded Timp's punt at his own 15-yard line, found an opening on the sideline and then cut back to the middle of the field, going 85 yards in all for a punt return touchdown. Lass added the extra point and it was 48-7.

Anamosa came up with its own big special teams play, returning the ensuing kickoff to the Saber 34 (kicker John Stammeyer saved a touchdown).

The Blue Raiders took advantage of the short field again with their second touchdown, but it was too little too late in the Sabers' win.

The Sabers had a balanced rushing attack with five different players rushing for at least 30 yards.

Stillmunkes led the way with 92 yards on eight carries (an 11.5 average), while Brackey added 49 yards and a touchdown. Feldpausch had 42 yards and his own touchdown, while Burke and Kagemann added 39 and 30 yards respectively.

Brackey was 2-for-2 on his throws for 33 yards, while Sheppard went 6-for-7 for 99 yards and the two touchdowns to Enyeart.

Enyeart finished the game with four catches for 87 yards, while Stillmunkes and Feldpausch both had two catches.

McDowell led the Central defense with 12 tackles (three solo) from his nose tackle position, while James Grell added nine tackles with three solo stops of his own.

The Sabers finish their regular season with a road contest against rival Marion.

The game will have a huge impact on postseason seeding. Currently, Central is third in the district standings and a win will clinch the spot.

A Marion win, however, could create some chaos. It would give the Sabers and Indians matching district marks with Marion holding the tiebreaker. Two other teams - Clear Creek-Amana and Benton - could also join that tie if they are able to pull off upsets over Maquoketa and Solon respectively and that would mean a revisit to the 13-point rule.

The Sabers will avoid any controversy, though, by handing Marion its third-straight loss.

"They've kind of been all over the place," Miller said of the Indians, "but if you look at the tape it looks like a traditional Marion team - they're a physical team with some athletic weapons.

"We'll need to be ready for them."

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