Huron’s Caleb Carr trots into the endzone untouched after catching a pass in the first quarter of Friday night’s game against Aberdeen Central at Swisher Field. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN DAVIS/ABERDEEN AMERICAN NEWS
ABERDEEN — Two of the smallest players on the roster stood the tallest for Aberdeen Central Friday night.
Curtis Paysen and Logan Legrand came up with big game-changing interceptions late in the fourth quarter — including Legrand’s pick on the final play of the game — to seal up a 14-12 Golden Eagle victory over Huron in an Eastern South Dakota Conference football match-up at Swisher Field.
Paysen, a 5-foot-8 wide-out putting in an emergency appearance at cornerback, went high to wrestle the ball away from Huron quarterback Will Carr’s intended target on the Tigers’ second-to-last drive of the game.
“I never really play corner ever,” said Paysen, who also caught a 39-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. “He’s like six-three, so I knew I had to stay on him pretty well. I just got my head around, saw the ball, so I went up and got it.”
The work wasn’t done for the Central defense, however, as the Golden Eagles went 3-and-out on their ensuing drive, giving the Tigers the ball on their own 15-yard line and 52 seconds on the clock with which to work.
Carr engineered a march downfield and had the Tigers threatening from the Central 35-yard line with eight seconds remaining before the 5-foot-9 Legrand picked off an overthrown ball near the goal line and slid down at the 5 as time ran out to seal the victory.
“What a great way to win a game,” said Central head coach Mike Flakus. “You’ve got your defense and they have to make a big play to win it and they do, so that’s really exciting.”
Huron, which came into the match-up touted as a run-first offense, had just 156 yards on the ground, but showed some success throwing the ball. Carr was 16-for-31 for 177 yards before throwing the two fateful interceptions late in the game. Carr and Central quarterback Jacob Goehring traded picks at the end of the first half, as well.
“We stacked the box a little bit,” said Flakus of his team’s ability to withstand the Tiger attack. “They did what they had to to win this football game. We just made a couple more plays.”
The Tigers’ ground attack was led by Lucas Morrison’s 106 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Morrison also threw a TD pass to Caleb Carr for the Tigers’ opening score in the first quarter.
Aberdeen Central opened the game with an 80-yard touchdown run by Greyson Phillips on the first play from scrimmage. Phillips finished with three carries for 85 yards on the night.
Goehring (12-for-21 for 217 yards passing) hooked up with Paysen from 39 yards out in the third quarter for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown. Huron missed the PAT attempt following their first score and failed to convert a 2-point conversion on the second touchdown.
“Huron’s got a good team,” said Flakus. “They’re tough, they’re physical and they do some great things, so we’re very happy to win that one.”
“Last game, you gotta go all out,” said Paysen, one of 21 seniors honored prior to the game. “Every one made plays. That’s what you gotta do.”
Central moves to 3-4 overall and 3-2 in ESD play heading into the final week of the regular season. The Golden Eagles head to Pierre for the season finale on Thursday. Huron (2-5, 1-4 ESD) concludes its season at Mitchell next week.
Aberdeen Central (3-4, 3-2) 7 0 7 0—14
Huron (2-5, 1-4) 6 0 6 0—12
AC — Greyson Phillips 80 run (Anthony Bachmeier kick), 11:41.
H — Caleb Carr 26 pass from Lucas Morrison (Tyler Kleinsasser kick failed), 7:32.
AC — Curtis Paysen 39 pass from Jacob Goehring (Bachmeier kick), 5:23.
H — Morrison 21 run (Will Carr pass failed), 0:52.
First downs 16 17
Rushes-yards 27-156 31-179
Passing 177 217
Comp-Att-Int 17-33-3 12-21-1
Punts-Avg. 4-30.2 3-33.7
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 4-25 4-45
RUSHING—Huron, Morrison 12-106, W. Carr 8-26, Zac Brown 4-16; Aberdeen Central, Phillips 3-85, Goehring 12-21, Grayson Neuharth 8-55, Mitch Johnson 8-18.
PASSING—Huron, W. Carr 17-31-3 for 151, Morrison 1-1 for 26; Aberdeen Central, Goehring 12-21-2 for 217.
RECEIVING—Huron, Morrison 8-68, Caleb Carr 4-65, Collin Boehms 4-37, Tyler Kleinsasser 1-7; Aberdeen Central, Anthony Buechler 5-85, Paysen 3-81, Cole Carlson 2-41, Jake Heinert 1-8.
TACKLES—Huron, Tyler Kleinsasser 6 tackles, Houstyn Heinz 5 tackles, Morrison 5 tackles and 1 interception, W. Carr 5 tackles; Aberdeen Central, Neuharth 7 tackles, Logan Legrand 5 tackles and 2 interceptions, Hayden Grote 5 tackles, Paysen 1 interception.For the complete article see the 10-20-2013 issue.
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