Week 8 | Stockton vs Aquin
On another wet Friday night in Stockton, the two top teams in the NUIC Upstate division would battle for the conference championship. With a win, Stockton would take over sole leadership of the Upstate. With an Aquin victory, they would guarantee themselves at least a share of the championship. The weather definitely favored the Wing-T offense that was made famous not only in the NUIC, but state wide by the legendary, hall of fame former Stockton head coach, John O’Boyle. That wouldn’t deter the high flying, fast moving Aquin Bulldog offense from bringing their A-game to John O’Boyle field at Stockton High School.
The first half was very slow moving and back and forth, as Stockton nor Aquin could really get a drive going. The only scoring in the first half would come in the 1st quarter. Aquin would find themselves deep in their own territory when a bad snap would fly over the head of quarterback Jonah Diemer, and he would recover the ball in his own end zone, resulting in a safety. The mishap by the Bulldogs would put the score at 2-0 with 2:38 left in the 1st quarter. This score would hold true all the way to halftime.
The second half would start off with a bang when Stockton’s Chase Rowe would receive the kickoff and surge through the Aquin coverage, and break off a long kickoff return. Rowe’s return would take the ball all the way to the Aquin 18-yard line. The Aquin defense looked stingy, forcing a 4th and 1 from the 1-yard line, but Stockton’s Elijah Rowe would punch it in, making the score 12-0 after a successful 2-point conversion attempt with 8:25 left in the 3 rd quarter.
The next drive would see Aquin taking the ball to the air, starting with a big 26-yard catch on a tipped ball by Zac Cummins. After a few short runs, Stockton’s Chase Rowe would undercut a ball intended for Zac Cummins. Off of that interception, Rowe also managed a long return, setting the Stockton offense up in fantastic field position at the 25-yard line. The Stockton offense would use Elijah and Chase Rowe and fantastic offensive line play to put the ball into the end zone. The ball was punched in from 5 yards out by Elijah Rowe, making the score 16-0 with 4:15 left in the 3 rd Quarter.
On the next drive, a nice return by Bryce Carlson would set the Aquin Bulldogs with good field position at the Stockton 45-yard line. The Aquin offense seemed to come to life on this drive, as Jonah Diemer was looking in Zac Cummins’s direction on seemingly every play. A catch by Keegan Koester would prove a pass interference call would assist the Aquin drive along, up to the 9-yard line. 3 plays later, Jonah Diemer would punch the ball in from the 2-yard line with 55 seconds left in the 3rd quarter. A big 2-point conversion attempt would follow with Aquin needing 8 points on 2 drives to keep the game close. Zac Cummins would get open, and Jonah Diemer would hit him with a nice pass. This brought the score to 16-8 in favor of Stockton.
Stockton would start their drive at the 25-yard line up one score. Stockton’s “3 yards and a cloud of dust” wishbone offense would be used to its fullest extent, pounding the ball right at
the Aquin defense, burning clock all the while. After a handful of short carries rotated between 4 Stockton running backs, Stockton’s Brian Booth broke through a huge hole, and bust a 33 yard carry. The Aquin defense would rally and force a turnover on downs and take over at their 12- yard line with just over 7 minutes left in the game, needing a touchdown to keep their hopes alive.
On the following drive, the Aquin offense would start keeping the ball on the ground. Two 10 yard runs would move the ball up the field a bit for the Bulldogs. After that, Aquin’s Cole Luedeking would take a handoff, break one tackle, and see only green grass in front of him for 59 yards and get into the end zone. Another pivotal 2-point conversion would follow, Aquin needing to convert to tie the game up. Jonah Diemer would drop back to pass, and over throw his intended target, leaving the score at 16-14 with 5:29 left in the contest.
On the first play of the Stockton drive, Bryce Carlson would strip Stockton’s running back, taking the ball right out of his hands, forcing a huge turnover, allowing Aquin to take over at the 24- yard line. Aquin would set themselves back with a couple of big penalties, forcing them to pass the ball on a very wet night. The Bulldogs would be faced with the biggest 4th down of their season down 2 points, right on the edge of field goal range, and needing 7-yards for a first down. Zac Cummins would come on the field to attempt a 32-yard field goal. Aquin would force Stockton to jump offsides, moving the ball closer for Cummins. A bad snap would force the Aquin holder to flip the ball to Zac Cummins, who would almost get the yardage to get the first down, but he was stopped just short, forcing a turnover on downs.
Stockton would get the ball back with Aquin having no timeouts left. The Blackhawks would need
one first down to be able to run the clock out. They would just do that, and the Blackhawks were able
to finish the game in the victory formation with the final score being 16-14.
Stockton (6-2) @ Orangeville (5-3) | Aquin (6-2) vs Millegeville (7-1)