The NUIC conference season is starting to wind down, which means teams are desperately trying to stack up wins to get to the magic number 5 that usually gets you into the postseason. In Week 7, EPC travels to Amboy to hopefully pick up one of those wins. EPC is 2-4 so far losing some close games to a couple of the top NUIC teams. If the Catz can win out the rest of the year they would reach that 5 win plateau. Amboy is standing in their way however, as the Clippers are looking for their first win of the 2019 season.
Week 7 kicked off with the coldest temperatures in the 2019 season. A stiff West wind blew from one endzone to another, bringing with it a winter chill. The frigid air didn't seem to have any adverse affects in the outcome, but a couple of big plays did.
EPC's first possession started on their own 35 yard line after stopping Amboy dead in their tracks on a 4th down stop to force a turnover on downs. Braeden Heeren led the way on the Wildcatz drive with 4 runs for 58 yards and finished it off with a 1 yard plunge into the endzone. After a successful 2 point conversion the score was now 8-0 with 4:29 left in the 1st quarter.
In the 2nd quarter the Clippers struck back. Amboy forced a turnover on downs on their own 35 yard line. Austin Norman led the way on the ground chewing up 26 yards during the possession. The big play was a pass from an unlikely source. The senior Wide Receiver Marcus Winn lined up in a shotgun wildcat formation and faked a run to the left before pulling up and throwing a long pass into the wind to Sean Fitzpatrick for a 30 yard gain. Six plays later QB Preston Henkel threw to Winn in the endzone for a 21 yard touchdown pass. The Clippers failed to convert the 2 point conversion making the score 8-6.
The Wildcatz didn't take long to strike again however. On the very next possession Braeden Heeren took a handoff 69 yards for a touchdown. The Catz failed to convert the 2 point conversion making the score 14-6. The first half would come to a close after that following unproductive drives by both teams.
The total time of possession in the 2nd half and the entire game was dominated by the Clippers, but they just weren't able to catch any breaks. Amboy's first drive in the 2nd was ended by a Braydin Preston interception on their own 24 yard line. Amboy was able to get the ball right back and put together another good looking drive. The Clippers featured powerful running by Norman and a wildcat package that showcased Marcus Winn's sprinters speed. Amboy drove the ball all the way to the 1 yard line of EPC. EPC was able to strip the Clipper ball carrier on the goal line and force a turnover.
The Wildcats felt the endzone at their backs and ran 3 straight QB sneaks by Senior Lane Christians. The 3rd sneak somehow resulted in the Wildcatz offensive line blowing open a huge hole in the Clipper defense. Christians streaked down the field chased by only one Amboy defender. Marcus Winn was able to catch him and was able to channel his inner Peanut Tillman and punch the ball out of Christians hands. EPC was able to recover the ball after a complete flip in field position. EPC took over the ball inside the red zone and ran four plays before Logan Krell dove into the endzone making the score 21-6.
The Wildcatz shutdown the Amboy offense after this and was able to tack on one more score following a 6 yard pass from Christians to Braydin Preston.
The final score in this game ended in a 27-6 EPC victory. The game was much closer than the score would appear. Amboy played a hard fought game and only lost their momentum until the huge run by Lane Christians in the 4th quarter.
For Amboy, Austin Norman led the way on the ground with 91 rushing yards. Marcus Winn added his great pass and 39 yards of rushing for the Clippers. EPC had 244 yards of rushing led by Braeden Heeren who had 97 yards, Lane Christians with 91, and Logan Krell with 56.
Next week Amboy (0-7) will host Milledgville (1-6), and EPC (3-4) will host AFC (0--7).