Irish Fall to Rock Creek
By Chance Liebau, Chapman High Journalism
In their second district matchup of the season, the Chapman Irish fell 14-0 to the Rock Creek Mustangs. With the wet ground and cold weather, both teams struggled to score in this game. The Mustangs had thrown for over 400 yards the week before against Halstead, but they were forced to run in the wet environment this week.
The Mustangs received the opening kickoff at their own thirty-five-yard line. They drove sixty-five yards in seven plays to take a 6-0 lead after a missed kick. The Irish were given a short-field after a short kick by the Mustangs, but the Irish went three-and-out and punted it back to the Mustangs, only their fourth punt of the season. The Irish defense got a sack and forced the Mustangs into a long third-down, but the Mustangs converted to keep the drive alive. The Mustangs would convert on another third-and-long to score and make it a 14-0 game. The Irish had good field position again following another short kick and a targeting penalty by the Mustangs, starting on their forty-eight-yard line. The Irish broke open a big run by Eli Riegel and a long pass to Austin Litzinger to put them inside the Rock Creek ten-yard-line, but the Irish failed to score after a pair of incompletions. Rock Creek got the ball back deep in their own territory and had two touchdowns called back on penalties. The Irish got a sack on third and long to force the Mustangs to punt near the end of the first half. A big throw from Erickson to Litzinger put the Irish at the twenty-two of Rock Creek. The Irish got a touchdown throw to Litzinger, but it was called back after a penalty. Two plays later, Erickson threw a pick and the Irish were held out of the endzone for the first half and went into halftime trailing 14-0.
The Irish tried playing keep-away in the third quarter, holding the ball for the entire third quarter, driving seventy-two yards in twenty plays but failed to score at the two-yard line on fourth and goal. The Mustangs started this drive pinned deep inside their own five, but they managed multiple third-downs to get near midfield before being forced to punt on fourth and fifteen. The Irish got the ball back on their own fourteen but turned it over on downs and the Mustangs got it back to run out the clock and came out with a muddy 14-0 win.
The Irish defense had their best game of the season, shutting down a Rock Creek offense that threw for over 400 yards and scored 38 points last week against top ten Halstead. The Irish only gave up 14 points and less than 100 passing yards. The offense struggled to get going against a fast Rock Creek defense. The Irish only ran for 122 yards on the game on 33 carries, a season-low. The Irish held the ball for the entire third quarter but failed to score in the red-zone multiple times and dropped their second straight district game.
The Irish return back home to face 1-4 Smoky Valley this Friday. The Irish have struggled against the Vikings in the past, but they are not having as much success as they have in recent history. The Vikings are also 0-2 in district play after falling 35-8 to Hesston and 44-30 against Clay Center. The game will kickoff at 7:00 PM in Chapman.