Mustangs stop Gehlen's two-point try in OT for heart-stopping 35-34 win
LEMARS - Newell-Fonda linebacker Peter Olsen stuffed LeMars Gehlen running back Alex Loutsch at the line of scrimmage on a two-point conversion in overtime here Tuesday night, giving the Mustangs a heartstopping 35-34 win in a first round, Class A playoff game.
Newell-Fonda held what seemed to be a comfortable 28-14 lead with 2 minutes, 57 seconds left, only to see Gehlen reel off 14 straight points to force overtime.
With all the momentum going the Jays' way, Newell-Fonda running back Chad Buchholz turned things around in overtime, scoring on the first play in overtime in a 10-yard run.
It was Buchholz' fourth touchdown of the night, as he scored all of Newell-Fonda's points save for Olsen's four extra-point kicks.
"Our seniors put this game on their backs and made the plays down the stretch to win it," a relieved Mustang coach Brian Wilken said after the game.
Gehlen's talented quarterback Jason Rohe was sacked for a five-yard loss on the Jays' first overtime play. He misfired on second down but hit receiver Brandon Loutsch for a 14-yard gain on third down to inside the Mustangs one-yard line.
After Gehlen was flagged five yards for motion, Rohe connected with senior T.J. Britton on a five-yard scoring pass to get the Jays within 35-34.
Gehlen coach Tony Gunter called a quick timeout and a discussion ensued on the Jays' sideline.
Gunter decided to got for two and the win. Rohe handed off to Loutsch but the latter was stopped for no gain by Olsen, ending the game.
With the win, the Mustangs improved to 9-1 on the season and advanced to the Class A state quarterfinals.
Monday night, they'll play host to defending Class A champion and top-ranked West Bend Mallard in Newell. WBM pounded Galva-Holstein 39-0 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Newell-Fonda, however, barely survived the first half in LeMars Monday night.
The Mustangs recorded just two first downs offensively in the first two quarters to 15 for Gehlen.
LeMars also failed to put the Mustangs away when they had the chance
In the first quarter, the Jays were inside the Newell-Fonda 20-yard line three times but lost the ball via turnovers each time. One came on a lost fumble and Mustangs defenders intercepted Rohe twice to prevent scores.
Gehlen, however, scored twice in the second quarter when Loutsch capped a ten-play, 81-yard drive on a two-yard run.
After the Mustangs went three and out, Loutsch capped another long drive with a three yard run. Both extra-point kicks were made and Gehlen took a 14-0 lead at the half.
The Mustangs came out of the lockeroom playing inspired football.
On the opening possession of the second half, Mustang quarterback Mike Movall hit Buchholz with a 57-yard pass to the Jays four yard line. On the next play, Buchholz scored from four yards out. Olsen made the PAT and the Mustangs were within 14-7.
Gehlen failed to move on its next possession and the Mustangs took advantage. Buchholz was key again, as he returned a punt 58 yard deep into Jays territory. Several plays later, N-F tailback David Hopper scored on a three-yard run. Olsen's kick tied it.
The Mustangs stopped the Gehlen offense again, then after a punt, Buchholz capped an eight-play, 45-yard drive on a 156-yard scoring run. Olsen's kick gave the Mustangs a 28-14 lead with 2:57 left.
Gehlen used its big play ability and a recovery of an onside kick to score a quick 14 points for the tie.
Rohe capped a 65-yard drive with a six yard run and the Jays made the PAT kick to get to within 28-20.
With just 49 seconds left, Gehlen recovered an onside kick near the Mustang 40.
The Jays moved to the N-F 30. With just three seconds left, Rohe threw a scoring pass to wideout Jose Alleman, then forced overtime by running for the two-point conversion.