Vance, G-E-T finish comeback in OT to doom Sparta
The Sparta football team got their 2021 alternative fall football season underway on Friday when they traveled to face a tough G-E-T team.
After a back and forth contest - a game filled with big play after big play - the Spartans found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard losing a 46-38 overtime decision.
The Red Hawks opened things up with a 73-yard scoring run by Luke Vance in the first quarter. The two-point conversion was successful and the home team held an 8-0 lead.
The first quarter fireworks were far from over.
Sparta’s Corbin Hauser returned the ensuring kickoff 40 yards for a score which was followed by a sucessful point-after-touchdown kick by Chris Jacobs to cut the deficit to one.
Jacobs kicked successfully again after a 47-yard TD run by Carson Kelsey later in the quarter.
Sparta’s lead was short lived, though, as G-E-T struck again on another Vance run.
The shootout continued as Sparta recaptured the lead on a pass from Hauser to Abe Eide. Jacobs’ kick brought the final score in the first quarter to 21-16 in favor of Sparta.
G-E-T was the only team to score in the second quarter, which led to a 24-21 halftime advantage for the Red Hawks.
Sparta wasn’t deterred as they dominated the third quarter. The Spartans scored three times to take a 38-24 lead.
Hauser ran 20 yards for a score, Jacobs kicked a field goal and Kelsey scampered for a score from 47 yards out.
G-E-T returned the favor in the fourth quarter as Vance finished his touchdown hat trick. Brady Seiling ran for his second score to tie the game at 38 with just 13 seconds left.
The score would remain deadlocked at 38 as time expired and the two teams entered overtime.
G-E-T went to work first and managed to finish their OT possession with a short run by quarterback Sawyer Schmidt to score. Vance added pressure to Sparta by adding two points on a run after.
Sparta couldn’t match the home team’s scoring effort in OT, and fell by eight points to start the season 0-1.
Sparta head coach Adam Dow seemed pleased with the explosiveness and effort he saw from his offense. Dow felt that every other play for the team was a big play for a touchdown.
Sparta piled up 270 yards of offense on 27 plays in the loss.
Dow said, “One thing we need to sure up is the three and outs. It was either a three and out or touchdown in two to three plays and we can’t keep that up for a whole game.”
The top performer on the offensive end for the Spartans was running back Carson Kelsey who finished with 7 touches, 133 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns.
Nick Kent added 54 yards on 7 carries and Hauser ended with 37 yards on just four attempts.
Quarterback Brett Stuessel threw 8 times, completed 3 passes and finished with 69 passing yard and a touchdown.
G-E-T’s Luke Vance finished with 28 touches, 186 rushing yds, and 3 touchdowns.
G-E-T’s other running back, Brady Seiling, ended the game with 24 touches, 158 rushing yds, and 2 touchdowns.
Between the two of them, the GET rushing attack finished with 52 total touches, 344 total yards and 5 touchdowns. They only attempted 4 passing attempts with QB Sawyer Schmidt.
Dow said he saw high effort and energy from his defense all night, but felt that his team was getting tired because of how fast the offense was scoring all night.
A couple things that Dow wants to see improvement on from his defense for the next game is a lower pad level and figuring out defensive responsibilities.
“If you want to play (with pad levels) high against a team like G-E-T, you are going to get blown out of the stadium,” said Dow.
“Responsibilities and technique, the little things like that, especially against a team like G-E-T. You have to do the right things.”
Though it was a tough loss for the Spartans, it could be considered a good loss. G-E-T is a great, physical team that did what they are known for which can be hard to stop.
The Spartans hope to learn from this first game and move on. Their next game is Thursday at La Crosse Logan at 1:00 p.m.