A year after losing in 2 OTs, Somerset beats Big Foot in OT
MADISON There aren't many teams that can understand the true agony of Big Foot High's 2-point overtime loss to Somerset in the WIAA Division 4 state championship game.
But with a drop in the end zone on the game-ending two-point conversion pass from Carter Hehr, Spartan head coach Bruce Larson was reminded of his team's double-overtime lost to Wrightstown in last season's Division 4 state championship game.
Of course, those painful memories quickly subsided with the Spartans earning the 35-33 victory and its second state championship in school history.
"We've had kind of knack for playing these types of games down here (Madison)," Larson said. "We got beat down here in double overtime last year in a very similar game, but our kids came to play and figured out a way to do it this year."
And they did it by beating the Chiefs at their own game. The Spartans outrushed the Chiefs vaunted rushing attack, 403-203, in what proved to be one of the deciding factors in the game.
"They were really good, and they did not look that good on film," Hehr said. "But we knew they were a good team, and they deserved to win."
Spartan quarterback Tyler Ledbeter certainly looked good at Camp Randall Stadium. The senior quarterback racked up three rushing touchdowns and passed for another to help his team to victory.
Ledbeter's 51-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter opened up a shocking 21-6 lead over the previously undefeated Chiefs.
With the season on the line, the Chiefs promptly responded with a quick 7-play scoring drive, capped by Hehr's 4-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 21-13 at half.
Dixon then followed up with a 20-yard touchdown run to push his team to within 21-20.
The Chiefs defense then stopped the Spartans on fourth down at their 30, giving the offense a chance to take the lead.
But Hehr's fumble on the Chiefs 9 on the ensuing possession dampened the Chiefs' comeback. Four plays later, Breault plowed across the goal line for a 1-yard touchdown run to rebuild the lead to 27-20 with seven minutes and 59 seconds to play.
Hehr, however, got his redemption with a blocked extra point, followed by an amazing 11-yard touchdown run on the ensuing possession to knot the game at 27 with five minutes and 28 seconds left.
The Spartans then drove all the way to Chiefs 19 on the ensuing possession before the Chiefs blocked a 37-yard field goal attempt at the end of regulation.
The blocked field goal was just a minor setback for the Spartans, who took the opening overtime drive into the end zone on Ledbeter's 5-yard run. Robert LeRoy then made it 35-27 on a two-point conversion run.
"They (Somerset) are built for a short field in overtime and I knew they would go for two in overtime," Big Foot coach Rodney Wedig said. "This was about as even of matchup as you found in championship game in I don't know how many years."
Big Foot came right back with Hehr's 19-yard touchdown pass to Mason Dixon to draw within 35-27. Then on the 2-point conversion, Hehr rolled right and fired a strike, but the pass bounced in and out the running back running back Brandon Hausner's hands to end the game.
"When we called that play on the two-point conversion, I knew it wasn't going to be long or deep, but I knew we had to get this," Hausner said.
Unfortunately for the Chiefs, the ball didn't bounce their way.
SOMERSET 35, BIG FOOT 33 (OT)
Somerset 7 14 0 6 8—35
Big Foot 6 7 7 7 6—33
Scoring summary: WBF—Mason Dixon, 1 run (kick failed); S—Tyler Ledbeter, 46 run (Luke Praschak kick); S—Gaelin Elmore, 13 pass from Tyler Ledbeter (Luke Praschak kick); SOM—Tyler Ledbeter, 51 run (Luke Praschak kick); WBF—Carter Hehr, 4 run (Ian Gallagher kick); WBF—Mason Dixon, 20 run (Gallagher kick); S—Vernon Breault, 1 run (kick failed); WBF—Hehr, 11 run (Gallagher kick); S—Ledbeter, 5 run (Robert LeRoy run). WBF—Mason Dixon, 19 pass from Hehr (pass failed).
Statistics: First downs—S 23, WBF 17. Rushing—S 66-403, WBF 37-203. Yards passing—S 27, WBF 129. Passes—S 2-3-0, WBF 7-9-0. Fumbles—S 1-0, WBF 1-1. Penalties—S 2-10, WBF 1-15.
Chiefs stand up for entire game
Walworth Big Foot High School football coach Rodney Wedig's prediction finally came true.
Wedig insisted his team would have to go through playoff adversity before it could hoist another state championship trophy.
The question was how the Chiefs would react when it finally hit?
Thursday evening on the grand stage of Camp Randall Stadium, Big Foot was not only hit, but also engulfed in a 35-33 OT loss by a physically dominating Somerset team.
The Spartans ran an option offensive clinic on the Chiefs in the first half, racking up 223 rushing yards and 21 points.
And just like that, the Chiefs were down 21-6 with just 50 seconds to play in the second quarter.
Facing its first true test of will, Big Foot responded with a commanding 7-play scoring drive capped by Carter Hehr's 4-yard dive into the end zone as time elapsed in the half. That closed the deficit to 21-13 and gave the Chiefs momentum heading into halftime.
It also gave the Chiefs talented starting lineup just its second chance of the year to play a four-quarter game. Big Foot had outscored opponents, 495-103 through its first 12 games this season, players like Hehr and running back Mason Dixon spent most fourth quarters on the bench.
Dixon certainly made the most of his opportunity. The senior runner led a vintage Big Foot drive to the start the second half, capped by his 20-yard touchdown run through the teeth of the Spartan defense. That made the score 21-20 Somerset.
"We had to hope for a couple stops and finally got one in the third quarter and turn it around and then come down and get to within one point of the lead," Wedig said.
After Somerset rebuilt a 27-20 lead, Hehr responded with an 11-yard touchdown run to knot the game at 27 and force overtime.
Hehr, a senior, put on a Herculean effort playing both quarterback and safety. Hehr completed seven of nine passes for 129 yards and a touchdown, rushed 13 times for 40 yards and two touchdowns, and had 10 solo and six assisted tackles to go along with a blocked extra point on defense.
Dixon concluded his extraordinary season with 163 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries and a pass reception for 19 yards. He rushed for 2,243 yards and scored 42 touchdowns this season.
But Somerset had just a little bit more in overtime and eventually pulled out the victory.
Although the Chiefs fell short of a state title, they proved to their head coach that they had the will of a champion.
"These guys hurt and obviously like to have a gold ball going back to Big Foot, but I'm not going back on the bus wondering what we should have done," Wedig said. "We implemented the game plan and executed the game plan, but they were just a little better."