Eagles edge Coleman to win opener

August 30, 2018

By Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

It’s so far so good for the Travis Waddell era. The new Farwell football coach got a 20-18 come-from-behind victory over Coleman in his debut Friday night, thanks to a late score and a late turnover.

“This is a big win for the program and it’s great to start the season out with a win,” Waddell said of the non-conference win that snapped the program’s 17-game losing streak.

For the Comets, who held a two possession lead at the half, it was a tough way to begin the year.

“I thought we played very sound defensively early,” Coleman head coach Chad Klopf said. “We had too many penalties, which cost us on both sides of the ball. (The penalties were) drive killers and when we should be getting off the field defensively or ending the game, there was a penalty for us.”

The Comets scored single touchdowns in each of the first two quarters to carry a 12-0 lead at the half. Coleman quarterback Spencer Pnacek scored on an eight yard keeper with 1:27 to play in the first and with 4:12 to play in the half, Pnacek hit Trey Templeman for an eight yard touchdown pass and 12-0. The Comets appeared to make it 14-0 with a successful pass to the end zone on the two-point conversion, however that attempt was called back. The retry saw an incomplete pass for an important failed conversion.

The Eagles made adjustments at the half, helping them put up a stop on Coleman’s first drive of the third quarter. Farwell took advantage of the possession, getting Seth Hannah free on a counter play, on which he sprinted down the field for a 56-yard touchdown run.

Farwell stopped Coleman again to regain the ball. This time Farwell traded handoffs between Tristan Larmin and Hannah to chew up yardage down the field. The Eagles capped off the drive with a five yard touchdown pass from Bradin Maxey to Jacob Holt. A successful two point conversion made it 14-12 after three.

The Eagles nearly extended their lead on their first drive of the fourth quarter, though they had a long touchdown run called back on a penalty. After a punt to the Comets, Pnacek broke free for a 57-yard touchdown scramble, giving them an 18-14 lead with about three minutes to play.

The Eagles were unphased however and pieced together a game-winning drive that was capped by a 25-yard touchdown run on a trap-play by Logan Wunderlich with just 42 seconds to go.

Farwell iced the game moments later when Johnny Cogswell hauled in an interception with just 20 seconds remaining.

“I think it shows our team character,” Waddell said. “We were down by two scores at halftime. We came back and took the lead, but then gave up a score with three minutes to go. It takes a special group of guys to drive down and stay confident to score in the final seconds and that interception by Cogswell was huge.”
Hannah finished with 157 yards and one touchdown on the ground to lead the offense, with Wunderlick adding 59 yards and a score. Maxey was three-of-six passing for 27 yards and one touchdown.

The defense was led by Hannah and Jacob Swarthout with nine tackles each and Zach Carpenter had six tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble.

Farwell (1-0) overall opened up Jack Pine Conference play at Meridian (0-1) on Thursday. The Mustangs dropped their opening game to Bullock Creek, 32-26.
“Farwell had good energy all night and they have a couple big boys that are hard to move, but can move well themselves and cause you fits. The positive was that we didn’t have any one glaring mistake, just little things that can be fixed.”

For the Comets, Pnacek was 11-of-17 for 145 yards, one touchdown and one interception and he had 116 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 15 attempts. Dakota Wilson ran five times for 46 yards. Templeman had two receptions for 54 yards and one touchdown and Tyler Germain had three receptions for 53 yards. Trevor Schrank led the defense with 10 tackles.

Coleman (0-1) hosted Royal Oak Shrine Catholic (0-1) on Thursday in a non-league battle. The Knights are coming off a 39-14 loss to Whitmore Lake last week.
“They are new to our schedule, they have a new coach with a lot of experience,” Klopf said. “They run multiple sets on offense and a 3-3 defensively. They have some good athletes and a good sized running back. We need to fix our mistakes and clean up our penalties.”

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