Spartans sputter in second half, fall to North

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Spartans sputter in second half, fall to North

Senior Jackson Moats warms-up before Friday night's game.

Senior Jackson Moats warms-up before Friday night's game.

Ian Wilger

Senior Jackson Moats warms-up before Friday night's game.

Ian Wilger

Ian Wilger

Senior Jackson Moats warms-up before Friday night's game.

Ian Wilger, Sports Editor

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Pleasant Valley’s final effort at a push for the playoffs came to an end Friday night. With the lead at halftime, defense staggered and offense was halted as the Spartans saw their lead vanish along with the playoffs.

The Spartans first drive of the game looked promising, making play after play for first downs. The luck ran out though when the Spartans stalled at the 31 yard line. Coach Rusty VanWetzinga made the risky choice of calling for a 48 yard field goal. The kick was short and wide left.

Following the miss, the Wildcats had great field position and quickly drove down the field and scored a touchdown. Quarterback Jack West scrambled in the backfield for ten to fifteen seconds before connecting with wide receiver Quincy Wiseman for a 35 yard touchdown. North missed the extra point, but had an early 6-0 lead.

Pleasant Valley then went on a 14-0 run led by Kaden Kipper, who carried the ball 19 times in the first half alone. Kipper has a touchdown run and so did quarterback Ryan Mumey. 

Late in the second, the Wildcats were mounting a long drive and were yards from the end zone when Michael Acri intercepted the ball in the end zone, giving the Spartans the ball at the 20 yard line. “It felt good, it was a big momentum shift letting us keep the lead going into halftime. Obviously not the results we wanted at the end of the game, but I’m confident we can go into Linn-mar next week and get a win for these seniors.” He said. The Spartans took the lead into the half, hoping to keep the momentum going into the second half.

The luck was not on the Spartans side in the second half. North seemed to do whatever they wanted to and obliterated the Spartan defense in their possessions. The Wildcats finished the game on a 17-0 run and effectively knocked the Spartans out of playoff considerations. 

The ground game for the Spartans worked great in the first half. Pleasant Valley had 178 yards on the ground, Kipper accounted for 95 of those yards on 26 touches, and had one touchdown. 

The Wildcat quarterback proved to be too much in the long run for the Spartans to contain. West had free say on whatever he wanted to do. West had 348 total yards in the game, 215 rushing yards and 133 yards in the air.

Pleasant Valley’s seniors have one last game to show what they have, hopefully they can go out with a win. Senior Jack Stoneking said, “I’m going to miss the bond I had with these guys, it’s something you don’t get anywhere else” he said.

The Spartans final game will be at Linn-Mar on Friday, October 25th.