Imperials Come From Behind To Win On Parent’s Night

October 13, 2021

The Napoleon/Gackle-Streeter 9-man football team played their final regular season game at home last Fri., Oct. 8 against Region 6 number one seed, Hettinger/Scranton. It was also parent’s night for NGS as all participants and parents were recognized prior to the start of the contest. The game was a clash of two different types of football as the Imperials went to the air often while H/S ran the ball. When the final buzzer sounded it was NGS who trailed at half-time 8-14, and made a second half run and came out on top 30-22.

The first quarter was a defensive battle as neither team managed to find the end zone. However, the Imperials first play from scrimmage Imperial head coach Kelly McCleary allowed his senior quarterback, Tucker Schneider who suffered a season ending knee injury against South Border, take the first snap as he handed the ball off to another senior, Patrick Pechtel. On this series, which had the Imperials start on their own 23-yard line sophomore quarter back Joren Jangula connected  through the air with senior receiver Kayden Sperle on two occasions, one for a 30-yard gain and another for a 14-yard gain. The Imperials managed to move the ball to the Nighthawks 5-yard line before turning the ball over on downs after running 13 plays and with 7:52 to play in the first. The Knighthawks ran three plays and then were forced to punt with NGS taking possession at midfield. Six plays later NGS turned the ball over on downs on the 23-yard line with 4:41 to play in the first stanza. Once again, the Imperial defense held strong as they forced H/S to punt after five plays, with NGS starting on their own 20-yard line with 2:23 to play in the first. On this next series senior Pechtel pulled in a Jangula pass for a 42-yard gain as one of the highlights of this drive, however Pechtel suffered a broken fore-arm, as he was brought down on this play. The Imperials continued to move the ball all the way to the 1-yard line with time expiring and both teams were held scoreless in the first quarter. The very first play in the second quarter junior lineman Trenton Erbele took a direct snap and carried over untouched from 1-yard out to put the Imperials on the board. Erbele also carried for the PAT as NGS led 8-0.

The Nighthawks didn’t waste any time tacking on points of their own as Tristan Pekas carried the ball three times from midfield and he too finished the drive as he crossed over from 1-yard out at the 10:37 mark in the second frame. Connor Andress carried for the 2-point conversion and the contest was tied at 8. After NGS ran three plays they were forced to punt with H/S starting from the NGS 10-yard line. In a sustained drive of 14 plays the Nighthawks had Andress carry over from 5-yards out. The Imperials denied the PAT, as the home team trailed 8-14 with just under a minute to play in the first half to round out first half scoring.

The second half had the Nighthawks continue with their run game. On their first possession, as they ran 8 plays and were faced with a fourth down and 11 when NGS senior Kayden Sperle picked off a Cade Warbis pass in the end zone and he brought it out to the 10-yard line. On the Imperials possession they ran 7 plays, with five being through the air, as Jangula found sophomore Trevor Moos on a 30-yard TD strike. Erbele carried for the PAT as the Imperials regained the lead and never looked back as they held a 16-14 margin with 5:23 left in the third quarter.

Coach McCleary called for an on-side kick which senior Jaxcen Glatt. . .