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General History Section
Lafayette Jeff football falls to Whiteland
August 26, 2014Lafayette Jefferson High School
It was a highlight-film interception, but Daniel Ricksy’s one-handed pickoff seemed to work against the Lafayette Jeff Bronchos in their 43-14 loss to Whiteland in the season opener at Scheumann Stadium Friday night.
The Warriors, who were 9-3 a year ago, came in as the No. 5-ranked team in Class 5A. But Jeff had its chances for the upset before things unraveled in the third quarter.
With Jeff down 27-14, Ricksy made a circus catch of Whiteland’s Jace Carpenter’s pass with less than a minute left in the third quarter at the goal line that carried him into the end zone, denying Whiteland a score.
The referees ruled his forward progress was at the 1-yard line. Jeff coach Andy Kennedy bitterly disagreed. He lost the argument.
Whiteland defenders tackled Ricksy in the end zone for a safety two plays later, and after receiving the free kick from the Bronchos, the Warriors scored again on a 63-yard touchdown run by Shaw Cloud to put the game out of reach.
“Their guy just made one heck of a play,” acknowledged Whiteland coach Darrin Fisher. “In the old days, actually, that would have been a safety catching the ball at the 1-yard line, so at least that gave them the ball at the one, but being able to get the safety a couple of plays later was a big momentum changing-play.”
Kennedy agreed that the series of events was momentum-changing, but disagreed with the way it was interpreted.
“He caught the ball above his head, so he didn’t have full possession of it until he pulled it into his stomach, and that’s when he was in the end zone,” Kennedy said, still ready to debate the point after the game. “Obviously, that was up to interpretation and put us in a tough spot on the half-yard line.”
Kennedy said the Bronchos did not respond well after the safety, giving up the long touchdown on the first play after the free kick.
“If we come out and get a stop, it would have affected the shifting momentum,” Kennedy said. “We kind of fell apart at the end. If we’re able to march down and score to make it 27-21, things are different and your body language and charisma is different. We just have to get mentally tougher.”
The contest was ended with a little more than three minutes left to play when Jeff senior Austin McGreevy suffered what appeared to be a neck injury. He laid on the field for about 20 minutes until trainers and emergency personnel stabilized him and loaded him onto an ambulance.
Kennedy said because of privacy rules he could only say that McGreevy will be receiving further evaluation.
Jeff stunned Whiteland on its first drive of the game when Ricksy wiggled free and raced for a 51-yard touchdown on the Bronchos’ seventh play from scrimmage to take a quick 7-0 lead. It was the first of two touchdowns for Ricksy.
It was a tale of two halves for Jeff quarterback Brandon Gawlik, who completed his first eight passes in a row but ended up throwing four interceptions. He finished the night 13 for 26 for 120 yards.
The Warriors responded to Ricksy’s first score by going 89 yards on nine plays, sparked by a 22-yard pass from Jace Carpenter to Isaiah Calaway and a Cloud 27-yard run. Carpenter finished off the drive with a 1-yard run with 4:04 left in the first quarter to knot the score at 7-all.
Whiteland took the lead for good on its next possession, this time ignited by Calaway’s 50-yard catch that moved the ball deep in Broncho territory. Anthony Schanz scored from 9 yards out four plays later, but Ricksy blocked the Warriors’ extra point, making the score 13-7.