The Aberdeen Tigers played their first game of the state playoffs at Holt Arena against the North Fremont Huskies on Thursday, Oct. 31. The Tigers fell a little short of a victory, losing by two touchdowns 28-14.
“The Huskies are a big physical team and we knew we were in for a battle,” said coach Jeff Duffin.
The Tigers won the toss and deferred to the second half and the Huskies elected to receive the opening kickoff. Abe Torres boomed the opening kickoff into the end zone for a touchback. The Huskies drove the ball 80 yards in 19 plays to make the score 6-0 after the Tigers held tough on the 2-point conversion attempt.
“Having watched the film before writing this, it is hard not to mention that there were several obvious holds and blocks in the back that were not called on this opening drive,” Duffin said.
Juan Juarez scooped up the Huskies kickoff on the Tigers 22 yard line and returned it 34 yards to the Huskies 44 yard line to start the Tigers first drive. The Tigers were forced to a three and out and had to punt the ball back to the Huskies.
The Huskies started their second drive on their own 15-yard line. The Tiger defense held tough and forced the Huskies to a three and out. The Huskies punt rolled to a stop at their own 35-yard line. Eight plays later facing a fourth and 12, Joseph Lemos would come on to attempt a 39 yard field goal which was blocked by the Huskies.
The Huskies took over on their own 20-yard line. Three plays later the Tigers gave up the Huskies biggest play of the game, a 75 yard run by Tag Jensen right down the middle of the field.
“It was a great run. It was to bad the Sixth District refs missed Stetson Nielson getting his jersey about ripped off at the line of scrimmage where the hole was opened up,” he said.
The Tigers held tough again on the 2-point conversion attempt to hold the score to 12-0 Huskies.
Aberdeen started their third drive on the Tiger 28 yard line. They went to their double wing play set and moved the ball well. It was on this drive early in the second quarter, that Abe Torres suffered a mild concussion and was out for the balance of the game. When faced with a fourth and six at the Husky 38, the Tigers attempted a fake punt but the pass fell incomplete.
The Huskies took over at the 38-yard line to start their next drive. The Tiger defense played great and held the Huskies to a three and out and forced a punt. Oscar Klassen fielded the punt on the Tiger 31-yard line and returned it 45 yards to the Huskies 24 yard line. Four plays later Clancy Beck scored on a QB sweep around the right side from six yards out. Joseph Lemos nailed the extra point to make the score 12-7 Huskies.
The Huskies started their next drive on their own 21-yard line. The Tiger defense again stuffed the Huskies and forced another three and out.
“We went for the block on the punt and Hilario (Carrillo) just about got it, but ended up getting called for roughing the punter which gave the Huskies a first down,” said Duffin.
The Tigers held North Fremont on their next two plays and went into halftime down 12-7.
“Except for the first drive filled with missed calls and the one big play that should have been called back for an obvious hold, our defense shut down the Huskies in the first half. We felt like we had the momentum and were very pumped up and confident coming out for the second half,” he said.
On the opening kickoff for the second half the Huskies attempted an on-side kick.
“The ball went out of bounds and a Huskies player who ran out of bounds for three yards and was a yard out of bounds when he grabbed the ball and jumped back onto the field was credited for recovering the kick and the Huskies were given the ball. That call was totally unacceptable and showed true bias on the part of the Sixth District refs and was a huge momentum swing in the game,” Duffin said.
The pumped up Huskies then scored in three plays to put them up 20-7 after converting on a 2-point attempt.
The Tigers were held to a three and out after a deep pass attempt from Clancy Beck to Ethan Elliott fell incomplete.
“We had some chances for some big plays of our own but they were all just a little off,” Duffin said.
Carrillo came on and boomed a 60-yard punt pinning the Huskies on their own 10-yard line. They drove the ball to the Tiger 25 yard line when they ran a sweep around the right end. Carrillo punched the ball out of the Huskies running back’s grip at the 12-yard line and Oscar Klassen scooped the ball up on the 1-yard line and returned it 44 yards to the Tiger 45-yard line before stepping out of bounds.
The Tigers drove the ball 55 yards in seven plays for a touchdown. The drive was highlighted by a 28-yard gain on a hook and ladder play from Oscar Klassen to Ethan Elliott, and finished off by a 6-yard QB keeper around the right end by Clancy Beck. Joseph Lemos came on to add the extra point to make the score 20-14 early in the fourth quarter.
“Both of our kickers this year were awesome. They did not miss one extra point the whole season and we won three big games by a field goal,” coach Duffin added.
“At this point it felt like we had regained the momentum and were poised to come back and win the game,” he said.
Joseph Lemos squib kicked the next kickoff into the end zone and North Fremont started their drive on their own 20-yard line.
“We really needed one more stop out of our defense, but the Huskies owned the line of scrimmage on this drive,” he said.
The Huskies drove the ball 80 yards in 17 plays to make the score 28-14 which would end up the final score.
“The kids had a great season; it was a privilege to be able to help coach them with our coaching staff. We had some big wins this year and the kids played with a lot of heart. As heartbreaking as it is to have the season end sooner than we wanted, they can be very proud of what they were able to accomplish. We have a very strong team coming back next year. Next year’s seniors, juniors, and sophomores all won championships in the SEIFL. It should be a great year for everyone to look forward to and we are expecting nothing short of a championship,” Duffin said.
Score by quarters
Aberdeen 0 7 7 0 14
North Fremont 6 6 8 8 28
NF – 2 yd run Tagg Jeppeson
NF – 76 yd run Tagg Jeppeson
A – 6 yd run Clancy Beck (Joseph Lemos kick)
NF – 24 yd run Tagg Jeppeson (PAT run Tagg Jeppeson)
A – 5 yd run Clancy Beck (Joseph Lemos kick)
NF – 2 yr run Shane Hill (PAT run Tanner Oberhansley)
Aberdeen: Ethan Elliott 1-14; Clancy Beck 6-16; Tony Lemos 1-10; Jesus Villareal 1-3; Hilario Carrillo 9-55
North Fremont: Tagg Jeppesen 21-200; Shane Hill 6-8; Michael Mower 5-8; Tanner Oberhansley 20-85; #25 4-17 (Name not on the roster)
Aberdeen: Ethan Elliott 7-39; Oscar Klassen 2-10
North Fremont: Cody Blanchard 1-0; Tevyn Bell 1-0; Tagg Jeppesen 1-16