Kott's four scores lead Wolves past Lynx
Holding a nine-point lead at halftime, head coach Jason Brewer challenged seniors Peter Kott and Ed Hall to cement Eagle River’s first win of the 2013 football season.
The duo combined for 132 second-half rushing yards and two of Kott’s game-high four touchdowns came in the final two quarters as the Wolves downed visiting Cook Inlet Conference foe Dimond 36-29 on Saturday, Aug. 24.
“They carried us on their shoulders,” Brewer said.
Hall’s hard-nosed, up-the-gut running helped the shifty Kott and speedy Alani Collins — who had 54 rushing yards — rip off large gains.
Kott’s 176 rushing yards accounted for more than half of the Wolves’ total ground game. Hall added 93 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Elusiveness and speed helped Kott gain 10 yards or more on seven carries, but the senior quarterback also showcased his strength — epitomized by his fourth trip to the end zone. On a naked bootleg around the left end, Kott was hit at the 6-yard line, managed to stay in bounds, then spun and fought through two more Lynx defenders before crossing the goal line.
Kott said determination pushed him in for what proved to be the game-winning score.
“You can’t stop mid play,” he said. “You got to keep going till the whistle’s blown.”
That touchdown put Eagle River up 36-22 with 5:28 to play. Dimond responded with an eight-play, 80-yard drive on which it converted two fourth downs — including a 5-yard TD pass from Jeremiah Maga to Rafa Zavala on fourth and goal.
Cory Lestochi returned the ensuing onside kickoff attempt 23 yards to put Eagle River on Dimond’s 32-yard line. The Lynx took over on their own 25-yard line four plays later with 22 seconds left, but gained only seven yards before time expired.
Eagle River’s stingy run defense held Dimond to just 29 yards on the ground.
Dimond’s passing game was a different story, as the Lynx threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns. Maga’s favorite target was Marquez Buster, who hauled in seven catches for 154 yards and a pair of scores.
After Dimond scored on its first possession of the game, Kott ran in a 1-yard score one play after connecting with Collins on a 26-yard pass.
An offensive flurry erupted at the end of the first half as 20 points were scored in the final 3:17.
Hall’s 6-yard touchdown run put the Wolves up 13-6, but Dimond (0-2 overall, 0-1 CIC) made it a one-point game two minutes later when Buster caught a 25-yard touchdown pass.
The Wolves responded quickly and marched 80 yards in under a minute, capping the drive with a 17-yard run by Kott.
Maga hooked up with Buster on a 44-yard strike to start the second half, cutting Eagle River’s lead to two points.
Kott helped the Wolves a 10-point cushion going into the final quarter when he took a draw 23-yards up the middle for a touchdown. Nick Roth caught the ensuing conversion pass from Colin Metzel.
Staying calm in the midst of back-and-forth scoring keyed the victory, Hall said.
“We kept our heads the whole game,” he said.
Brewer credited his captains with keeping the team composed.
“That’s our senior leadership,” he said.
Eagle River (1-0 CIC, 1-1 overall) plays West (0-1 CIC, 0-2 overall) on Saturday, Aug. 31 at Anchorage Football Stadium at 7 p.m. The Eagles are coming off of a 14-7 overtime loss against Chugiak.