The West Central Area-Ashby football team escaped Hawley with a 14-13 win to close out the regular season on Oct 16.
With 28 seconds left, the Knights (5-3) stopped the Nuggets (0-8) on a two-point conversion attempt to get their fifth win of the season. It’s a milestone that WCA-A has not reached in over a decade.
Sophomore Evan Paulson started at quarterback for the injured Jaden Norby. He led a long drive down the field on the Knight’s opening possession. Paulson punched in the one-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter.
Paulson connected with junior Mark Adams for an eight-yard touchdown catch before halftime to put WCA-A up 14-0.
Hawley cut the lead in half with nine minutes left to play. After the Nuggets forced a punt, they scored a touchdown in the final minute but were stopped on the two-point conversion attempt.
“This was a tough, hard-fought battle,” said WCA-A Head Coach Nate Wood. “It shows the parity between all the teams in our area. Hawley is a very well-coached team that showed excellent sportsmanship throughout the game and after.”
The Knights have the fourth seed in the Section 6AA playoffs and will host Long Prairie-Grey Eagle (2-6) on Tuesday night.
WCA-A 6 8 0 0 - 14
HAWLEY 0 0 0 13 - 13
SCORING- FIRST QUARTER- WCA-A- Evan Paulson 1-yard TD run (Anthony Sykora two-point conversion run no good) 6:26;
SECOND QUARTER- WCA-A- Evan Paulson 8-yard TD pass to Mark Adams (Evan Paulson two-point conversion pass to Mark Adams good) 0:44;
FOURTH QUARTER- Hawley- Blake Manthe 2-yard TD run (Sam Burkel PAT good) 9:30; Hawley- Cole Sunde 1-yard TD run (Sam Burkel two-point conversion run no good);
WCA PASSING- Evan Paulson 6-9, 59 yards, TD, INT;
WCA RUSHING- Anthony Sykora 15 attempts, 71 yards; Jordan Lohse 7 attempts, 26 yards; Mark Adams 4 attempts, 13 yards; Evan Paulson 4 attempts, -1 yard, TD; Hunter Norby 1 attempt, -3 yards;
WCA RECEIVING- Mark Adams 2 receptions, 16 yards, TD; Jordan Lohse 1 reception, 15 yards; Gage Staples 2 receptions, 15 yards; Tate Christenson 1 reception, 13 yards