GI Northwest QB Sam Hartman (far right) surveys the Waverly defense. In a battle of the Vikings, Northwest ended up shocking the Waverly 21-20 in overtime Friday night.
VIKING FIELD, GRAND ISLAND, NE
The battle between Class B’s #5 Waverly and #7 GI Northwest came down to a PAT kick in overtime. All-State kicker Parker Janky of Northwest made his. Waverly’s Evan Canoyer just missed his.
There’s obviously much more to this storyline than that, but the fact of the matter is, when it came down to crunch time, you would not expect either Canoyer, who hadn’t missed a PAT since September 21st, 2018 (58-58 since), or Janky, who had not muffed one since August 30th of last season (49-49 since then), to miss a PAT kick.
But Northwest’s Parker Janky calmly lined up after Northwest tied the game in overtime on Sam Hartman’s 10 yard TD strike to Riley Anderson, and sailed the PAT kick through the East uprights to give the Northwest Vikings a 21-20 win over the Waverly Vikings.
It appeared the PAT try would automatic for Waverly after the tough running Canoyer smashed his way into the end zone from a yard out to give Waverly a 20-14 lead in overtime. But for some reason, the senior All-Stater’s PAT try was wide left, opening the door for Northwest and Parker Janky.
This top notch Class B matchup had it all, a sparkling punt return score in crunch time, a pair of interceptions, a couple of blocked punts and one punt that covered 73 yards and basically flipped the entire football field in crunch time.
In a first half dominated by the defenses, Northwest managed to put together a quick, 73 yard drive, buoyed by the crisp play of Parker Janky and Sam Hartman. Janky kick started the drive, which began at the 5:55 mark of the 1st quarter, with a slick 22 yard reverse that carried to the Waverly 40.
Sam Hartman then began his assault on the right side of the Waverly defensive line with a modest 5 yard gain. Then the quick, slick moving junior nailed Janky with an 11 yard pass play, then reeled off runs of 13 and 5 yards, advancing the ball to the Waverly 2 yard line.
Waverly, on their heals by that time, could not prevent GI Northwest sophomore running back Tyler Douglass from bolting into the end zone standing up for the game’s opening touchdown.
Parker Janky booted the PAT to give the hometown Northwest Vikings a 7-0 lead that would hold up the remainder of the first half. And that Northwest defense. SO impressive, allowing the powerful Waverly ground attack across midfield just once during the first 24 minutes, with that drive stalling at the Viking 22 after a Waverly fumble.
It was pretty obvious Northwest was there to stop the run and they did it well, swarming to smother two very good ball carriers in Canoyer and Schawang.
Waverly’s defense was stingy as well, allowing just less than a hundred yards total offense during the opening half while Northwest was giving up 90. And nobody is more impressive and imposing than two time All-Nebraska lineman Trevor Brown, who is simply amazing.
Waverly got after it immediately in the 3rd quarter. It took only three plays deep into that stanza for Zane Schawang to pirate a Sam Hartman pass at the NW 40. Eleven plays later, thousand yard rusher Schawang raced in for a 10 yard touchdown, pulling the Vikings to within 7-6. Evan Canoyer booted the PAT and we had a 7-7 deadlock on our hands with 6:20 left in the 3rd quarter.
Waverly had a golden opportunity to seize more momentum on Northwest’s ensuing possession. Facing a 4th and 6 at the Waverly 44, Parker Janky line up in punt formation, took the snap and spotted big Trevor Brown barrelling in to get a big paw up in the air. When Brown sets his mind to blocking a punt, it usually happens.
It did indeed, with a Slap/Crack you could have heard as far away as the Conestoga Mall. By the time the ball quit spinning, Waverly had recovered the loose pigskin and advanced it to the Northwest 26 yard line.
A pass completion from Waverly QB Nolan Wiese to Tyztin Hoos advanced the ball to the Northwest 18. Another one from Wiese to Evan Canoyer moved it inside the 10, but an ineligible receiver downfield penalty call moved the football back to the Northwest 24.
Waverly felt they had to stick with the aerial game, and I can’t blame the strategy because the Vikings had to put it in the air to open up the run game.
Wiese, who threw a season high 10 passes, then aired it out again, only to have it broken up by Northwest DB Ryan Williams. The next pass was a drive killer, when Vikings senior lineman Zach Pistulka (#50) picked off a tipped pass at the 16, ending the Waverly threat.
Northwest wasted no time getting out of the shadow of their own end zone. Sam Hartman ripped off a dazzling 34 yard run, twisting and turning to avoid tackles, finally ending up being shoved out of bounds on the Waverly sideline. One too many Waverly defenders hit Hartman after he was pushed out of bounds, tacking on 15 more yards to long run.
Big Mo was back on Northwest’s side after that, and running back Brady Baasch took full advantage, following his right side blocking for a 24 yard gain to the Waverly 20. Hartman then broke a run to the nine, then connected with smooth gliding Ryan Williams for a 9 yard touchdown pass and a 14-7 lead with :49.7 left in the 3rd quarter.
The drive woke Waverly, up because the East Vikings drove all the way from their own 9 to the Northwest 7 yard line. BUT….facing a 4th and 2 at the 7, Waverly QB Nolan Wiese fed the ball to the bread and butter battling ram, Evan Canoyer, but Northwest stuffed the play and took over on downs.
Would that be Waverly’s last shot?
Last shot or not, the Waverly defense was fuming by now. On a 2nd and 7 from the Northwest 10, Viking quarterback Sam Hartman took off for a short 2 yard gain but was the victim of a late hit, advancing the ball to the 27.
Unphased by the infraction, Waverly continued their intensity with a bone-shattering sack delivered by none other than Trevor Brown. Also apparently unphased by the sack, QB Sam Hartman proceeded to rip off a 13 yard gain on the following play, but it was still 10 yards shy of the first down.
NOW, the ball sits at the Northwest 27 yard line and it’s 4th and 10 for the GI Vikings. What had to be a gun shy Parker Janky then dropped back to punt, standing just inside his own 20.
Gun shy? Guess not, as the Northwest senior launched an absolute moon shot punt that sailed over Zane Schawang’s head and into the Waverly END ZONE for a 73 yard boot.
Would THIS be Waverly’s last shot with 80 yards of real estate in front of them, but 8:49 remaining in the Battle of the Vikings?
Things did not look promising when Northwest sophomore (#67) Victor Isele nearly picked a tipped Waverly pass out of the air at the Waverly 28 yard line. Evan Canoyer was then forced to punt, and Northwest took over at the Waverly 43 with 4:46 left in the game.
Things were not looking good for Coach Reed Manstedt’s crew at that moment in time. The brand new Daddy/Head Coach needed a miracle from his troops, who had already suffered a loss to Elkhorn (13-7) eight days prior.
All Northwest had to do was hold on to the football and run the clock down, but the Waverly defense rose to the occasion, forcing a pair of minus gains for QB Sam Hartman. Now Parker Janky was in to punt again, just as he had done four minutes earlier with the 73 yard bomb.
The clock read 2 minutes, twenty three seconds left in the 4th. I was all by myself on the Waverly sidelines gazing at Zane Schawang, who was back to receive the punt, standing on his own 25 yard line. Coach Manstedt instructed him to drop back five additional yards. I wondered what was going through his head.
The speedy Schawang had fielded 9 punts the past season and a half and brought one back 22 yards against Elkhorn a week ago. But 22 is not 80 plus yards. Maybe his Dad Jeff Schawang, who was a 1000 yard rusher (1,051) for Doug Goltz at Falls City Sacred Heart in 1989, had pulled it off. If so, the Schawang family now has two that have done it and it could not have come at a better time.
Young Zane Schawang fielded the Parker Janky punt at his own 19, started down the near sideline, cut back in then weaved back out to the Waverly sideline and turned on the Schawang jets for an electrifying 81 yard touchdown.
It was a thing of beauty I tell you, and Reed Manstedt got his miracle right when he needed it, with the Viking Field scoreboard clock reading 2:06 remaining in the 4th quarter. The clock also read NORTHWEST 14 WAVERLY 13.
Do you go for two on the road if you are Reed Manstedt? No. Evan Canoyer is automatic on PAT kicks, like 58 of his last 58 automatic. So, Waverly opted for the Canoyer extra point boot and the trusty senior put it through the uprights, knotting the game at 14.
Northwest had 2:06 remaining to either score a touchdown or get Parker Janky in field goal position, and remember, Janky nailed field goals of 43 and 44 yards a year ago and had the foot to do it from 50 plus yards away.
Northwest started the ensuing drive from its own 31 and the intense drama went from near disaster for Waverly, to a final shot for the East Vikings in regulation.
The first two downs went for zero yards for Northwest, but Waverly avoided a potential heartbreak on third down when Sam Hartman overthrew a WIDE OPEN Riley Anderson at the Waverly 30 yard line. Anderson had his defender beaten by at least 6 yards on the play.
Just one down later, Evan Canoyer blitzed in from the outside to block Parker Janky’s punt. The ball was batted around with Waverly finally falling on it at the its own 40 yard line with 1:08 left in the nail-biting contest.
Nolan Wiese then threw an incomplete pass on first down then, you guessed it, Northwest picked off the Waverly quarterback’s next pass at the Vikings 22 yard line, Cameron Petzoldt (#23) doing the honors.
NOW, Northwest had the ball at their own 25 and :21.9 seconds left to get it done. While most teams would play it safe and run out the clock and send the game into overtime on their own turf, we all know better of Northwest head coach Kevin Stein.
So, on first down Sam Hartman drops back to throw, sees everyone covered and takes off downfield. The senior QB gets all the way to his own 47 before being brought down. :12.9 left.
Northwest false starts and is penalized back to their own 42. Stein decides to call the exact same pass route that Riley Anderson had his defender beaten on Northwest’s previous possession. Waverly was ready this time. Incomplete pass.
Next play, Hartman finds Janky for a huge 13 yard gain to the Waverly 42 yard line. The clock nearly expires before Stein calls a time out. The veteran coach sends Parker Janky in to attempt a 58 yard field goal attempt amidst Waverly fans :you have to be kidding me” thoughts. The clock reads, 0:08 seconds left.
Janky gave it a go on the attempt, but the boot fell two or three yards shot and we were headed for overtime all square at 14.
And now the down by down OVERTIME sequence with Waverly getting the ball first at the East end.
*WAVERLY Overtime possession*
1st Down: Zane Schawang for five to the 5.
2nd Down: Schawang for four more down to the one.
3rd Down: Evan Canoyer powers in from a yard out and Waverly has a 20-14 lead.
PAT: Canoyer’s kick is just wide left. Score remains Waverly 20, Northwest 14.
*NORTHWEST Overtime possession*
1st Down: Riley Anderson for six on a jet sweep to the Waverly 4.
2nd Down: Big Gibson Kennedy, a 185 pound junior, powers his way to inside the one, but Northwest is called holding, and the ball ends up back at the 10 yard line.
Repeat 2nd Down: Incomplete pass, ball remains at the Waverly 10.
3rd Down: Hartman nails Riley Anderson, who despite well covered by a Waverly defender, nabs the perfectly thrown pass for a Touchdown.
*GAME TIED 20-20*
PAT: Parker Janky comes in and calmly nails the winning point after kick. Game over. The home town Vikings are jubilant, the visiting Vikings heart broken.
In a game that had more ups and downs than a roller coaster ride at Worlds of Fun, Northwest was led by the stellar performance of senior quarterback Sam Hartman, who ran for 122 yards on 24 grueling carries. Hartman also completed 11 of 22 passes for 95 yards with one pick. Brady Baasch added 60 yards on 12 totes.
Waverly, who rushed for 240 yards as a team, was led by Zane Schawang, who carried 22 times for 139 yards and a touchdown. Hard charging fullback Evan Canoyer was next with 58 well earned yards on 17 carries and the overtime TD.
Waverly quarterback Nolan Wiese completed 4 of his 10 pass attempts for 39 yards, but suffered a pair of interceptions.
Northwest (3-1) will make the long trip to face 1-3 Scottsbluff next Friday, while Waverly, now 2-2, will return home to host winless Elkhorn Mt. Michael, a 35-7 loser to Plattsmouth Friday night.
GI Northwest (3-1)....7……..0……..7……..0……..7……...21
GINW - Tyler Douglass 3 run - PAT-Parker Janky kick (3:40) 7-0
WAV - Zane Schawang 10 run - PAT-Evan Canoyer kick (6:20) 7-7
GINW - Ryan Williams 9 pass from Sam Hartman - PAT-Janky kick (:49.7) 14-7
WAV - Zane Schawang 81 Punt Return - PAT-Canoyer kick (2:06) 14-14
WAV - Evan Canoyer 1 run - PAT-kick failed. (0:00) 14-20
GINW - Riley Anderson 10 pass form Sam Hartman - PAT-Janky kick (0:00) 21-20