Comanche football falls to state-ranked Loboes by one

Bronte Hermesmeyer, Editor

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The Indians fell in heartbreaking fashion as they hosted the Cisco Loboes on homecoming last Friday. Cisco scored with ten seconds left and converted a two point conversion to win by a score of 25-24.

Although both players, coaches, and fans were crushed by the defeat, there were some positives for the Comanche Indians. It showed the entire state that Comanche is right among the elite football programs in the state in Class 3A. Cisco, a perennial football powerhouse year in and year out, had some high praise for the Indians after the game last Friday.

“Comanche has a chance to be very good,” Loboes head football coach Brent West said. “We played the #1 ranked Wall Hawks during Week 2, and Comanche did things better than Wall at times tonight. If these Indians keep listening to their coaches and believe in themselves, they will make a deep run in the playoffs this season.”

Comanche once again used their wing-T rushing offense and senior running back Colton Roberts to get up and down the field for most of the night. Roberts rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns, and junior Kade Mercer rushed for 76 yards and one touchdown.

Although the Indians were productive at running the ball, Comanche dropped back to pass fifteen times, a season high. Senior quarterback Bronte Hermesmeyer went 9/15 for 92 yards. Hermesmeyer found five different Indian targets throughout the night, but the leading receiver was senior Trevor Higginbotham with two catches for 49 yards.

The Indian defense finally allowed points for the first time all season and allowed 299 yards of total offense.

The stadium was jam packed full of people for this Big Country Game of the Week, and they were all buzzing and excited waiting for kickoff to start.

On Comanche’s first offensive possession, their drive was stalled around their 40 yard line due to a chop-block penalty. Roberts’ punt hit off a Loboe defender and senior Jayton McGinnis was there to recover the muffed punt at the Loboe 30 yard line.

With the momentum all on Comanche’s side, the Indians only needed two plays to cash in for their first touchdown of the night. Mercer ran from 20 yards out and dove at the pylon to give the Indians an early 6-0 lead. After Nacho Rios’s PAT, the score was 7-0.

“Before the game we talked about wanting to be on offense first so we could drive the ball down the field, score fast and set the tone,” Roberts said. “I feel like we did that. It showed people at the game and people following the game that Comanche isn’t playing around this year. We are here.”

Cisco’s first offensive drive took over 8:00, as they earned every single inch of their first touchdown. After chewing up clock and converting on multiple third and fourth downs, the Loboes answered with a touchdown of their own. After their PAT, the score was all knotted up at seven.

With 8:00 left in the second quarter, Cisco scored another touchdown. This time, a quaterback keeper from seven yards out for the Loboes. After the kick, Cisco was up 14-7.

With the momentum on Cisco’s side, there was a challenge looming for Comanche to grab the momentum back and take control of the game.

Facing a critical third and seven from their own 30 yard line, Hermesmeyer found Higginbotham for a 25 yard gain into Loboe territory. After a few runs by Mercer and Roberts, it was Roberts who capped off the drive with a ten yard rushing touchdown, his first of the night. After Rios’s kick, the Indians tied the score at 14.

The Indian defense came up big right before half, getting a stop and handing the ball back to their offense with 3:00 left to go.

Hermesmeyer seemed to have found Higginbotham for a 30 yard touchdown with :25 left, but it was called back for a holding penalty.

On the very next play, Hermesmeyer found Higginbotham for a 20 yard gain, but he was tackled in bounds and Comanche had no timeouts. So with :10 left on the clock and facing a fourth and five, Comanche somehow managed to rush their field goal team onto the field and let Rios nail a 37 yard field goal through the uprights to take the lead at halftime by a score of 17-14.

“That whole field goal process was crazy,” Rios said. “I didn’t even have time to get my steps or line up. It was a good snap and a good hold, and I was just happy to hit the ball solid and see it go through the goal posts.”

On the second play from scrimmage in the second half, Cisco fumbled the ball and Comanche recovered. Then a few plays later, Roberts took the handoff from 10 yards out and rushed in for his second touchdown of the night. After the PAT, Comanche led by a score of 24-14.

This score would remain the same until there was seven minutes left in the final quarter, when Cisco capitalized on a Comanche fumble with a field goal of their own. This made it a one possession game and a score of 24-17 in Comanche’s favor.

After the Comanche offensive drive stalled in three plays due to a penalty, they would punt the ball to give Cisco one last chance to try and tie or win the ball game.

With :10 left, Cisco completed a 3 yard pass on third down and goal to get within one point of Comanche. Coach West then decided to go for the win and they completed another 3 yard pass to go up 25-24. Comanche had three hail Mary attempts at the end but could not complete any of them.

This put both Comanche and Cisco’s record to 2-1 on the season. The Indians will travel to take on Little River Academy this Friday night at 7:30.

 

 

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Comanche football falls to state-ranked Loboes by one