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Trojans Nip Cyclones 28-26

The visiting Elmwood-Brimfield Trojans used their power run game to overcome the host West Prairie-La Harpe Cyclones in a West Prairie Trails North Division football battle.

A late stop of an attempted 2-point conversion secured the win for the Trojans in this back and forth affair. Both teams are now 1-2 on the 2006 season.

The Trojans got on the board first by taking the opening kick-off and marching 60 yards to the end zone in the games first two minutes. WP-LH responded by driving for a score as well on their first possession.

The Cyclone drive was capped by a 2-yard dash by senior halfback Matt Woolam. Woolam also added the successful PAT kick for an early 7-6 Cyclone edge.

That lead was short lived as E-B took their next possession all the way down the field for a go-ahead score. Late in the game's first period that 12-7 Trojan advantage lasted a little longer until another WP-LH drive struck pay dirt at the 4:00 mark of the first half.

Woolam again did the honors with a 22-yard gallop around the right end. The Cyclones now led by a 13-12 edge.

The Trojans struck back late in the first half when their quarterback connected with an open (although unintended) receiver with 5.7 seconds left in the first half. That pass and the ensuring successful conversion run gave E-B a 20-13 advantage at the games intermission.

The Cyclones struck again midway through the 3rd period when on a 4th and 1 play from their own 21-yard line they gambled and went for a first down. Senior halfback Joel DeCounter not only got the first down, but the final 78 yards as well on his way to a tying touchdown. The score was knotted at 20-20 entering the game's final 12 minutes.

Both teams had opportunities, but it was still 20-20 with only about 2 minutes left in the game. E-B finally put a drive together and hit paydirt with a 26 yard run and conversion with a little over 1 1/2 minutes of time left on the scoreboard. The Trojans now led 28-20.

WP-LH responded with a quick drive of their own that was culminated by a sprint around left end by DeCounter. DeCounter's run set the score at 28-26 and left WP-LH needing to convert a critical 2-point conversion to tie. Penetration by the Trojans defense doomed the WP-LH attempt almost immediately.

The Trojans held on and secured the hard fought 28-26 win.

Statistically the game was fairly close overall. E-B rushed for 315 yards while WP-LH picked up 312 total rushing yards on only 38 attempts. DeCounter led the Cyclones ground attack with 198 yards on 15 carries. Teammate Matt Woolam picked up another 89 yards on 9 attempts, while fullback Brian Butterfield added 18 additional years and only 7 carries.

E-B ground out 315 yards on 49 attempts and added another 24 yards passing. The Trojans also picked up 2 Cyclone turnovers while giving the ball up only once themselves.

Turnovers have been a significant early season problem for the Trojans, but they only had one on this night.

WP-LH was led on defense by junior safety Skyler Pence's 10 tackles. Outside line backer Brian Butterfield, added 8 stops, as did both defensive ends, Evan Wisely and Brytton Mason.

Others on the tackle chart included DeCounter, Jason Coplan, Tyler Sharpe, Matt Woolam, Kylen Carpenter, Blake Harper, Justin Ward, Dustin Derry, and Michael Burke.