MINONK - Turnovers are never good, but are magnified more so in the playoffs. Host Fieldcrest was guilty of five turnovers in a 40-0 loss to West Carroll Saturday afternoon at Veteran’s Park.
Of the five takeaways, WC (7-4) turned four into touchdowns for a total of 26 points.
“We made too many mistakes,” Fieldcrest coach Derek Schneeman said. “A couple of turnovers were in the red zone. We only had seven turnovers coming in. You cannot have those.”
The Knights (7-3) got the ball to begin the second half, as they were behind 16-0. They moved the ball to the Thunder 18. Jacob Dunk intercepted a Cameron Grandy pass inside at the eight and returned it to the 19. It was Dunk’s second pick off of the contest.
On the ensuing drive, WC faced a fourth-and-five at its own 49 and pulled off a fake punk that saw Cory Simpson haul in a 16-yard completion from quarterback Kody Plattenberger, who doubles as the punter. The Thunder went on for a touchdown as Ko. Plattenberger found twin brother, Kaleb Plattenberger, on a 27-yard pass. The two-point conversion failed, but WC extended the lead to 22-0.
The Thunder held the Fieldcrest offense to just 95 yards.
“We made way too many mistakes at critical times,” said Schneeman. “We had the holding call that was a game changer. The interception, he (Grandy) underthrew it a little bit. They (WC) are very physical. This is the way those teams play in that conference (Northwest Upstate Illini). We could not run it or throw it.”
Grandy ran 50 yards for an apparent touchdown late in the opening quarter, but it was brought back by a holding penalty. That drive stalled as Fieldcrest was forced to punt.
WC rolled 342 yards of total offense, 247 of which came on the ground. Ka. Plattenberger had 91 yards on 21 carries, while his brother added 63 yards on 11 attempts.
The Thunder defense held the Knights to just 23 yards rushing. Grandy completed nine of 15 passes for 72 yards, but also had two interceptions. Jaxon Cusac-McKay had three receptions for 36 yards.
Keegan Robbins intercepted a Ko. Plattenberger pass at the Fieldcrest two just before halftime to keep the game at 16-0.
With just five seniors graduating, Fieldcrest is hopeful of getting back to the postseason and tapping into a little history at the same time.
“I think its great motivation,” said Schneeman. “Coach (Craig) Meyer said it reminds him of 2013. They lost in the first round, came back, worked hard in the off-season and that led to the ’14 run. Hopefully, we can do something similar. We’re young, but really excited about this team.”