PAULLINA - South O'Brien lost a heartbreaker to the visiting 8th-ranked West Lyon team Friday night on a blocked extra point in overtime.
The game started well for the Wolverines when with 9:26 to go in the second quarter Adam Paulsen plunged in from one yard out to put SOS up 6 to 0. Michael Callahan kicked the extra point to make the score 7-0.
West Lyon was able to capitalize on a couple of long pass plays and tied the score with :44 to go in the second quarter.
The second half started with a bang for West Lyon, as they started with good field position after a 52-yard kick return. They drove the rest of the way in less than two minutes and were up 14-7 with 10:13 to go in the third quarter.
In years past, said SOS coach Mark Fuhrman, the Wolverines would play a good half or more against West Lyon and then West Lyon would get a quick score and South O'Brien folded. That wasn't the case Friday, however, said the coach, as South O'Brien stiffened up defensively and was able to put together a 75-yard drive and score the tying touchdown and extra point with 2:31 to go in regulation, as Zach Nieman set the score up with a 28-yard counter play. Three plays later Nieman punched it in on a two-yard run and Michael Callahan put the extra point through to tie the game.
The rest of the 4th quarter was taken up by a couple incomplete pass plays by West Lyon and the Wolverines getting the ball back with a little over a minute to go. The hosts felt they would be were better off letting the game go into overtime and didn't risk an interception before the regulation, basically letting the clock run out on a couple of dive plays.
The overtime began with a couple runs by West Lyon that netted two yards total. "We knew they were going to try and get the ball to #1 (6-5 receiver Adam Teunissen) again," said Coach Fuhrman. "John Gray did a great job of getting in position to intercept the pass but both players came down with it in the endzone and the offense gets it in that situation." West Lyon kicked the extra point to make it 21-14 at that point.
The Wolverines returned the favor with a two-yard run into the endzone on 4th down by Zach Nieman. Unfortunately, when South O'Brien's PAT team went on the field they were short one man, and West Lyon was able to get through untouched and block the kick. Final result - West Lyon 21, South O'Brien 20.
Defensively, South O'Brien held West Lyon to 97 yards rushing and 100 yards passing. Adam Paulsen picked up another interception and Will Friedrichsen recovered a fumble for the Wolverine defenders and Matt DeVos and Tim Jenness each had a sack. The tackles were led by Tanner Mathews, who had three solo stops and nine assists.
Offensively, South O'Brien garnered 170 yards rushing and 28 yards passing, and the Wolverines' Zach Nieman led all rushers with 142 yards and two touchdowns. "I felt we really did a pretty good job up front tonight and were able to move the ball against a very solid ball club," summarized the Wolverine coach. "The Wolverines gave a great effort and just came up a little short. We talked all week about being confident and taking a chance on each other. We played as well together as a team as I have seen in four years. It doesn't get any easier this week with #1 Emmetsburg coming to town, but if we play together as a team we will be fine."