Apaches edged on opening night

by Gary Andrews

The Wabash football team opened their 2014 season Friday, hosting Peru in the blistering heat. As is the case on some opening nights, things didn’t go as planned for either team, but anyone who didn’t attend the game missed an old fashion, hard hitting, play it to the end thriller.

The Tigers would pull out a 12-9 win over the Apaches, but the intensity to the last play gave the Wabash fans something to look forward to in watching the much-improved Apaches.

Both defenses were probably ahead of the offense in game one, and they dominated in the first quarter. Peru was driving on their first possession when Julian Hobson recovered a fumble to stop the Tigers. Wabash would give the Tigers the ball right back when Bryce Boggs picked off Chase Dirig. The Tigers were moving the ball a second time when Reece McDonald sacked the Peru quarterback, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Wabash. The first quarter would end scoreless.

Both teams were plagued with penalties and turnovers to start the second quarter when the Tigers finally broke the ice. Brady Miller would take the ball in from four yards out with 5:12 on the clock to give Peru a 6-0 lead. It didn’t take long for the Apaches to answer when, on the first play from scrimmage after the Peru touchdown, Chase Dirig hit his brother Grant for a 64-yard scoring strike. With the extra point, the Apaches led 7-6, which was the score at the half.

Neither team could cross the goal line in the third quarter, but it didn’t take long for Peru to score in the fourth. With 10:36 on the clock, Michael Richardson scored from 22 yards out to give Peru a 12-7 lead. Midway through the quarter Wabash would mount a drive when Dirig hit Trevor Vest and his brother Grant to move the ball to the Peru 31. One play later Dirig hit Vest again to the 5 with 3:28 to play. Luke Proctor would get the ball to the 2-yard line, but couldn’t punch it in giving Peru the ball inside the one. On the first offensive play for the Tigers the Apache defensive line made a push, tackling the runner in the end zone for a safety with 1:34 on the clock to make it 12-9 and would get the ball on the Peru kick. Peru had to kickoff three times because of penalties, giving the Apaches the ball on the 48. On the first Wabash play, Gavin Gysin picked off Dirig with the Tigers running the time out to end the game.

Chase Dirig was 11 for 20 for 153 yards and 1 touchdown. Dirig also ran for 42 yards on 15 carries. Grant Dirig caught 2 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. Trevor Vest added 3 catches for 73 yards.

Posted on 2014 Aug 26