Belle Plaine Squeezes Past Cherryvale Defense In District Opener

BELLE PLAINE – A Cherryvale interception in the last few seconds of Friday’s district opener between the Chargers and Belle Plaine was the deciding factor in the close back and forth contest. Belle Plaine edged out Cherryvale 41-40.

“[A] late interception overrule by another offical gave Belle Plaine one more shot and they capitalized and kicked [the] only extra point for the win. Proud of our kids I felt we left it on the field just came up a bit short tonight.” said Cherryvale head coach Harry Hester.

The first half belonged to Cherryvale. Chargers quarterback Cade Addis connected with Gavin Hooper for an 11 yard touchdown pass. Both teams scored in the 1st quarter, however it was Belle Plaine who was able to connect on their 2 point conversion to give them an early 8-6 lead.

In the 2nd quarter, running back Garrett Novotny overwhelmed the Belle Plaine defense. The senior ran all three over his team’s scores in, a 7 yard, 21 yard, and 35 yard touchdown runs respectively. Cherryvale could only muster one 2 point conversion. Belle Plaine was able to find the end zone in the 2nd quarter, but like Cherryvale struggled to score their 2 point conversion. At halftime the Chargers led 26-14.

The 2nd half took a back-and-forth feel to it as the team’s offensive units would trade touchdowns. Belle Plain scored first in the 3rd quarter with a failed 2 point conversion. Novotny would crush the endzone plain, with a short 3 yard run in the next Cherryvale drive. Once again the Belle Plaine defense would disrupt the Chargers attempt to convert the 2 point play. At the end of the third Cherryvale led 32-20.

In the final frame, Belle Plaine would turn to the air game to overtake Cherryvale. The Chargers defense would give up 2 throwing touchdowns, a 57 and 45 yard pass. Belle Plaine could only convert 1 of 2 of the 2 point conversions. This would give Belle Plaine their first lead since the beginning of the game 34-32

The lone Chargers score came off a Cade Addis 1 yard scramble. Novotny would get the call to convert the 2 point play and once again made himself at home in the endzone. Cherryvale retook the lead 40-36 with minutes remaining in the 4th.

The final drive of the game saw Belle Plain go deep into the Chargers territory, with the Cherryvale defense struggling to stop the pass. A throw into the endzone was initally called a Cherryvale interception that would have sealed the win for the Chargers. However a conference by the officials overruled the call and gave the ball back to Belle Plaine for one final attempt. On the next try Belle Plaine would score on a 4 yard run. In the lone extra point attempt of the game would connect and Belle Plaine would seal the win with a 41-40 decision.

“Kids played hard. Thought we did some reallly good things. Hurt ourselves a few times. Proud to see us fight back after surrendering lead.” added Hester. “Garrett Novotony had a heck of a night both side of the ball.”

Novotny led the team with 202 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns. He also had 1 catch on offense. On defense Novotny added 7 solo tackles, 4 assists, and 2 pass break ups. Cade Addis was 5-10 with 106 yards passing 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Addis did have 1 rushing touchdown. He also had a tackle, 5 assists and 1 sack on defense. Gavin Hooper hauled in 3 catches for 57 yards and one touchdown.

The Chargers fall to 2-2 on the season and 0-1 in district play. They will host Tri-Valley League foe, the Fredonia Yellowjackets who won Friday night in a tight contest as well 7-0 over Eureka. Belle Plaine improves to 2-2 on the year and 1-0 in district play. Belle Plaine hosts Neodesha, who lost Friday night to Douglass.