Saturday night 7-14-12, the Springfield Foxes traveled to Tremont, IL (near Peoria) to take on their rival the Mid-State Steel in a battle for the Corn-land Bowl Trophy. In what was expected to be a hard hitting closely contested game, Foxes fans that made the trip were not disappointed.
The Steel 0-1(0-1) started off quick with a scoring drive that went 45 yards in less than 4 minutes, taking a quick 6-0 lead over the visiting Foxes 3-0 ( 1-0).On the ensuing drive, quarterback Drew Fendrich, scored on a 12 yard run, leaving the game tied after the failed extra point attempt. Fendrich finished his night with 53 yards rushing on 6 carries and also completed 10 of 18 passing for 222 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The teams would trade scores back and forth for the first three quarters, with each team scoring a touchdown a piece in each quarter. After 45 minutes of football, the teams entered the 4th quarter right where they started the night, all tied, but at 20-20. The final 15 would turn out to be a shootout with a total of 36 points scored in the final frame.
With more than bragging rights on the line, The Foxes dug deep and showed their toughness in the 4th quarter. While the Steel stuck to running the ball, the Foxes used all 3 aspects of the game to come away with the win. #32 Courtney Molton returned a kickoff 88 yards to pay dirt and LB Chris Rude forced a fumble and then picked it up and scampered 40 yards to the end zone. With less than 3 minutes to go, the Foxes had the ball, down 36-34, Drew Fendrich found Carlston Acres on a swing pass, which he in turn weaved his way through traffic, into the open field, for a 70 yard touchdown, putting the Foxes up 40-36 after a failed 2 point conversion.
That would give the Steel the ball back with just over 2 minutes to in the game. Showing no urgency, the Steel continued to run the football, averaging 3 yards a carry on their final drive. With 39 seconds remaining, the Steel faced a fourth down and 4 from the Foxes 18 yard line, needing a touchdown to win. The Foxes defense pulled together after a long night of bruising football to stop the sweep left short, giving the ball back to the offense with only 29 seconds remaining. The Foxes were able to take a knee and run off the remainder, escaping with a tough fought, 40-36 win, the Corn-land Bowl Trophy, and most importantly, a division victory.
The Foxes, with 6 runners totaling 193 yards, were lead in rushing by Darin Utley who had 61 yards on 7 attempts. The receivers, led by Carleston Acres with 127 yards and 1TD on 5 receptions, totaled 222 yards on 10 catches. Rick Packingham and Jamel Ward also had TD receptions for the Foxes. Defensively, The Foxes once again spread the wealth, with everyone getting in on the hits, led by Chris Rude with 10, followed by Chris Rudolph and 4 others recording 8 tackles a piece.
The above article was copied from the Mid States Football League website.
Photos are courtesy of Robert Banks.