The Ulysses Tigers and Hugoton Eagles, both 0-1 going in, met up in Hugoton for each teams first GWAC contest of the season, Friday September 8th. The weather was warm with a stiff south wind at the start of the game. The Eagles picked up their first win of the season 14-13 over Ulysses making it two in a row for the Eagles over Ulysses.
The opening 10:30 of the game was fought out in the middle of the field with neither team having much success on offense. Each team punted on their first possession and then each team turned the ball over on failed 4th down attempts.
The Tigers took their third possession at the Hugoton 46 with just over 4:00 left in the first quarter and were able to inch the ball down to the field. Andrew Nagel found a crease for 11 yards and when he was finally brought down there was goal line dust on his face mask, leaving the Tigers inches from the endzone. Quarterback Zak Anderson pushed it over the line on the next play for the first score of the game. Maurice Ochoa’s PAT was good making it 7-0.
The Eagles next possession was a doozy. Starting at their own 33 and grinding out a 9 minute drive to the end zone, culminating in a 7 yard touch down pass from Manny Mendoza to Braden Slemp. The two point swinging gate conversion was stopped short leaving the Tigers in the lead 7-6 with 4:32 left before half.
The remaining of the second quarter and the majority of the third was much the same as the beginning of the game with neither team able to string together a drive, again trading punts and failed 4th down conversions.
The Tigers got the ball on their own 35 with 5:10 left in the third and put together a 4:53 drive to the end zone resulting in a 3 yard rushing TD by Nagel. The PAT kick by Ochoa went wide making the score 13-6 in favor of the Tigers.
The Eagles very next possession became the turning point. Hugoton started the drive at their own 40 and the drive stalled on the Tiger 44. A good punt by Braden Slemp was about to roll dead on the Tiger 1 yard line when sophomore return man Edgar Soto made an attempt to improve the Tigers position by picking up the ball at the one. Two Eagle defenders were there to wrestle the ball from Soto. The turnover gave the Eagles the ball on the Tiger 3. Marco Baeza punched it in from there. This time the swinging gate two point conversion was good making the score 14-13 Eagles and 7:31 left in the game.
In the final 7:30 of the game each team had 3 more possessions, but each teams defense bowed their backs. The Tigers possessions ended in a punt and 2 interceptions.
Tigers (0-2, 0-1) will be at home for homecoming against Holcomb (1-1, 0-1)on Friday.
Ulysses – 41/167 Nagel 16/86 1TD, Bencomo 15/68, Anderson 7/19 1TD
Hugoton – 53/163 Kerbow 19/79, Baeza 14/44 1TD, Mendoza 16/33
Ulysses – 3/11/51 Anderson 3/10/51 1INT, Walker 0/1/0 1INT
Hugoton – 2/6/10 Mendoza 2/6/10 1TD
Ulysses – 4/29
Hugoton – 8/54
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