Royals lose 34-26 battle to M-D

MELCHER – A big comeback couldn’t prevent the Colo-Nesco football team from dropping its season opener against Melcher-Dallas Friday in Melcher.

The Royals had a sluggish first half, falling behind 22-0. They rallied to take a 26-22 lead early in the fourth quarter, only to see Melcher-Dallas respond with two unanswered touchdowns in the final seven minutes to hand Colo-Nesco a 34-26 setback.

"I am extremely proud of our team," Colo-Nesco head coach Josh Nessa said. "They showed they could overcome adversity and never gave up. They showed a lot of heart as they overcame a 22-point deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter. If we put together an entire game like our second half (Friday), we will win some games."

The pass-catch combo of Alex Mitchell and Chase Wetterling did all of the damage for Melcher-Dallas in the first half. Mitchell threw touchdown passes of 66 and 13 yards to Wetterling in the first quarter and Wetterling hauled in a 3-yard scoring grab midway through the second quarter to give the Saints their big lead at the half.

"We started the game very flat and nervous," Nessa said. "Inexperience and lack of communication cause many missed blocking assignments and a very rough start to the game. Melcher-Dallas also had a very good defensive strategy as they shifted in and out of defensive fronts and blitzed a lot, which made our young linemen even more confused. They were often bringing more guys than we could block."

But Nessa made key adjustments at half time and the result was 20 unanswered points in the third quarter to get Colo-Nesco right back in the ball game.

"The line started communicating and they blocked much better in the second half," Nessa said. "We had five times more (yards) in the second half. Not only did our line block better, but our backs ran harder. Things just started clicking."

Taylor Hill ran for all three Royal touchdowns in the third quarter. He pounded one in from one yard out at the nine-minute, 30-second mark of the third quarter and added 21 and 26-yard scoring jaunts.

Clayton Bryan tacked on a two-point conversion run on Hill’s second score.

The momentum kept right on going the Royals’ way to start the fourth quarter, as Hill found the end zone from 32 yards out to give his team a 26-22 lead with 10:08 to go.

But then the breaks swung back the other way. With 6:32 to go, Jacob Hoch scored on a 2-yard run to give the Saints the lead back at 28-26, and after a defensive stand, Melcher-Dallas iced the game when Wetterling broke free on a 70-yard touchdown run in the final minute.

For the game Colo-Nesco was outgained 329-210 in total yards. All of the Royals’ yardage came on the ground and the Saints ended up with 243 yards rushing and 86 passing.

Both teams ended up with three fumble recoveries. Colo-Nesco won the turnover battle as the Royals also had an interception.

Hill had a huge game in defeat as he ran for 181 yards and four touchdowns on 39 carries, and added two tackles and an interception on defense. Bryan ran for 28 yards on 14 carries, plus the two-point conversion and Grant Tiarks had one run for four yards for the Royals on offense.

Alex Griffin was huge on defense for Colo-Nesco as he totaled 16 tackles with eight solo and assisted stops apiece, and three tackles for loss. Clayton Bryan and Isaiah Texeira each made 10 tackles and Tiarks added nine stops, with two coming behind the line.

Dacian Wilson recovered two fumbles and Christian Rieschauer added one recovery for Colo-Nesco.

Wetterling caught three passes for 83 yards and added 81 yards rushing to lead Melcher-Dallas on offense. Mitchell was 4 of 8 passing for 86 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions and he also ran for 43 yards; Hoch picked up 101 yards rushing on 18 carries.

Ty Schneider led the Saints’ aggressive defense with 19 tackles and four sacks. Chris Davis added three sacks and Hoch picked up 16 stops and a fumble recovery.

Colo-Nesco next hosts Adair-Casey (1-0) this Friday for its home opener in Colo. The game will start at 7 p.m.

Melcher-Dallas 34, Colo-Nesco 26

C-N 0 0 20 6 – 26

M-D 16 6 0 12 – 34

Scoring

First quarter

MD – Chase Wetterling 66 pass from Alex Mitchell (run good), 10:54

MD – Wetterling 13 pass from Mitchell (run good), 7:32

Second quarter

MD – Wetterling 3 pass from Mitchell (PAT failed), 5:20

Third quarter

CN – Taylor Hill 1 run (run failed), 9:30

CN – Hill 21 run (Clayton Bryan run), 7:21

CN – Hill 26 run (run failed), 2:31

Fourth quarter

CN – Hill 32 run (run failed), 10:08

MD – Jacob Hoch 2 run (PAT failed), 6:32

MD – Wetterling 70 run (PAT failed), 0:56

Team statistics C-N M-D

Rushes-yards 55-210 35-243

Passing 0-4-0 4-9-1

Passing yards 0 86

Total yards 210 329

Fumbles lost 3 3

Punts-average 5-34.4 3-30.3

Individual statistics

Rushing: C-N – Taylor Hill 39-181, Clayton Bryan 14-28, Grant Tiarks 1-4, Evan Webb 1-(-3). M-D – Jacob Hoch 18-101, Chase Wetterling 3-81, Alex Mitchell 7-43, Kale Critchlow 7-18.

Passing: C-N – Hill 0-4-0-0. M-D – Mitchell 4-8-0-86; Hoch 0-1-1-0.

Receiving: M-D – Wetterling 3-83, Hoch 1-3.

Tackles: C-N – Alex Griffin 16, Bryan 10, Isaiah Texeira 10, Tiarks 9.

Fumble recoveries: C-N – Dacian Wilson 2, Christian Rieschauer

Interceptions: C-N – Hill.