Monticello runs into brick wall in Williamsville
MONTICELLO, Nov 04, 2012 (Menafn - Herald & Review - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Ryan Donohue hit the line hard and went down. There was no hole to run through and he didn't carry any defenders.
That was the first play from scrimmage for Monticello, and it foreshadowed the rest of Saturday's Class 2A second-round playoff game for the Sages -- a 14-0 loss to Williamsville.
The Bullets (11-0) had given up a total of 22 points all season coming into the game, and Monticello (8-3) found out why. The Sages managed 126 total yards and never entered the red zone (inside Williamsville's 20).
"They were just good," Monticello coach Cully Welter said. "They're pretty basic with what they do. They don't have to blitz a lot because their front four is so good, and then that helps them with coverage.
"They had a wide five and left a pretty good gap on their weak side. We tried to attack it consistently in the first half but they just closed so quickly. On our option stuff, we'd make the right read but their kids were good enough to play the dive and get back on the quarterback."
Donohue had 1,704 yards and 20 touchdowns entering the game, but just 48 yards on 14 carries against Williamsville.
"Donohue is an amazing player, but it's hard to run between the tackles against us -- our front eight are pretty nasty, and we won the battle up front," Williamsville coach Aaron Kunz said. "One thing is we always knew where (Donohue) was. When we drew up their plays -- and I normally don't do this -- I put 33 wherever he was going to be. Our kids were looking for him all day."
Williamsville scored on its second possession -- a drive that started at Monticello's 47 after a short punt by Donohue. A 19-yard pass from Josh Lindsey to Cole Courson set up a Jared Lounsberry 13-yard touchdown run to put the Bullets up 7-0.
The score stayed that way for most of the game, with Monticello forcing four Williamsville turnovers -- two interceptions and two fumbles. The second fumble -- by Jak Loutzenhiser and recovered by Austin McCall -- came at Monticello's 8-yard line in the third quarter.
The Sages responded with their most sustained drive of the game. A Parker Trice 32-yard pass to Brett Foran put Monticello at Williamsville's 40-yard line. But the Sages lost eight yards from there and punted.
A Donohue punt and block-in-the-back penalty put Williamsville at its 5-yard line, and after the Bullets went three-and-out and punted, the Sages had good field position to start the fourth quarter. A 9-yard run by Donohue -- his best gain of the game -- put Monticello at Williamsville's 35. But Trice lost five yards, threw an incomplete pass and was sacked for a loss of five, killing the drive. At that point, frustration set in.
"We tried to keep our heads up, but this was one of the hardest games we've ever played," Donohue said. "Their defense is tremendous. There's not a better defense in the state, I don't think."
Player of the game
Williamsville didn't have a weak spot on defense, but the standout was Lounsberry. An outside linebacker, Lounsberry led all players with 14 tackles and a sack. He was responsible for shutting down both of Monticello's promising second-half drives, slamming Trice to the turf to stop an option play before it could even get started to put the Sages into a passing situation late in the third quarter, then again taking Trice down for a 5-yard loss when Monticello had advanced to the Bullets' 35.
"He has a motor like no other kid like we coach," Kunz said. "He just goes and goes and goes -- he's a little crazy that way."
Lounsberry was also impressive on Williamsville's first-half TD, carrying defenders into the end zone.
Stat of the game
Williamsville's run defense was too tough to pierce, leaving it up to Trice to make plays for the Monticello offense. But Trice had a tough day throwing the ball, going 5-of-19 for 47 yards and an interception. He was sacked three times.
"We had a couple (of throws) we should have taken advantage of -- no question," Welter said. "But they were pressuring with four, so they could drop seven. Their cover 3 left holes in the seams, but their backers got so much depth that you really had to squeeze the ball in there. We were a running team all year. We could use the pass, but we didn't want to have to rely on it."
Trice did have the Sages' longest play from scrimmage -- a 49-yard run on the first play of Monticello's second drive of the game. But that drive was stopped at Williamsville's 24. Trice finished with 26 yards rushing.
What dim hopes Monticello had were dashed with Williamsville's best offensive drive of the game on what was the Bullets' last drive. Loutzenhiser had two first-down runs, Lindsey had a first-down run on fourth down that all-but-sealed it and the Bullets finished the drive with a play-action 18-yard pass touchdown pass to Clinton Fletcher.
"When I heard coach (Adam) Ibbotson called that pass, I almost tackled him, but he was right," Kunz said. "But that let us breathe a little bit."
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