While Arkansas City High School football coach Jon Wiemers would be the first to admit that he doesn’t have the Bulldogs where he wants them, they sure put a scare into Maize South.
The visiting Mavericks were just too much down the stretch Friday night, coming back for a 33-15 victory at Bulldog Stadium in AV-CTL D-II play.
Maize South tailback Hunter Niemann finished with 247 yards and four touchdowns on 30 carries after being held to 62 yards in the first half.
The Bulldogs (0-4, 0-2 AV-CTL D-II) held first-half leads of 9-0 and 15-7 before Maize South began to build momentum.
Ark City’s defense continued the relentless stand it showed in shutting out undefeated Wichita South for most of last weekend’s game.
After holding the Mavericks (4-0, 3-0) on fourth-and-1 at the Ark City 35-yard line, tailback Braiden Mattocks took a handoff on first down, broke a tackle and, aided by a solid block by freshman quarterback Gabe Welch, scampered 54 yards to the Maize South 11. Two plays later, running back-linebacker-kicker Tommy Pacheco took it in for a 4-yard touchdown run.
Ark City’s first drive of the second quarter stalled, but Pacheco booted a 41-yard field goal for a 9-0 lead.
The second half was all Maize South.
After gaining 88 rushing yards and 92 passing yards in the first half, the Bulldogs netted minus-27 ground yards and 31 through the air down the stretch.
Ark City recorded six first downs in the first half, but just one in the second half. The Bulldogs were 2 of 14 on third-down conversions in the game and also lost two first-half fumbles.
The Mavericks scored on their first possession after halftime, with the help of a 41-yard kick return by Byron Fitchpatrick. Maize South went on a nine-play drive capped with a 1-yard TD plunge by quarterback Colin Shields that made it 15-13. The Ark City defense stepped up again, forcing Shields to throw incomplete for the 2-point conversion try.
The Bulldogs went three-and-out on their first two possessions of the second half, and a shanked punt gave Maize South the ball on the ACHS 39, where Niemann took a handoff off right tackle, cut left and sprinted all the way to the end zone on the first play.
Maize South followed another three-and-out with a 10-play driving spanning the third and fourth quarters, capped by a 10-yard TD run by Niemann for a 26-15 lead.
Niemann capped the scoring with the same slashing cutback as before, only this time for an 86-yard touchdown with 4:17 left.
Welch finished 19-of 28 passing for 111 yards. His 3-yard TD pass to Lance Blubaugh with 20.3 seconds left in the first half staked the Bulldogs to a 15-7 halftime lead.
Welch was a thrifty 12-of-14 passing for 80 yards in the first half, and Mattocks gained 77 yards on nine totes in the half.
The Bulldogs play this Friday at Goddard-Eisenhower. The Tigers (3-1, 2-1) stunned Class 4A No. 5-ranked Goddard 21-20 on Friday in an inter-city matchup, handing the Lions their second straight loss.
Maize South 33, Arkansas City 15
AC — Tommy Pacheco 4 run (kick failed), 4:25.
AC — FG, Pacheco, 41, 8:37.
MS — Hunter Niemann 3 run (Jack Menske kick), 2:16.
AC — Lance Blubaugh 3 pass from Gabe Welch (kick failed), 0:20.3.
MS — Colin Shields 1 run (pass failed), 8:38.
MS — Niemann 39 run (run failed), 3:10.
MS — Niemann 10 run (Menske kick), 9:14.
MS — Niemann 86 run (Menske kick), 4:17.
3rd Down Conv4-152-14
4th Down Conv3-52-3
Punts No-Avg Yards6-37.07-38.6
Time of Poss24:4323:17
RUSHING — Maize South, Hunter Niemann 30-247, Byron Fitchpatrick 7-54, Colin Shields 10-38, Brian Vanderhoof 1-14, Evan Cantu 3-3, Landon Schumacher 1-2. Ark City, Braiden Mattocks 11-73, Gabe Welch 6-12, Tommy Pacheco 3-10, team 4-(minus 34).
PASSING — Maize South, Colin Shields 6-17-0 51. Ark City, Gabe Welch 21-30-0 123, Owen Bucher 0-1-0 0.
RECEIVING — Maize South, Justice Morris 3-27, 1-13, Brian Vanderhoof 1-7, Jake Johnson 1-4. Ark City, Andrew Schnackenberg 6-47, Lucas Barnes 3-37, Owen Bucher 3-16, Taylor Kilpatrick 1-7, Walker Moulton 2-7, Braiden Mattocks 2-7, Lance Blubaugh 1-3, Cadon Clark 3-(minus 1).
MISSED FIELD GOALS — Maize South, Jack Menske, 29 (WL).