The Deerfield football team held a block party on April 16.
The Demons used a blocked extra point and blocked a potential game-winning field goal, holding onto a 14-13 win over visiting Poynette in a COVID-Spring Large Conference game played April 16 at John Polzin Field.
“We talked all week about having another chance to make a memory together and boy did they come through with that,” said Demons head coach Derek Sweger about the final home game during the alternate fall season. “To send our senior class out like that on Senior Night is something that our kids won’t ever forget. Hats off to our student section and crowd, when we blocked the field goal to seal it, the atmosphere was electric!”
Trailing by a point, the Pumas (1-3) lined up for a potential game-winning 35-yard field goal with 6 seconds remaining, but senior Sam Vander Grinten burst through his blockers and blocked the kick to seal the Demons’ second win of the season.
“We got Sam Vander Grinten back this week and he made such a huge impact on defense for us. When Sam hits someone, it sounds different than anyone else on our team. He made some huge plays, including the big catch and run that swung the game in our favor. Coach (Jeremy) Roach made that play call off something he saw and Sam came through on the play,” said Sweger.
Tommy Lees scored the go-ahead touchdown with just 1 minute, 40 seconds remaining in the third quarter, giving the Demons a one-point advantage. But it was a special teams play in the first half that proved to be just as big.
With the Demons (2-1) holding an 8-7 lead, quarterback Hayden Taylor found the end zone on a 2-yard run with just 7 seconds left in the first half. But Deerfield senior Bene Lemke blocked Landon McCormick’s extra point attempt leaving the Pumas’ lead at 13-7.
“Poynette is a tough team who threw some stuff at us scheme wise that we didn’t expect. Coach (Jim) Clift and his defense made some great adjustments to hold them under their averages and keep us in the game,” said Sweger.
Lees then scored what proved to be the game-winner late in the third quarter. It capped off a huge night by the sophomore quarterback who accounted for 199 yards of offense as he rushed for 77 yards on 15 carries while completing five passes for 122 more yards.
Following a defensive battle that saw both teams hold one another off the scoreboard, Poynette drew first blood early in the second quarter as Payton Horne scored on a 15-yard run. McCormick added the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 9:39 left.
Deerfield responded with a 13-yard Lees-to-Dayton Lasack aerial, and Lees ran in the two-point conversion giving the Demons an 8-7 advantage with 4 ½ minutes remaining in the first half.
“Dayton Lasack came back this week as well and made a huge impact in both the passing game and at safety,” Sweger said. “You see the strides that he has made, he’s turned himself into an all conference type player, and you’d never know this is only the third year he’s ever played ball.”
It was the final home game played at John Polzin Field for seven Deerfield seniors.
“I’m so proud of our senior class and what they’ve done for this football program. To see how far they’ve come from freshmen to now is incredible. Bene Lemke, Luke Olson, Parker Massey, Sean Gjermo, Jack McDonough, Reily Bonjour, and Sam Vander Grinten have been amazing representations of our football program and I’ve been very lucky to be able to coach them. Special mention to Reily who gutted through last week with what turned out to be a broken thumb and wasn’t able to play on his Senior Night,” said Sweger.
The Demons play their final game of the alternate fall season Friday traveling to Black Hawk/Warren IL. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
DEERFIELD 14, POYNETTE 13
Poynette 0 13 0 0 — 13
Deerfield 0 8 6 0 — 14
Poynette — Horne 15 run (McCormick kick), 9:39.
Deerfield — Lasack 13 pass from Lees (Lees run), 4:30.
Poynette — Taylor 2 run (kick blocked), :07.
Deerfield — Lees 5 run (run failed), 1:40.
Rushing (Att.-Yds.) — P 23-120, D 38-163. Passing Yards — P 131, D 122. Passes (Comp.-Att.-Int.) — P 9-19-0, D 5-20-2. Fumbles-lost — P 3-2, D 0-0. Penalties — P 3-35, D 9-55.
Rushing: P: Borgen 9-83; D: Lees 15-77.
Passing: P: Taylor 9-19-1, 131; D: Lees 5-20-2, 122.
Receiving: P: McCormick 1-32; D: Lasack 2-28, Vander Grinten 1-64.