A blocked field goal and a blocked extra point extra point were the two significant plays leading to Deerfield’s 14-13 win over Poynette in Friday’s COVID-Spring Large Conference game played at John Polzin Field.
“It was definitely an exciting football game,” Poynette coach Greg Kallungi said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get any consistency offensively in the second half. Whether it was a fumbled snap, a negative rushing play or an untimely penalty, we just couldn’t sustain any drives in the second half. We were able to make a couple of late charges and give ourselves a chance, but weren’t able to connect on the long field goals, coming up just short on the first one and then getting the second one blocked. I thought overall it was a pretty even game, unfortunately we came up a point short.”
The Demons (2-1) blocked a Pumas game-winning field goal attempt in the fourth quarter, after blocking an extra point in the first half leading to their second victory in as many weeks.
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 the difference.
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 burst through the line and blocked Landon McCormick’s extra-point attempt leaving the Pumas’ lead at 13-7.
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.
It was the third straight loss for Poynette, which fell to 1-3 overall.
Taylor led the Pumas’ offense both throwing and running the ball. He finished the game 8-of-19 passing for 152 yards and an interception, to go along with 28 yards rushing and a touchdown on 10 carries.
Poynette’s Reggie Buss finished with a team-high 32 yards rushing on three carries.
Brock Chadwick, Hans Mueller, Dylan Elsing and Jaden McCormick each had two catches for the Pumas. McCormick led the group with 83 yards receiving.
Elsing garnered a team-high 13 tackles, while Payton Horne added seven. Taylor, Owen Bahr and Ethan Buss each had five tackles.
Buss had the only sack for the Pumas, while Elsing had a pair of interceptions.
Poynette will hit the road one final time this spring on Friday. The Pumas will play at Southwestern at 7 p.m.
The Pumas will close out the alternate falls season on April 30 at home against Menominee Indian.