A wild thrill ride
There was a touchdown roughly every 2.8 minutes when Turkey Valley and Rockford battled in the first round of the state playoffs Friday.
“I thought we played hard and executed on offense,” Trojan quarterback Ethan Leibold said of the 64-58 TV loss. “But we could have had a few more stops on defense.”
Turkey Valley did so many things right. They won the turnover battle 3-1, Leibold had a season high 241 yards passing and career high 128 yards rushing and Billy Swestka picked off his fourth interception of the season while both Elliott Dietzenbach and Kannon Leuenberger had their highest tackle numbers of the year.
Three Trojans scored on the ground, while three different athletes caught Leibold passes for touchdowns. But Rockford scored first, and it came quickly — the first play from scrimmage — on a 39-yard pass play.
“We knew they would be throwing on first down,” Leibold said. “I think part of that play was nerves, we had a lot of kids that hadn’t played in playoff games before and one of our corners got beat on a deep post. But we came right back and scored and that helped us gain momentum.”
After that first score, a long pass play from Leibold to Dylan Elsbernd went to the Rockford two, Leibold punched in the ball, then, while on defense, he recovered a Warrior fumble a short time later, ran for a first down on fourth-and-four and Elsbernd scored from 29 yards out for a 16-8 TV lead.