Providence eliminated Crawford County on Friday with what appeared to be a dominating 41-18 Class 2A sectional victory. There was a moment, though, when the Wolfpack had an opportunity to shift the momentum.
In the second quarter, far out of first-down range after a false-start penalty, the Crawford County punt team took the field for a Ty Nickelson field-goal attempt. In a gutsy next move, the punt was faked. Nickelson threw a quick pass to the receiver on his left, Levi Schwartz, for a gain of 40 yards.
After the trick play, Jacob Sherron caught a wide-open touchdown, his second of the night, trimming Providence’s lead to 20-12.
“We made a bad call on our end,” Providence coach Larry Dension said. “You’ve got to credit Crawford County for that. They did a good job executing it.”
Providence struggled offensively in the remaining first-half minutes. Down only 20-12, an energized Crawford County seemed set for a second-half comeback.
“It gave them some momentum going into halftime,” Dension said, “and I told our guys, ‘You can’t let up. We’ve got to act like it’s 0-0, because these guys are very capable.’ Luckily for us, we got out of the half and were able to reestablish our running game.”
Running backs Aaron Flanagan and Micah Oberhausen led the offense back to full strength. Flanagan scored a little more than two minutes into the half, swerving his way around defenders for a 35-yard run into the endzone.
He completed another run in, this time from 23 yards out, in the fourth quarter.
“Aaron ran the ball very hard for us,” Denison said. “He’s very important in our running game. Tonight, we had Alex (Roederer) and Micah (Oberhausen) also, and all three of them ran the ball very well. That’s hard to stop, because you can’t key in on one player.”
Oberhausen finished the game five minutes after with a final touchdown, sealing the entrance to the second round of Sectionals.
Providence will host Modern Day at 8 p.m. Friday.