Unbeaten McFarland rolls in second half, beats East Troy in football
McFARLAND — Tysen White and the McFarland football team’s defense just needed to get turned downhill.
And once they did, they halted the East Troy offensive matriculation.
“Once we got that first turnover, it felt like everything kind of grew from there,” White said.
McFarland effectively pitched a second-half shutout to turn back East Troy 48-27 and take sole possession of first place in the Rock Valley Conference on Friday.
After the Trojans pounded their way to 207 rushing yards in the first half and tied the game at 20 with 9 seconds left in the second quarter, they started with ball for the second half.
On the sixth play of the third quarter, White ripped the ball out of East Troy quarterback Jake Dessart’s grasp, McFarland recovered and three plays later Derek Schwarting lofted a rainbow to Reece Samuel on a post-flag for a 24-yard touchdown with just over 2½ minutes gone in the third quarter.
The Spartans (4-0, 4-0 Rock Valley) never trailed from there, as the defense went turnover, turnover on downs, turnover, turnover on downs before allowing a late Dessart rushing TD with the final outcome no longer in doubt.
“When you can start coming downfield a lot, and we kind of just started wearing on them,” White said. “And we knew what they were going to run, so that kind of helped a lot.”
For East Troy (3-1, 3-1), it was missed blocks, fumbles and other miscues that derailed its ball-control, ground-and-pound game plan. One of the second-half turnovers on downs was a drive that was derailed by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that pushed East Troy all the way back to the McFarland 39-yard line after moving inside the 20.
“We just didn’t react the way we needed to,” East Troy coach Jeff Crandall said. “You get behind like that, and in a close game where two teams are pretty good, it’s hard to come back from that.”
That deficit? You can blame Schwarting. After throwing an interception on McFarland’s first offensive drive, he finished 17-for-23 for 403 yards and six touchdowns. The senior quarterback’s confidence wasn’t fazed by the early turnover and he was 10-for-11 in the second half.
“I knew the line was going to give me protection, I knew our receivers we … had going out there,” Schwarting said. “So I wasn’t worried.”
McFarland christened its new football field with a win, and there were shouts of “4-0 baby!” heard from fans in the stands as the fourth quarter clock dwindled down.
But for a team looking to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2014, McFarland coach Paul Ackley said it’s all about the team’s motto for the season: Stay the course.
“We got Whitewater next week,” Ackley said with a laugh. “I don’t care about all that other stuff. We’ve just got Whitewater next week.”
East Troy 7 13 0 7 — 27
McFarland 7 13 14 14 — 48
ET — Jakscht 2 run (Wojiechowski kick)
MCF — Samuel 45 pass from Schwarting (Werwinski kick)
MCF — Schreiber 19 pass from Schwarting (Werwinski kick)
ET — Dessart 3 run (Wojiechowski kick)
MCF — Price-Johnson 1 run (kick failed)
ET — Dessart 9 run (kick failed)
MCF — Samuel 24 pass from Schwarting (Werwinski kick)
MCF — Hall 51 pass from Schwarting (Werwinski kick)
MCF — Hall 13 pass from Schwarting (Werwinski kick)
MCF — Hudson 19 pass from Schwarting (Werwinski kick)
ET — Dessart 2 run (Wojiechowski kick)
First downs — ET 37, MCF 16. Rushing (Att.-Yds.) — ET 72-347, MCF 18-79. Passing yards — ET 91, MCF 382. Passes (Comp.-Att.-Int.) — ET 4-16-0, MCF 18-26-1. Fumbles-lost — ET 3-1, MCF 2-1. Penalties-yards — ET 4-40, MCF 4-55.
Rushing: ET, Dessart 50-237. MCF, White 5-47.
Passing: ET, Dessart 4-16-0-91. MCF, Schwarting 18-26-1-382, .
Receiving: ET, Price 2-46. MCF, Hall 8-193.