Special Thanks To The Hutchinson News
Written By Vance Janek
BELOIT — Pretty Prairie football coach CT Young knew before Saturday’s Eight-Man Division I All-Star game that Hunter Pittman and Daniel Krehbiel are special athletes.
Young, the West Squad coach, saw all week in practice just how good the two former Bulldogs were. They backed it up Saturday against the East Squad at Trojan Stadium.
Pittman had a couple long first-quarter touchdown runs while Krehbiel added a score in the fourth quarter to help the West earn a physical, grind-it-out 26-12 victory.
“I’m really happy for Hunter to come out and play that way,” Young said. “And Daniel, any time we needed yards, when we needed four he got five. He’s a special, special player.”
Thanks to his 53- and 49- yard touchdown runs on identical option plays down the left side of the line, Pittman finished with a game-high 90 yards rushing on 11 attempts. Meanwhile, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Krehbiel was the back Young called upon in short yardage situations throughout, finishing with 78 yards on 15 carries, including a 14-yard score that put the West up 20-6 with 9:06 remaining in the game.
Rounding out the West’s offense, which rolled up 243 of its 291 yards on the ground, was former Hodgeman County star Evan Kreger. The shifty 5-10, 165-pound back ended his 22-carry, 75-yard performance with a 1-yard touchdown run with 2:20 remaining that iced the game.
Those three used were aided by an offense line that opened numerous holes in the ground-and-pound game. “I like working for it because that’s more my kind of style,” Krehbiel said. “It’s an all-star game and every player here is good. It’s nice to be able to drive the ball and be confident doing that.”
What helped the West defensively was slowing the East’s run-heavy offense. The East finished with 108 yards on the ground while failing to get its passing game going, completing just 3 of 14 passes for 29 yards.
It was the West’s defensive line that caused plenty of problems whatever the play call. The group that fouled things up up front included Hodgeman County’s Devan Rudzik, Tyler Bess and Quinter’s Sam Leighton.
“I love causing havoc,” Leighton said. “I love putting disheartening spots on their offense. That frustrated several East offensive linemen. “As soon as I noticed they were getting frustrated, itwas like I hit an extra adrenaline rush and just started pushing harder,” Leighton said. “I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get a few more defensive snaps in the fourth quarter to mess with their head a little bit more, but it was fun.”
It was a case of the East looking to stop Krehbiel on the dive and putting more focus on Kreger receiving a pitch that freed Pittman up for two touchdowns on option runs in the first quarter. “I dove in, and they took Daniel out,” Pittman said. “I figured they’d come at me, but they took Evan out and bit down on him. It left me open to go and score.” After his score on the game’s opening drive, Pittman broke free again with 54 seconds left in the first quarter to make it 12-0. “I didn’t know the kid was that fast,” Kreger said. “When he got in the open, he took off and made some plays. It was fun watching him.”
The West had a hard time stopping East quarterback Chase Gumm once he broke out of the pocket. Gumm, a Southern Cloud product who rushed for a team-high 81 yards, had his best scamper on a 35-yard scramble that made it 12-6 with 4:21 left in the first half.
After a scoreless third quarter, the West went up 20-6 on Krehbiel’s 14-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion. The two-score cushion was short lived, though, as Jarrett Christie of Rock Hills returned the ensuing kickoff for a 75-yard touchdown. But then the West salted the game away with a 16-play, 65-yard scoring drive that included a pair of fourth down conversions. Kreger finished it off with a 1-yard touchdown.
“I loved knowing that the fourth quarter was coming up,” Kreger said. “We were more physical, bigger and tougher.” Pittman, who’s future plans include playing basketball at Fort Scott, ends his football career with a win after the Bulldogs were beaten by Osborne in the second round of the playoffs last year.
“I loved today,” Pittman said. “I didn’t want the Osborne loss to be our last game.”
WEST 26, EAST 12
W / E
First downs 13 / 7
Rushes-yards 54-243 / 36-108
Passing yards 48 / 29
Comp-Att-Int 7-13-0 / 3-14-0
Total plays-yards 67-291 / 50-137
Punts-avg 3-32 / 3-30.3
Fumbles-lost 5-1 / 1-0
Penalties-yards 8-55 / 4-29
RUSHING—West: Kreger 22-75, Krehbiel 15-78, Pittman 11-90, Team 3-(-3), Allison 1-4, Hendricks 1-(-1).
East: Gumm 15-81, DeMars 7-13, Lambert 6-15, Price 5-(-10), Weis 4-9.
PASSING—West: Pittman 6-11-0-41, Hendricks 1-1-0-7, Kreger 0-1-0-0.
East: Gumm 3-14-0-29.
RECEIVING—West: Pickens 4-20, Kreger 1-11, Richard 1-11, Krehbiel 1-6.
East: Shoemaker 1-26, DeMars 1-2, Lambert 1-1.
East 0 6 0 6 — 12
West 12 0 0 14 — 26
W—Pittman 53 run (run failed), 10:06
W—Pittman 49 run (run failed) 0:54
E—Gumm 35 run (run failed), 4:21
W—Krehbiel 14 run (Krehbiel run), 9:18
E—Christie 75 kickoff return (pass failed), 9:05
W—Kreger 1 run (pass failed), 2:20