One Happy Football Team!!! The Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond Knights football team gathered on the Vandalia football field after their thrilling victory in the first round of the IHSA Class 2A Playoffs.
By SALLY McCARTHY
In a very back and forth, exciting game the Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond Knights football team came back after being down 33-34 with 6:49 left in the IHSA playoff game with the Vandalia Vandals last Saturday. On a fourth and fourteen play, QB Kaden Feagin hit Landon Waldrop with a 63 yard touchdown pass to put the Knights back on top after Kaden scored the two point conversion the score was 41-34 with 3:49 remaining in the game. The ALAH defense came up big as the Vandals picked up three first downs and had the ball on a fourth and four play at the Knights’ 27 yard line. The pass by QB Matthew Hagy fell incomplete with 44 seconds left on the clock. The Knights just had to kneel on three plays to run out the clock and then celebrate with their fans who were very loud and enthusiastic throughout the whole game and were definitely a factor in the victory.
As mentioned above the game was back and forth the entire way. In the first half the Knights scored on each of their first four possessions. ALAH quarterback Kaden Feagin had three of the four scores, the first a 4 yard run, his second was 42 yards and he finished his first half scoring with a 65 yard TD run. Feagin also hit Drew Cotton on a 28 yard scoring pass. Kicker Chilton Ingram was 3 of 4 on his extra points and the Knights had a 27-19 halftime lead. Their only other first half series ended with a punt.
The Vandalia Vandals nearly matched the Knights in scoring in the first half, scoring on three of their six series. Their first score was a five yard pass; the second, a thirteen yard pass; and the last was an eight yard run. The ALAH defense forced them to punt twice and they had the ball as the clock expired at half. Their kicker was one of two on extra points and they had a failed two point conversion and found themselves down 19-27 to the visitors at the break.
ALAH received the second half kickoff but were forced to punt. The Vandals turned the ball over on downs on their first series.
The red, black and gold took a two possession lead on their next series when Feagin threw a 65 yard TD pass to Connor Nettles who broke a couple of tackles on his way to the end zone. The two point conversion was no good and with 7:25 left in the third quarter, ALAH led 33-19.
Vandalia would punt but after intercepting ALAH’s quarterback, Noah Garrett who was in when Feagin went out with leg cramps. The home team would score on a one yard touchdown run by QB Hagy. The EP kick was good and the lead was cut to 33-26.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Knights turned the ball over on downs but then Vandalia had to punt. Once again the Vandal defense held and ALAH punted with 7:20 left in the game.
The home team had one more score in them, hitting on a 52 yard pass and faked the EP kick and connected on a pass for the two point conversion and took the lead at 34-33 with 6:49 remaining.
The Knights, however were not done scoring. On a must have 4th and 19 from their own 37, Landon Waldrop was wide open and hauled in a 63 yard TD pass from Feagin. The QB called his own number and too the two point conversion into the end zone and the lead was held by the Knights once again at 41-34 with 3:49 left.
It was up to the defense to make one final stand and they did just that! Vandalia did pick up a couple of first downs that moved the ball from their own 28 to the Knights 27. On a 4th and 4 play from that spot the Vandals elected to pass but it was incomplete and the Knights were close to their first playoff win. QB Feagin just had to go to victory formation to secure the victory.
The win puts Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond’s season record at 8-2 and moves them to the Sweet Sixteen in the IHSA Class 2A Football Playoffs. With the victory, they earned the right to host a second round game. That game will be next Saturday, November 5 at 3:00 p.m. against the Johnston City Indians.
Coach Ryan Jefferson posted this on the Knight Pride facebook page after the game. “What a game yesterday – the weather, the thrill of the back and forth, the atmosphere! That is PLAYOFF football! Again, the crowd was amazing and we will need that even more this week at home!!”
Here are the stats from our Week 10 victory over the Vandals!
Rushing – Kaden Feagin, 28 for 226 & 3 TDs….Mason Allen, 7 for 41…Landon Waldrop, 7 for 4
Passing – Kaden Feagin, 5 of 9 for 175 & 3 TDs
Receiving – Landon Waldrop, 2 for 78 & 1 TD….Connor Nettles, 2 for 71 & 1 TD….Drew Cotton, 1 for 26 & 1 TD
Tackles – Kaden Feagin, 11….Drew Cotton, 9…Jacob Tighe, 6…Kody Kornewald, 6…Connor Nettles, 5…Noah Garrett, 4…Ryan Appleby, 4…Tanner Beckmier, 3…Landon Waldrop, 3…Mason Allen, 3…Maddix Stirrett, 2…Easton Frederick, 1…Adam Morgan, 1…Nate Hale, 1…Chilton Ingram, 1…Payton Warrior, 1
Tackles for Loss – Drew Cotton, 1…Noah Garrett, 1
Pass Break-Ups – Ryan Appleby, 3…Landon Waldrop, 3…Connor Nettles, 2…Tanner Beckmier, 2…Kaden Feagin, 2…Noah Garrett, 1…Mason Allen, 1…Drew Cotton, 1
SPECIAL TEAMS STATS
PATs – Chilton Ingram, 3 of 4 (75%)
Kick-Offs – Chilton Ingram, 6 for 242….Kaden Herschberger, 1 for 13
Punts – Landon Waldrop, 3 for 123
Kick-Off Returns – Noah Garrett, 4 for 47…Landon Waldrop, 1 for 10
Punt Returns – Kaden Feagin, 1 for 7….Landon Waldrop, 1 for 6