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Outside The County-Maconaquah

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Results from Maconaquah for Friday, September 1st

Braves “D” preserves 20-13 win at Northfield

The Maconaquah Braves used a gallant goal line stand in the final 10 seconds of the game to squeak past the determined Northfield Norsemen Friday night, 20-13.

 After trailing twice (7-0 and 13-12) during the hard-fought battle, the Braves took the lead for good in the fourth period after forcing a Norse punt.  Starting at the Northfield 46, MHS quarterback Braxton Birner hit junior speedster AJ Kelly along the Norse sidelines.  Kelly darted in and out of several Northfield would-be tacklers and went the distance at the 7:59 mark.  Fuddy Kile caught Birner's conversion pass for a 20-13 lead.


 The game-winning touchdown reception, Kelly's second TD of the game, moved him past KJ Walton, Brenner Stage, Luther McDonald and Sam Marquis into 16th place on the MHS career scoring list with 110 points. He becomes the 19th player in Mac history to score over 100 points in a career.


 That would be the only play Maconaquah would run in the final period until getting the ball back with :09 remaining after the goal line stop.  The Braves had the ball for a mere 22 seconds in the final quarter as the Norse ate up the clock, running 20 plays before getting stopped  cold inside the two yard line in the frantic seconds of play.


 The hosts took the opening kickoff and took a quick 7-0 lead when quarterback Jake Perney scored on a 70-yard scamper with 8:25 left in the opening act.  


 Maconaquah followed by marching 75 yards to paydirt in a little under four minutes, with key Birner passes to Kile and Ty Galvan paving the way.  Birner scored from two yards out at the 4:42 mark to trim Northfield's lead to 7-6.


 Mac's defense set up their next score with a huge stop on a fourth-and five at the Brave 42 yard line.  The Braves covered 58 yards and used nearly six minutes of precious time.  A clutch third-and-seven Birner to Kelly pass and and nice fourth down run by Galvan kept the drive alive. After a 19-yard TD pass to Kile was nullified by one of Mac's 10 penalties, Kelly pulled in a short four-yard TD pass with 3:29 left for a 12-7 lead at the half.


 Northfield capitalized on a Brave turnover to start the second half scoring and took a narrow 13-12 lead midway through the quarter after putting together a 10-play, 66-yard drive to the endzone.  On the night, the Norse rushed for 230 yards on 49 carries.


Coach Tyler Campbell's troops threatened late in the third period, driving to the Norse 12 before a sack and three incompletions gave the ball back to Northfield, setting up the wild fourth quarter.  


 After taking the 20-13 lead with 7:59 left, Maconaquah was whistled for a delay on the kickoff.  A 19-yard return got the Norse started at their own 35.  They methodically marched downfield, converting a third-and-two and a fourth-and-two along the way.  


 After getting to the Brave 11 as the final minute ticked away, Northfield powered to the four, setting up a big fourth-and-three.  Maconaquah's defense stuffed the Norse ballcarrier inches short on a carry up the middle sealing the victory.


 Kelly led MHS receivers with 120 yards on nine catches.  Kile added 62 on six grabs.  Galvan led the running game with 60 yards on 13 totes.  Birner hit on 18 of 30 passes, good for 211 yards and the two TD passes to Kelly.  Eli Price recovered a Norse fumble and Kelly had interception on the defensive side of the ball.  Mac's defense has now forced 12 turnovers in its first three outings.


 The Three Rivers Conference win moved the Braves to 2-0 in the league and 2-1 overall.  Northfield remained winless in three starts and is 0-2 in the TRC.  Maconaquah now leads the overall series vs Northfield, 8-6.  The Braves will celebrate Homecoming Friday night when Whitko pays a visit.
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