Big plays on defense the difference for Huskies (Video)

Posted: September 17, 2010 in 2010 Football Season, The Big One, Video
Tags: , , , , , ,


The Emmerich brothers both made game-changing plays for Andover.

By DAVID LA VAQUE, Star Tribune
Last update: September 17, 2010 – 2:39 AM

Andover’s Tyler Finnes, one of the state’s most potent dual-threat quarterbacks, is used to making the plays that win games.

Heading into Thursday’s game against Armstrong, the Huskies scored 75 points and Finnes took part in nine touchdowns. But as Finnes and the offense stumbled throughout Thursday’s game, the defense took charge.

Twin brothers Ryan and Justin Emmerich, made two of the biggest plays. They turned two of Armstrong’s best scoring chances into highlights. Ryan returned a fumble 82 yards for Andover’s first score. And Justin intercepted an Armstrong pass in the end zone late in the first half.

Finnes threw for a touchdown and ran for a score in No. 9 Andover’s 28-14 victory but credited the defense for “carrying us tonight.”

Penalties and mental mistakes mired the offense throughout the night. Andover’s first three possessions ended with a fumble and two punts. And a bad snap led to a 20-yard loss on the Huskies’ first possession after halftime.

“We were pretty sloppy, especially in the first half,” said Finnes, who completed eight of 16 passes for 73 yards and ran 16 times for 69 yards.

Enter the defense, which coach Rich Wilkie said played with something to prove after a pedestrian performance last week against Park Center.

Andover’s first-half fumble gave Armstrong the ball near midfield. A 20-yard pass from Nick Brugnoli to Zachary Dooher, followed by a 25-yard run by Brugnoli, moved the Falcons to the Andover 4-yard line.

Then the Huskies defense stepped up, and the second of two consecutive sacks separated Brugnoli from the ball. Brugnoli watched like a kid who let go of a balloon as Ryan Emmerich ran 82 yards for a touchdown.

“That play ignited the whole team,” Finnes said.

The defense struck again as Kyle Siebold intercepted a Brugnoli pass that sailed over the Falcons slot receiver. Running back Cole Westerlund found a hole on the left side and broke free for a 10-yard touchdown run to build a 14-0 lead.

The Falcons seemed poised to score before halftime as their other quarterback, Earl Young, drove the team to the Andover 1-yard line. A penalty moved the Falcons back, and Young’s throw to the end zone was intercepted by Justin Emmerich with less than one minute remaining.

“That was a game changer,” Wilkie said.

Finnes and the offense saved their best for last, converting twice on fourth down and completing a 53-yard drive to go ahead 28-7 early in the fourth quarter.


Highlight videos of the Armstrong vs Andover game courtesy of Coon Rapids Sports on YouTube


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