SHENANDOAH – Senior quarterback Kyle Cerven finished with 399 yards of total offense and had a hand in all four Shenandoah touchdowns, but a late push fell short for the Mustangs in a 35-27 loss to AHSTW, Friday, Sept. 6.
The Vikings took a 35-7 lead with 5 minutes, 48 seconds to go on Blake Holst’s one-yard touchdown run, but the Mustangs fought back to make it close.
Cerven found Blake Herold for a nine-yard touchdown pass to cap a seven-play, 71-yard drive with 3:07 to go. The Mustang defense forced a punt and the offense came back on the field with 2:03 remaining.
After two incomplete passes, Cerven scrambled for a 65-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 35-21 with 1:39 to go.
Shenandoah was unable to recover an onside kick, but the defense got a quick stop and took back over just 22 seconds later.
The Mustangs found the end zone one final time, but the drive took 10 plays and every remaining second off the clock with Cerven and Herold connecting again on a 16-yard scoring play as time expired.
“Our kids fought hard and I’m proud of the effort,” Shenandoah coach Ty Ratliff said. “The game could have gone a different direction, but we responded to the adversity and fought. That’s what you want out of your squad and it made every one of our coaching staff proud.”
The passing game did most of the work on offense with Cerven completing 20 of 40 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns. Anthony Stogdill was Cerven’s favorite target with 10 catches for 123 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown reception with 17 seconds left in the first half, giving the Mustangs momentum going into halftime.
AHSTW quickly took the momentum back, however, needing just four plays to go 67 yards to start the second half with Jackson Woltmann scoring his second touchdown of the game.
The Viking defense forced a three and out, and then the offense went right back down the field with Holst hitting Raydden Grobe on an 18-yard touchdown pass to cap an eight-play drive and extend AHSTW’s lead to 28-7.
“They hit us with a few big plays (to start the second half),” said Ratliff, “and we had a few penalties that were inexcusable on our part. We need to improve on our coverage and tackling. There are times we’re there to make the tackle and we’re just not making them.”
Cerven had two other receivers with multiple receptions. Wyatt Aufdenberg hauled in four passes for 49 yards while Herold had three catches for 47 yards and the two scores.
“We knew we had the ability to throw the ball,” said Ratliff. “We need to make the plays when we have the opportunity. We had a lot of dropped balls and passes that weren’t on the mark, but we have the ability to pass the ball and that’s what we wanted to do.”
Cerven’s long touchdown run late helped him rush for 137 yards on 16 carries. Other than that, Shenandoah couldn’t get the run game going with Ty Rogers’ 20 yards the next best total on the team.
The Mustangs finished with 423 yards of offense, beating out AHSTW’s 379 as the Mustangs dropped to 0-2. AHSTW improved to 1-1 with the win.
Holst threw for 206 yards for the Vikings with Joey Goins his favorite target, bringing in five passes for 105 yards. Denver Pauley led the AHSTW run game with 109 yards and a score.
Several pictures from the game can be seen at valleynewstoday.com.
Shenandoah continues non-district play with a trip to Treynor, Friday, Sept. 13.