BREAKING: Walker's 338 yards not enough in Big Foot's last-second loss
October 28, 2011 | 10:46 PMAll season, the Big Foot football team dispatched opponent after opponent, routinely firing off 50-point halves with ease.
But coach Rodney Wedig knew the playoffs would be different.
After a 61-6 blowout to open the postseason, Wedig anticipated a much tougher test Friday night against Madison Edgewood and wondered how his team would react to adversity.
The Chiefs may have passed the adversity test, but in the end, it was the Crusaders who earned the extra credit.
Big Foot stormed back from a 20-6 halftime deficit to tie the game at 20-20, only to have its season end courtesy of Edgewood kicker Jake Dragoo in a 23-20 defeat.
For Big Foot (10-1), it was the team's first home loss since Sept. 3, 2010, snapping a 10-game home winning streak.
With the game tied 20-20, Madison Edgewood utilized a double pass play for 36 yards and a pivotal backside screen for 15 yards to set up the winning kick with two seconds remaining. Dragoo's 27-yard attempt had plenty of leg and barely hooked inside the right post for the victory as time expired. Big Foot players collapsed in the middle of the field, overwhelmed by emotion.
"I just went to my knees and started crying," senior Tyler Santeler said. "It was tough."
"There was nothing left to do but hold your head high," senior Spencer Volbrecht said. "Everyone played tough. The defense stepped up, and the offense made plays."
The first half deficit marked the first time Big Foot trailed all season. The Chiefs failed to score on three separate red zone opportunities, and they committed three turnovers in the first 24 minutes.
Senior running back Kenny Walker began his record-setting night with a 64-yard touchdown run with :17 in the first quarter to cut the Edgewood lead to 14-6.
On the night, Walker gained a school-record 338 yards on the ground, surpassing brother Mike's 255 from the 2009 state championship game.
With 9:38 remaining until haltime, Jake Wedig was picked off by Edgewood's Spencer Brink, who took it to the house 70 yards and gave Edgewood a 20-6 lead.
However, the Chiefs used a solid two-minute offense to prepare to cut into the lead just before the half. Facing a second and goal at the Edgewood 5 with six seconds to go, Wedig called his own number but fumbled just before diving for the end zone. Edgewood recovered, taking momentum into halftime.
Big Foot wouldn't quit.
The Walworth boys came out guns blazing in the final 24 minutes off the strength of Walker, who turned into a workhorse. He darted outside for long runs and muscled inside for tough yardage.
Ian Gallagher had a chance to slice the Edgewood advantage to 20-9 with a third-quarter field goal, but pushed it right. After the Big Foot defense forced punts on two straight possessions, Walker took control. He busted off a 14-yard run before taking a counter off left tackle 22 yards for a score, making it a 20-13 contest inside of a minute in the third quarter.
The inspired Big Foot defense, led by Carter Hehr's big deflection on third and 11, held Edgewood on the ensuing possession. Walker continued his dominance on Big Foot's next drive, gaining 95 of the team's 99 yards including an 11-yard score with 5:24 to go, which tied the game at 20-20.
After Edgewood punted, Walker picked up a huge first down on third and 4 around midfield. But Big Foot was called for holding on the play, setting up a third and long. Jake Wedig's deep spiral down the middle of the field went through Mason Dixon's outstretched hands, and the Chiefs had to punt on fourth.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Edgewood pulled out all the stops on their game-winning drive.
A double pass got them into Big Foot territory, then, on fourth and six from the Big Foot 31, quarterback Seth White rolled right but threw back left for a wide-open screen. Edgewood proceeded to run out the clock before the game-winning 27-yard field goal.
Despite out-gaining Edgewood 468-221, Big Foot committed three costly turnovers to Edgewood's zero.
"They have a lot of weapons," Rodney Wedig said of Edgewood. "They made plays when they had to, and we didn't. We outplayed them by far in the second half. This is the best team I've had here. It was unfortunate. It's tough to prepare for this kind of a leap. Jake hadn't thrown a pick since Week 2. Against a good team, you can't have that many mistakes."
Walker will miss his "family."
"We played hard in the second half," he said. "But there were too many mental mistakes. Football is one of the Sports where you get super close. We're a family. We came together."
Check Wednesday's Lake Geneva Regional News for more comments and photos.