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A Win Over Rocky

September 13, 2014
Devils were able to get out of Flinn Friday night with a win over Rocky.  Blue Devil Sophomores posted a convincing win Friday night.  Way to go, Devils!!

                  By ANDRES MARTINEZ

Herald-Whig Sports Writer

With a 14-13 lead with 2 minutes, 41 seconds to play and facing a third down and 10 on their own 30-yard line, Quincy running back Bryce Unmisig and the Blue Devils refused to panic.

"We're at home," Unmisig said. "We don't lose at home."

Unmisig took a draw play 25 yards to covert the first down, and the Blue Devils were able to run out the clock to beat Rock Island 14-13 at Flinn Stadium in a rematch of Quincy's opening round playoff win from last season. It was Rock Island coach Bryan Stortz's first Western Big 6 loss as the Rocks head coach, and Quincy's first regular season win over the Rocks since 2010.

"When I first came here eight years ago, that was the giant at the top of the mountain," QHS coach Rick Little said. "Tonight was close again. Fortunately we were able to come out on top."

The win gives Quincy (2-1, 2-0 Western Big 6), a leg up over the Rocks in the conference title race.

"If you're going to win a conference championship, you've got to beat the conference champs from a year ago," Little said.

Quincy had to overcome a poor performance in the turnover department. The Blue Devils gave away three interceptions and a fumble. The Rocks (1-2, 0-1 WB6) also blocked a QHS punt in the fourth quarter.

"We had a sloppy game," Unmisig said. "We have a lot of things to clear up, but great teams improve."

Quincy opened up the game overpowering Rock Island on the ground, picking up where they left off in last year's, 40-20 win over the Rocks. QHS ran for 227 yards, led by Unmisig who ran for 154 yards. Cameron Gay added 59 yards on the ground.

Quincy opened up their first drive on the Rock Island 39-yard line, ran eight plays all on the ground, and Unmisig scored from 1-yard out to give QHS a 7-0 lead.

"Our offensive line really stepped up," Unmisig said. "We worked at that at practice and it really showed."

On Rock Island's second drive, the Rocks were forced to punt, and their punt was partially blocked, allowing Quincy to start with the ball on the Rock's 45.

Quincy used just four plays to find the endzone, as Brady Brockmiller scored from 15-yards to give QHS a 14-0 lead.

"Things were rolling pretty good," Little said.

The Quincy defense stopped Rock Island again and forced another punt, giving the Blue Devils the ball at their own 49-yard line. After four run plays, George Crickard IV found Seth Holtschlag on a play-action pass for 22 yards to the Rock Island 16.

The Blue Devils then ran a misdirection play that was fumbled, and Rock Island's Jacob Tuake picked it up and ran it 84 yards for the touchdown, cutting Quincy's lead to 14-7.

"It was the spark that we needed for our kids to really realize what our potential level could be," Stortz said. "We can't afford to get behind like that and finally decide to play."

On the Blue Devils' ensuing possession, Crickard was intercepted by Tuake, but the Blue Devils forced the Rocks to punt on their possession.

On Quincy's next possesion, the Blue Devils tried to convert a fourth down and five, but Crickard again was intercepted, this time by Tyree Overton at Rock Island's 45. This time, the Rocks made Quincy pay.

Rock Island drove to the Quincy 41, and Rock Island quarterback Alek Jacobs scrambled for a 21-yard pickup to the Quincy 20. Two plays later, Davon Barber had a 10-yard run and DeShaun Davis had a 7-yard run to put the Rocks on the Quincy 2-yard line. Tre Nimmers scored from two yards out, but Nickolas Roessler missed the point-after kick attempt.

The Blue Devils defense was able to hold Rock Island and didn't allow them to enter the red zone for the remainder of the game.

"Our defense stepped, as they should, and they won the game for us," Gay said. "I'm happy with it."

Rock Island make the Blue Devils sweat at the end.

Facing a fourth and six, Quincy's punt was blocked and the Rocks recovered the ball on the Quincy 33. Quincy's defense held up again, and forced the Rocks to a fourth and seven. Jacobs found Davis open in the middle of the field, but his pass went through a jumping Davis' hands to give Quincy the ball back. Bryce Unmisig sealed it from there.

And Unmisig knows it might not be the last time they face each other this season.

"As we were going through the lines shaking hands they were saying, ‘See you in the playoffs,' " Unmisig said. "They have that mentality, and we're going to see them in the playoffs, hopefully."

Western Big 6 Conference

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