March 25 • 05:51 AM

Immaculate reception, clutch kick, Capac wins

Chiefs' homecoming ends with a storybook finish, squeak past Tigers, 22-20

Joshua Kaiser, of Capac, connects on a field goal atttempt out of the hold of David McKee during his team’s homecoming game versus Armada. Capac won the game by a 22-20 count. photo by Kevin Kissane.

September 30, 2009
CAPAC — On a night where Capac teammates James Morgan and Nina Dalecki were honored as homecoming king and queen at halftime, the events of the game's final moments gave the Chief followers even more reason to celebrate

Mike Burgess brought the home crowd to their feet with a spectacular catch 20 seconds from the finish and Joshua Kaiser saw to it that those in attendance did not leave disappointed, connecting on a clutch 21-yard field goal attempt with 11.2 seconds remaining to lift Capac to a 22-20 win against Armada in a Blue Water Area Conference varsity football nailbiter last Friday night.

With the decision, Capac improves to 2-3 and 2-2. Armada falls to 2-3 and 2-2.

"It was an amazing football game," Capac Coach Tom Manney said. "I don't think anyone around here is going to forget it any time soon," he emphasized.

Trailing 20-19 with 3:27 remaining, Capac set up at its own 20-yard line with hopes engineering a game-winning drive.

Methodically, Capac marched down the field. Second by second the clock wound down.

That led to a third-and-one situation at the Armada 45-yard line. There was now 26.2 ticks remaining and Capac, with one timeout left, wasn't about to be denied in their pursuit of points.

Capac quarterback David McKee dropped back to pass, hoping to spot a wide-open receiver. He scrambled and heaved a pass down the field that was aimed for Brian Kulman.

As he delivered the throw, McKee was hit hard by an Armada defender. His pass looked as though it would fall short of the target.

Kulman, sensing that it was a distinct possibility, ran back to the ball and leaped in the air as an Armada defender tried to pick off the pass.

The toss struck Kulman in the chest and was deflected in the air.

Burgess, who was standing at the 12-yard line, reacted to the pass and caught it in stride. He raced down the field before being dragged to the ground at the five-yard line.

The clock stopped momentarily while the chains were set.

Capac would run one more play, netting a one-yard gain. That sent Kaiser to the field for a 21-yard field goal attempt.

Kaiser's effort split the uprights, staking Capac to a 22-20 edge at the time. There was now 11.2 seconds remaining.

Armada then returned the ensuing kickoff to their 35-yard line. The Tigers would have one last opportunity at generating some game-winning heroics of their own.

It was there Armada quarterback Jared Moegle stepped back to pass and heaved a desperation toss down the field. It was caught by a receiver at the 27-yard line. He gained two more yards, only to be tackled by Capac's Josh Tucker.

The Capac bench emptied shortly thereafter, racing to the field to celebrate with their teammates. The Chiefs had prevailed. And oh what a finish it was at that!

McKee, Kulman and Burgess recalled the pass play that put Capac in position to score the game-winning points.

"The pass was suppose to go to Brian," McKee said. "I could see an Armada player out of the corner of my eye, so I knew I had better get rid of the ball soon," he noted.

"He hit me while I was throwing the ball down the field. It was looking like the throw might wind up a little short."

Enter Kulman to the rescue.

"I was standing at about the five-yard line and noticed David was hit," Kulman said. "I broke back to the ball, hoping to make the catch and keeping the Armada defender from getting an interception," he noted.

"It hit me in the chest and deflected in the air. Then it was up for grabs."

Enter Mike Burgess to the rescue.

"I didn't have a lot of time to think," Burgess said. "I just made the catch and ran with the ball," he noted.

One play later, it was Kaiser's chance to step up to the challenge. And like McKee, Kulman and Burgess before him he did not disappoint the Capac followers who had turned out to watch.

"It wasn't really a hard kick to make," Kaiser said. "The fact that the game was on the line though made it a tougher kick than it normally would have been," he noted.

"When it went through the uprights I felt good. It was a weight off my shoulders."

Capac would withstand the game's final 11.2 seconds to secure the win.

In Friday's game, Capac and Armada concluded the opening quarter of play with identical outputs of seven points.

Quarter number two saw Capac collect nine points, while holding Armada to none.

That staked Capac to a 16-7 cushion at the halftime break.

When the action resumed, Armada struck with a 7-3 third quarter advantage.

That made it 19-14, Capac, at the 36-minute mark.

Armada then outscored Capac 6-3 the rest of the way, only to fall by a 22-20 count when the final second ticked off the clock.

McKee four-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra-point kick courtesy of Kaiser); a McKee to Anthony Closurdo four-yard touchdown pass (followed by an accurate extra-point boot from Kaiser); a Kaiser 36-yard field goal; and a Kaiser 42-yard field goal accounted for the remaining Capac points that evening.

Armada managed their 20-point output thanks to a Tyler Sommers one-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra-point kick courtesy of Moegle); a Moegle to Chent Steinbrink 40-yard touchdown pass (followed by an accurate extra-point boot from Moegle); and a Mark Wolf three-yard touchdown run).

On the night, McKee completed seven of 14 pass plays for 88 yards as Capac's quarterback. He threw no interceptions along the way.

His successful tosses were hauled in by six different targets. Their ranks consisted of James Morgan (two catches for 32 yards), Mike Burgess (one reception for 41 yards), Matt Burgess (one catch for 13 yards), Dakota Perry (one reception for 12 yards), Closurdo (one catch for four yards) and McKee (one reception for a 14-yard loss, his own pass being caught after being batted into the air by an Armada defender).

The Capac ground attack finished with 330 yards on 56 totes. Closurdo (15 rushes for 129 yards), Morgan (70 yards on 14 totes), Kulman (13 rushes for 63 yards), McKee (42 yards on 11 totes), Matt Burgess (one rush for 18 yards) and Cody Rosseau (eight yards on two totes) made that output possible.

Nick Osborn (nine solos and two assists), Thomas Bolday (seven solos and two assists) and Mike Burgess (seven solos and one assist) logged Capac's best defensive credentials. Andrew McDunnah (two solos and four assists), McKee (four solos and one assist) and Dakota Perry (four solos) supported their performances.

The Capac defense also collected one takeaway. McKee (an interception) supplied that.

Capac will look to make it back-to-back wins this Friday when it ventures to Algonac for a Blue Water Area Conference clash. That battle lists a 7 p.m. starting time.

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