Prep Football: Kendrick Closes For Dyersville Beckman In Win Over Waukon
By Michael Bonner, Reporter
DYERSVILLE, Iowa – As his teammates took a knee at midfield, eyes locked on Waukon receiving a trophy for its season, Kirby Kendrick roamed behind them. The senior embraced the Dyersville-Beckman coaching staff, before finally weaving his way to the front of the pack.
When he reached midfield, not even the green facemask bolted hit his gold helmet could hide his childish grin. As the Waukon ceremony ended, his emotion couldn't be contain any longer as he screamed out, "Wooo!" while leaping into the air.
"Oh man, it was the best feeling in the world," Kendrick said. "I felt like a little kid again at Christmas."
He and the rest of the Blazers received a present in the form or a 32-20 win over Waukon Friday night. But it wasn't gift wrapped. In fact, Kendrick's night started with a lump of coal.
On the very first offensive play for the Blazers, Kendrick fumbled the ball. Waukon recovered and four plays later held a 6-0 lead.
"He fumbled that first ball and I know no one felt worse about it than he did," Dyersville-Beckman head coach Gregg Hammann said. "In fact he never even talked about it because it didn't need to be said. And when the chips are down, Kirby's the man. That's all there is to it."
They may not have been down, Waukon went all in but late in the fourth quarter. Kendrick called the Indians' bet. Waukon, trailing by six, faced third-and-two handed the ball to Marcus Weymiller, who at that point averaged 8.14 yard per carry to that point. Kendrick shot through the line and stuffed the run for a one yard gain.
On fourth and one, Parker Hesse tried to break to the outside, but again Kendrick read the play stopping the Waukon junior for a four yard loss, his only one of the night.
"The way they were going on offense I just thought pick up a first down and keep the ball out of their hands," Waukon head coach Ted Snitker said. "You know I guess it's something I'll stew over for a while."
But Kendrick wasn't done. His Christmas morning was about to get better. It was another third down, but this time he on offense and Waukon didn't have a Kendrick of its own to make a play.
The linebacker turned to running back and busted up the middle for 13 yards and the game's final score. He fumbled on his first touch of the game, and sealed a 32-20 victory on his last.
"I kind of thought coach Hammann might be a little crazy, giving me the ball on 3rd and 9 after I fumbled earlier in the game," Kendrick said. "But you know the line were the ones who pulled through. All I had to do was run through the hole. They owned the second half, both offensively and defensively."
The defensive line held Waukon to 70 yards on the ground in the second half, after surrendering 105 in the first half. The offensive line that opened the hole for Kendrick was even more impressive. The Blazers totaled 10 rushing yards in the first half. In the second, they amassed an even 100, capped off by Kendricks' TD rumble.
It guaranteed his team will play at least one more time. And for him, if he keeps competing at the level he did Friday, he might just end up as an early Christmas morning present for a college coach.
"He's just one of those kids that deserve to be playing football somewhere after high school's over with," Hammann said. "People keep measuring him by his height instead of his ability. And someone's going to figure that out and get one hell of a football player."
Beckman will play Mediapolis (12-0) in the state semifinals on Nov. 10 at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls.
The Beckman/Mediapolis game, and all other state semifinal and final games, can be seen live on KCRG 9.2.
W – Marcus Weymiller 10 run (kick blocked)
BC – Adam Noethe 30 kick
W – Parker Hesse 3 run (Cole Ewing from Josh Thorson)
BC – Mitchell Steger 18 pass from Grant Hammann (pass failed)
BC – Ian Ross 9 run (run failed)
W – Parker Hesse 16 pass from Josh Thorson (pass fail)
BC – Adam Noethe 33 kick
BC – Ian Ross 8 run (Mitchell Steger run)
BC – Kirby Kendrick 13 run (run fail)