All good things have to come to an end.
Constantine is hoping at least one of its good things for the football team keeps on going, though.
The Falcons entered Friday night’s home Southwestern Athletic Conference game with two incredible streaks still alive. For the past 24 years, they had won as least seven games and for the past 16 years, they had made the postseason playoffs.
Both are in jeopardy after unbeaten Schoolcraft won a wild 42-24 victory over Constantine at Sweetland Field.
‘’We still feel if we can beat a good Hartford team next week, we’ll still have a chance to squeak into the playoffs and maybe play Schoolcraft again,’’ Constantine coach Shawn Griffith said. ‘’Two years ago, we got into the playoffs with five wins.’’
But he knows Hartford is a very, very good opponent.
‘’We have to worry about getting that fifth win because Hartford is a good football team,’’ he said. ‘’If we beat Hartford, we would wind up with more points than we did two years ago.
‘’I don’t know if that means anything, though.’’
Going into the last part of the third quarter, it looked like the Falcons (4-4) might pull off a big upset and secure their fifth win. The Falcons took the third quarter kickoff and put together a nifty 63-yard, nine-play drive, scoring on a two-yard run by senior quarterback Matt Hasbrouck to take a 24-21 lead.
Then Schoolcraft (8-0) put it right back at the Falcons when Caleb Anspaugh ran back the kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown. He weaved through the middle of the field and outran everyone for the touchdown and a 28-24 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Eagles’ quarterback Ricky Clark did a lot of the damage, scoring on a one-yard dive with 4:56 remaining and a 35-yard run on a broken play with 1:31 left.
‘’When they pulled away, we were concerned about the things they were doing,’’ Griffith said. ‘’We wanted to tackle Clark and keep him contained, but I don’t know if anyone has done that this year.’’
Constantine couldn’t do it Friday night. The junior gained 216 yards on 21 carries. Also, three of Schoolcraft’s touchdowns were scored on third down.
‘’Third and fourth down defense killed us again,’’ the coach said. ‘’All year long, we’ve played great first and second down defense.
‘’It’s been that kind of season.’’
The scoring in the back-and-forth game started in the first quarter when Eric Petoskey went in for a touchdown from the 6-yard line with 5:08 left in the quarter. But Clark put together a nice drive, capped by his 12-yard TD run with 2:29 left to tie the game.
Constantine went ahead, 10-7, with 10:17 left in the half on Tristian Butler’s 26-field goal. Back came the Eagles with a 75-yard drive which ended with a Clark 1-yard plunge. That gave Schoolcraft a 14-10 lead.
And it kept on going. Constantine scored with 1:20 left in the half when Hasbrouck ran in from the 6. After a 27-yard kickoff return to Schoolcraft’s 48, the Eagles took just five plays to score on Clark’s 25-yard pass to Blake Bales with 9 seconds left in the half.
The touchdown gave Schoolcraft a 21-17 halftime lead and set up a heartbreaking second half.
The Falcons had five runners gain at least 50 yards. Spencer Teft had 79 yards on 11 carries, Anthony Evilsizor 78 yards on nine carries, Eric Petoskey 70 yards on 14 carries and Hasbrouck 53 yards on eight carries.
On defense, Travis Long had eight total tackles for the Falcons. Butler added seven, and Teft, Evilsizor and Petoskey each added six tackles.
Paul Morgan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @PMorgan_on_Spt
Photo gallery by Shelly Evilsizor