Hammer Tournament XIV – Semifinal 2 2nd Half
Injury report: It would seem that during the first half there were some injuries on 2 players, 1 from each team. UCM will be without their starting quarterback during this 2nd half as he has suffered a hyper-extended knee during the only touchdown from the first half. Nothing serious I hope. Also NEO A&M will be without their starting running back, the same running back that had his 80 yard touchdown run erased in the 1st quarter. Again we hope it is nothing to serious.
It has been a hard hitting game thus far and the scoreboard is truly not indicative of the level of play we have been witnessing.
UCM 6, NEO A&M 0, beginning the 3rd quarter.
UCM’s 2nd string quarterback is still finding his footing as he takes his first regulation snaps of his college career. NEO A&M is feeling the loss of their starting running back as the 3rd quarter produces more 3 and outs than the first 2 quarters combined. No score in the 3rd quarter.
UCM 6, NEO A&M 0, end of the 3rd quarter.
The final quarter begins with UCM on offense, standing on NEO A&M’s 30 yard line with a 2nd and 5 situation. The 3rd quarter was a trial by fire for UCM’s second string quarterback. The first play of the 4th quarter is a quarterback sack.
3rd and 10 from the NEO A&M 35 yard line. UCM’s quarterback throws a pass and the receiver catches it for a 1st down.
Wait a minute; the referees are bringing the chains out on the field for a measurement. It’s short by inches. UCM is facing 4th and inches from the NEO A&M 26 yard line. UCM calls time out. Suddenly the crowd erupts as UCM’s starting quarterback runs out of the locker room with helmet in hand. UCM could go for 3 here and pad their lead but a spotty special team’s performance has left quite a few points on the field.
This is strange. UCM breaks the huddle with both their quarterbacks in the game. The starting quarterback is back in the game but they still have their second string quarterback in there lined up at fullback. NEO A&M is scrambling trying to adjust to this strange formation. UCM’s center snaps the ball with NEO A&M still in mass confusion. The quarterback fakes a hand off to the fullback (2nd string QB) and charges ahead. He gets the 1st down plus 5 more yards. UCM just converted a 4th down on a wild trick play.
It’s 1st down and 10 from NEO A&M’s 20 yard line. The starting quarterback stays out there while the 2nd string QB heads to the side lines. The starting QB does have a brace on his right knee but showed no signs of the injury he suffered during the 1st half. Here is the snap. A 10 yard run up the middle with a quarterback keeper gives UCM another 1st down.
1st and goal from the NEO A&M 10 yard line. It’s a pass to the right and UCM picks up 5 yards.
2nd and goal from the NEO A&M 5 yard line. It’s another pass, this time to the back of the end zone. Touchdown UCM.
UCM 12, NEO A&M 0, 10:00 remaining in the game.
The extra point is good.
UCM 13, NEO A&M 0
What a gamble by UCM there. Had that 4th down trick play failed then they would have turned the ball over to NEO A&M. Now instead of a tied game UCM now has a 2 score advantage. There is enough time on the clock for both teams to get one final possession each.
UCM kicks the ball off to NEO A&M. The NEO A&M returner kneels in the end zone. NEO A&M’s drive will start at their own 20 yard line. Their only hope to win this semifinal game is to score quickly, get the onside kick, and score again.
NEO A&M quickly gets into a rhythm. Using a series of short passes and short runs NEO A&M manages to convert 5 consecutive 3rd downs in a series of 15 plays. With 5:00 remaining in the game NEO A&M is within field goal range with a 1st down.
1st and 10 from the UCM 30 yard line. The NEO A&M quarterback hits an open receiver for a 15 yard gain.
1st and 10 from the UCM 15 yard line, 4:45 remaining. UCM blitzes everyone and the NEO A&M quarterback is snowed under for a sack.
2nd and 15 from the UCM 20 yard line, 4:30 remaining. The NEO A&M quarterback drops back, he is struggling to find an open receiver. All the receivers are covered and all of them are standing in the endzone. He scrambles to the right, pump fakes, A UCM defensive lineman breaks through, the NEO A&M quarterback releases the ball just as he gets nailed by the lineman. The ball sails into the endzone and is tipped by an NEO A&M receiver, the ball flips back up into the air and lands incomplete. Three UCM defenders had an opportunity for and interception there but were just slightly out of position.
NEO A&M’s quarterback is injured on the play. He got nailed pretty hard from the UCM defensive lineman. There is an official time out as he is being tended to.
It is now 3rd and 15 from the UCM 20 yard line and NEO A&M has their second string quarterback in the game. He hands the ball off and the running back converts the 3rd down.
1st and goal from the UCM 5 yard line, 2:00 remaining in the game. The quarterback hands the ball off but this time the running back has no gain.
2nd and goal from the UCM 5 yard line, 1:45 remaining. The quarterback drops back and is showing pass, he throws it into the end zone, it’s complete. No wait, the receiver never had control of the ball, he actually caught the pass but never had control as a UCM defender hit him immediately after the pass and knocked the ball away. It’s incomplete.
3rd and goal from the UCM 5 yard line, 1:30 remaining. It’s a run up the middle. The running back makes 2 yards easily but is immediately hit and tackled.
4th and goal from the UCM 3 yard line, 1:15 remaining and the clock is still running. This is it; this play is for all the marbles. If UCM gets the stop then they will advance to their fourth Hammer Bowl in 5 years, and if NEO A&M scores they will at least have a shot at an onside kick. 1:10 showing on the clock the play clock is showing 20 seconds. The coach is calling an audible from the sideline. 15 seconds on the play clock as the NEO A&M quarterback shifts 3 wide receivers from the left side of the ball to the right. 10 seconds on the play clock as the quarterback lines up under center. 5 seconds on the play clock as the right side of his offensive line turns to hear the audible. 4, 3, 2, 1, the center snaps the ball just before the play clock expires. Two of the wide receivers run hard for the end zone as the remaining wide receiver pivots to his left and runs directly toward the quarterback. The quarterback drops back, pump fakes to the end zone, and he tosses the ball to the wide receiver running toward him. The receiver cuts up the field to the line of scrimmage. He is met immediately by a UCM defender, he cuts hard to the left, and the defender hits nothing but air. The NEO ball carrier makes it to the 1 yard line and immediately hit. He is stretching for the end zone. He extends the ball for the goal line just as a UCM lineman knocks the ball loose. FUMBLE. NEO A&M has fumbled the ball on the 1 yard line. A UCM player scoops the ball up and is running for the other end zone. He crosses the 20, he’s at the 30, and finally he is tackled at the 40 yard line.
The clock is showing 30 seconds left and UCM has just shutout the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Norsemen. Unbelievable. The UCM second string quarterback comes in for the final play and kneels on the ball. Central Missouri has just defeated NEO A&M. The crowd is absolutely going nuts.
UCM 13, NEO A&M 0, final.
That’s it, the semifinals are over. Tomorrow you will watch #1 Central Missouri take on #3 Kansas City in Hammer Bowl XIV.
You have witnessed history in the making.
Hammer Bowl XIV will be the first Hammer Bowl without the Oklahoma Sooners playing in it,
it will be the first Hammer Bowl without a team from the state of Oklahoma in it,
it will be the first Hammer Bowl the Chiefs have ever gone to,
it will be the second Hammer Bowl that the Oklahoma Sooners will not win,
it will be the second Hammer Bowl that doesn’t have #1 and #2 seeded teams in it,
and it will be the first Hammer Bowl to feature both teams that were a product of the 2010 Hammer Tournament expansion process.
Congratulations to both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Central Missouri Mules for two unbelievable seasons. Every single game of this year’s Hammer Tournament has been very exciting and trilling. Get ready for Hammer Bowl XIV and see you tomorrow.