CHARLES CITY - First Ben Mossman soared into the air and celebrated with Trey Tesdahl. Then Mossman gladly took a tap on the helmet from veteran teammate Boone Myers, as if Myers was silently saying, "Good job, kid."
The scream was loud and the smile was wide.
And to think, a year ago this wasn't even on Mossman's radar.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City wingback Trey Tesdahl (10) and wide receiver Ben Mossman (5) start the celebration in the end zone following Mossman’s game-winning 29-yard touchdown catch with 1:46 remaining in the Lynx come-from-behind 28-21 road victory over Charles City on Friday. The Lynx moved to 2-1, 1-0 in Class 3A District 3.
The Webster City junior wide receiver - in his first year of football after competing in cross country as a freshman and sophomore - made the catch of his life and the game with just 1:46 left on the clock Friday night, as his 29-yard touchdown reception from the right arm of spinback Alex Oswald cemented a furious fourth-quarter rally that enabled the Lynx to escape with a 28-21 victory over Charles City in the Class 3A District 3 opener for both teams.
"This just feels great," a still smiling Mossman said afterwards. "It was nerve wracking there at the end, but I just had to keep my head up because I knew Ozzie was going to throw me a great ball."
It was great, Ben. But it shouldn't have been so dramatic.
|Webster City 7 7 0 14—28|
|Charles City 6 0 8 7—21|
|WC — Trey Tesdahl 13 pass from Alex Oswald (Kirk Greenley kick), 6:17.|
|CC — Adam Murray 63 run (kick failed), 1:37.|
|WC — Oswald 5 run (Greenley kick), 7:19.|
|CC — Murray 1 run (Dylan Montagne pass from Levi Miller), 3:41.|
|CC — Murray 35 run (Jose Arenas kick), 10:28.|
|WC — Oswald 11 run (kick failed), 6:13.|
|WC — Ben Mossman 29 pass from Oswald (Tesdahl run), 1:46.|
|Time of Possession||26:54||21:06|
|Webster City Lynx|
|Charles City Comets|
WCHS (2-1, 1-0) was its own worst enemy for much of the night. Two fumbles, a blocked punt and penalty after penalty - 13 in all for a whopping 111 yards - sapped the Lynx of momentum to the point where they stared at a 21-14 deficit with 10:28 remaining after leading for much of the game.
"I don't know how many other things we could have screwed up or done poorly," WCHS head coach Bob Howard bluntly said after meeting with his team on the field. "To make the plays it took to win was a big deal and that helps to grow, but we had a lot of stuff go wrong."
The blocked punt inside the Lynx 10-yard line by Charles City's Luke Johnson led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Adam Murray to tie the game at 14 late in the third quarter.
Murray broke contain for the second time on the Comets' next possession and danced his way to a 35-yard scoring scamper to give Charles City its first lead, 21-14, early in the fourth. Murray also broke off a 63-yard touchdown jaunt in the first quarter, and he finished with a game-high 117 rushing yards on 14 carries.
"They ran the ball better than they had, and some of that is to their credit," Howard said. "But we over-penetrated a bit and that cost us."
WCHS answered Murray's second long run with an 11-play, 70-yard drive that culminated in an 11-yard Oswald touchdown run to bring the Lynx within 21-20 with 6:13 to go. Oswald cut through the middle, was hit at the 7-yard line and drug a pair of Comet defenders the rest of the way across the goal line.
Kicker Kirk Greenley's PAT attempt sailed wide right though, allowing the Comets to keep the lead.
Earlier in the drive, Oswald connected with Myers on a jump pass that covered 9 yards on fourth-and-6.
The Lynx defense forced a quick three-and-out series, and the offense got the ball back at its own 33 with 4:50 remaining.
Oswald and company went back to work, chipping away little by little until WCHS again faced a fourth down - this time fourth-and-5 - from the Charles City 38.
Back to the well one more time.
Oswald again faked a run up the gut, jumped into the air and lofted a pass in Myers' direction over the middle. The 6-foot-5 tight end snagged it cleanly, turned and carried a slew of linemen a few more yards to easily move the chains.
"Those fourth down plays were so key," Oswald said. "I have to go to Boone in those situations, and I have all the confidence in him to go up and catch those balls. He did a great job of being where he was supposed to be."
One play later, Oswald faked the hand-off, turned and floated a pass to a wide-open and streaking Mossman, who latched on two steps into the end zone.
Oswald finished 6 of 13 passing for 74 yards and two touchdowns. He completed his first attempt of the game to Tesdahl in the right flat, and Tesdahl took it the rest of the way for a 13-yard score.
Oswald was 3 of 4 throwing for 47 yards on the final two drives. He also ran the ball 20 times for 69 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
"We really pulled it together," Oswald said. "We should probably do that the whole game, but it was great that we could come together with a lot of enthusiasm on that last drive."
Charles City (0-3, 0-1) had one last gasp to force overtime and drove into WCHS territory before quarterback Levi Miller had a fourth-down pass attempt intercepted by Lynx cornerback Tyler Lockwood in the final minute of regulation.
WCHS piled up 351 yards of total offense, 277 coming on the ground. Tailback Connor Larson chugged ahead for 97 yards on 17 carries, the majority coming in the second half. Johnson, the Comets' middle linebacker, repeatedly shot the gap between guard and tackle on the strong side and planted Larson in the backfield during the first half.
"He's a great linebacker and he was all over," Oswald said of Johnson. "He made great reads and he came at the right times."
A halftime adjustment to the blocking scheme made things more difficult for Johnson in the second half, and Larson took advantage.
"He's a good linebacker and he was running right through the gap we were leaving," Howard said. "But we fixed that and ran the tailback a lot better in the second half."
Tesdahl toted the ball 14 times for 84 yards on the wingback counter, and Austin Myers spelled Larson and picked up 27 yards on nine carries.
Middle linebacker Nelson Ball led the Lynx defense with eight solo tackles and nine total stops. He also recovered a pair of fumbles that WCHS was able to turn into seven points.
Austin Myers had 6.5 tackles from his spot in the secondary, and Brandon Patten had four from an outside linebacker position. Defensive tackle Chris Goodrich recorded the game's only sack.
WCHS will take its two-game winning streak to Iowa Falls on Friday to face North Central Conference rival Iowa Falls-Alden. The Cadets (2-1, 1-0) have also won back-to-back contests, including a 26-7 victory over Humboldt in district play on Friday.