Revenge: Tigers pay back Humboldt 24-12
HUMBOLDT — Last year’s how did that one get away loss to Humboldt on the road was avenged by the Spencer Tigers Friday night as Isaiah Spencer pounded the rock 32 times for 188 yards and Michael Storey hauled in three Gage Garnatz passes for 107 yards to supply the bulk of the offense in a 24-12 victory.
Storey returned the opening kick of the game to the Tiger 48, and two handoffs to Isaiah Spencer later the purple and gold were at the Humboldt 34.
The Wildcats eventually forced a fourth-and-5 at the 11, sending Cale Salton onto the field for a 28-yard kick that put the Tigers up 3-0 with 7:43 left in the first.
Spencer opted to squib kick its first kickoff to keep the ball out of the dangerous hands of Humboldt return man Jamison Heinz, giving the Wildcats the ball at their own 37.
Humboldt was able to move the ball across midfield, but the Tiger defense stiffened to force a punt which gave Spencer the ball back on the Tiger 11-yard line.
A Wildcat face mask penalty on an attempted slant throw to Sam Baker gave Spencer new life on a drive that looked like it might go three-and-out, and a few plays later Gage Garnatz dropped a dime in to Storey on a fly route down the Tiger sideline for a 41-yard score and a 10-0 lead with 18 ticks left in the first.
Humboldt’s passing game started to click in the second quarter, and when it didn’t, Wildcat quarterback Joey Busse was able to scramble, including a critical fourth-and-4 to keep the drive alive.
Busse would need his legs on a fourth-and-8 at the Tiger 16, scrambling left to find Heinz who had been left alone for an easy six points.
A procedure penalty on the first PAT attempt forced Humboldt to try again, and a bad snap left the scoreboard at 10-6.
Both teams had chances late in the second quarter with Storey winning a jump ball to get the Tigers to the Humboldt 40. However, the Wildcats came up with an interception on the next play and drove just close enough to get a 42-yard field goal as the half expired for a 10-9 scoreboard in favor of Spencer.
Humboldt burst into the second half with a kick return out to the 50, but Griffin Garnatz picked off the Wildcats’ first play of the third quarter — an attempted halfback pass, kickstarting an eight-play, 80-yard drive that ended with Isaiah Spencer running in from 12 yards out to make it a 17-9 game.
Storey of course had his hands in on the drive, hauling in a 37-yard throw on third-and-long to keep it alive.
Humboldt’s next drive got to the Tiger 9, but stopped there on fourth down.
The Wildcats were able to get a hand on the ensuing punt, taking possession at the Tiger 18, but Spencer’s defense, which gave up less than 50 yards in the second half, stayed rigid to force a field goal to make it a 17-12 game.
Storey returned the following kickoff all the way to the Humboldt 34, and despite Isaiah Spencer getting dinged up on the drive, the Tigers found the end zone on a fourth-and-1 at the Humboldt 2-yard line as Jon Nissen barreled in to score his first varsity touchdown.
The teams then traded punts before Humboldt went into full on desperation mode which turned into a sack party for the Tigers.
Isaiah Spencer had all but 6 rushing yards for the Tigers while the Garnatz to Storey connection accounted for all of the passing yardage.
The victory sees the Tigers finish nondistrict play with a 3-1 record. District play begins with Denison-Schleswig visiting Dale Norton Field this coming Friday for homecoming.