Grey Ghosts surrender Homecoming to Hornets

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers
Junior Luke Patty darts through Eureka territory to gain yardage for IVC. Patty scored two touchdowns for the Grey Ghosts in the first quarter.

The offense was clicking and the defense was slamming for the IVC varsity football team, but the success lasted only so long against the key Eureka play makers.

The Grey Ghosts were able to connect for three touchdowns in the first quarter to mark a 21-0 leading heading into the half.

“We had a pretty good first quarter, but we shot ourselves in the foot in the second quarter, and I made a really bad call at half time to get (Eureka) a touchdown,” coach Tim Heinz said.

The first came from a 10-play, 72 yard drive. IVC was set along Eureka’s 32-yard line when sophomore quarterback Jordan Mercer found junior Luke Patty on a pass to take the first lead four minutes into the game.

The Hornets were forced to punt on fourth-and-11 to let IVC set up shop on Eureka’s 44.

Two plays into the drive, Mercer connected with Patty again on the right side for a 42-yard touchdown pass.

“(Patty) did very well. He’s a playmaker and he’s very fast. We try to get him the ball,” Heinz said. “He complements our inside running game very well.”

On Eureka’s next offensive attack, the Grey Ghosts kept finding the backfield for two sacks and stopped another rush attempt to force a punt.

IVC took over on downs on Eureka’s 37 and plays from senior Andy Culbertson, Patty and Mercer brought the ball into the red zone.

Culbertson charged through the line of scrimmage for a 2-yard TD with 26.6 seconds on the clock. 

In the second quarter, IVC had possession until an interception stopped the drive. The Grey Ghost defense was able to hold Eureka again and forced a turnover on downs on their own four.

IVC charged through Eureka to make into Hornet territory before being forced to punt. Junior Jack Ressler connected on the punt to get the ball downed on the Hornets 8-yard line.

It took Eureka about three minutes to get down to IVC’s six and a quarterback keeper was enough 

for a touchdown.

With just seconds left on the clock in the first half, Eureka had its second interception of the night and ran the ball down for a 60-yard touchdown to make it 21-14 going into half time.

Eureka received at the start of the third quarter and was able to tie it on a 12-play, 71-yard drive.

The Grey Ghosts countered with a strong rushing attack on their next drive. Culbertson drove the ball 22 yards on six plays before finding the endzone and regaining the lead.

The Hornets wouldn’t let up either. One big pass and a flag on IVC put Eureka in scoring position. Another quarterback keeper gave Eureka the game-long lead, 28-27.

“The second half, bottom line, you have to tackle their quarterback. We had him in the backfield several times. He’s very athletic and he got away from us,”  Heinz said.

IVC gained possession three more times, but couldn’t make a scoring play due to a turnover, interception and the clock just running out of time.

The Hornets’ quarterback made his way into the endzone again with 4:53 left in the game to secure the win.

Sophomore Alec Buob attempts to pick or deflect a pass to a Eureka wide receiver.