Joyce is upended after a good gain in the first quarter against Jordan Valley. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)
Defeat knocks Crane from playoff picture
By Randy Parks
After falling behind 30-6 early in the third quarter, the Crane Mustangs put together a valiant comeback that fell short in a 44-26 loss to Jordan Valley on Friday, Oct. 26.
The win kept Jordan Valley perfect on the year at 8-0, 5-0 in the High Desert League (HDL), while Crane slipped to 4-4 overall, 3-2 in league.
Following a scoreless first quarter, Austin Roath came up with an interception that gave Crane a first down at Jordan Valley’s 49. Crane’s offensive line of Quinton Nyman, Michael Casey, Cash Casey, Riley Joyce and Blaise Schulze then went to work, opening holes for Zalin Arritola and Nic Nyman. On the eighth play of the drive, Nyman bulled his way into the end zone, giving Crane a 6-0 lead.
Jordan Valley answered back on their next possession, getting a 22-yard scoring run from Ty Warn and a 2-point conversion to go ahead 8-6.
Jordan Valley then forced Crane out on downs and took over at their own 45 with 1:21 left in the half. On fourth-and-10, Nate Elsner threw deep to Tyrel Lucas for a 55-yard score and a 16-6 lead.
Jordan Valley recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and took over at the Crane 20 with just 13 seconds left on the clock. On second down, Elsner found Lucas open again for a 20-yard touchdown pass and Jordan Valley was up 22-6 at halftime.
Jordan Valley increased their lead to 30-6 on the first possession of the second half, as Elsner connected with Blaine Moran on a 20-yard scoring pass.
Crane came right back with a nine-play, 77-yard scoring drive, capped off by Travis Landon’s 34-yard touchdown run.
Jordan Valley responded with a touchdown drive of their own, as Elsner scored on a 2-yard run, finishing off a 51-yard drive and making the score 36-14.
On their next possession, Crane cut the lead to 36-20 on a 9-yard TD run by Roath.
Crane then forced Jordan Valley out on downs and took over at their own 35. With Nyman getting the bulk of the carries, Crane moved down the field, and Landon punched it into the end zone from four yards out. The 2-point conversion would have brought Crane to within eight points with 7:55 to play, but their run was stopped short.
Crane’s defense then came up with another stop, keeping Jordan Valley out of the end zone and getting the ball back to the offense at their own 2-yard line with 4:26 left in the game. Landon scrambled for a first down on an 11-yard run and then found Schulze open on two passes totaling 18 yards. After a 12-yard run by Landon, Joyce caught a short pass and turned it into a 25-yard gain.
Crane picked up one more first down before the drive stalled, and Jordan Valley took over on downs at their own 35. On fourth down, Warn broke free on a sweep to the right and galloped 59 yards for the score with 13 seconds left in the game.
Crane rolled up 446 yards of total offense, including 318 yards rushing.
Jordan Valley accounted for 464 yards of total offense, with 281 yards passing and 183 rushing yards.
The loss knocked Crane out of the playoff picture, as both Jordan Valley and Adrian are 5-0 with one game left to play.
Crane finishes up the regular season on the road Friday, Nov. 2, when they take on Dayville/Monument in Dayville. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
1 2 3 4 Final
JV 0 22 14 8 44
Cra 0 6 14 6 26
Crane — Nic Nyman 1 run (run failed) 3:25
Jordan Valley — Ty Warn 22 run (Nate Elsner run) 7:19
Jordan Valley — Tyrel Lucas 55 pass from Elsner (Blaine Moran run) 11:41
Jordan Valley — Lucas 20 pass from Elsner (run failed) 11:57
Jordan Valley — Moran 15 pass from Elsner (Warn run) 1:19
Crane — Landon 34 run (Nyman run) 5:03
Jordan Valley — Elsner 2 run (run failed) 8:39
Crane — Austin Roath 9 run (run failed) 10:19
Crane — Landon 4 run (run failed) 1:18
Jordan Valley — Warn 59 run (Ben Telleria pass from Elsner) 11:47
RUSHING—Jordan Valley, Warn 21-163, Moran 8-18, Elsner 8-2. Crane, Landon 16-69, Arritola 14-72, Baldwin 1-2, Roath 1-9, Nyman 15-115, Joyce 7-51.
PASSING—Jordan Valley, Elsner 13-28-2 264, Warn 3-4-0 17. Crane, Landon 7-16-1 128, Nyman 0-2-0 0.
RECEIVING—Jordan Valley — Warn 3-50, Telleria 3-23, Lucas 5-144, Moran 4-59, Elsner 1-5. Crane, Schulze 3-56, Nyman 2-46, Joyce 2-26.