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Going the distance, and more YellowJackets open season with heartbreaking 2OT loss

  • Chester running back Ethan Rayburn (16) changes direction to hit the hole make by Ethan Bert (36) and Tristin Hobeck (7) in the first quarter of the CHS 2018 opener Aug. 24. Chester lost a heart-breaker, 34-26 in double overtime against the Eldorado Eagles.

    Chester running back Ethan Rayburn (16) changes direction to hit the hole make by Ethan Bert (36) and Tristin Hobeck (7) in the first quarter of the CHS 2018 opener Aug. 24. Chester lost a heart-breaker, 34-26 in double overtime against the Eldorado Eagles.
    Jim Beers Photo

  • Quarterback Nick Meyer (2) rolls right to pass to YellowJacket wide receiver Keith Kiner III in Chester's season opener with to Eldorado at W.O. Smith Field. Meyer's pass was completed to Kiner who ran for the touchdown in the first overtime period to give Chester a 26-20 lead.

    Quarterback Nick Meyer (2) rolls right to pass to YellowJacket wide receiver Keith Kiner III in Chester's season opener with to Eldorado at W.O. Smith Field. Meyer's pass was completed to Kiner who ran for the touchdown in the first overtime period to give Chester a 26-20 lead.
    Jim Beers Photo

 
BY JIM BEERS
Contributing Writer
updated: 8/29/2018 1:51 PM

The weather was gloomy and the field muddy and slippery, but that didn't stop the Chester YellowJackets from opening the 2018 football season with an exciting double-overtime matchup against Eldorado on Aug. 24.

In the end, though, the YellowJackets lost in a heartbreaker of a battle, falling to the Eagles 34-26,

The sloppy conditions at W.O. Smith Field caused by a daylong rain hampered both teams during the battle, as well as led to the cancellation of the Marching YellowJackets performance and a pregame performance by participants of the Chester Dance Team Camp.

Despite that, both teams played with vigor, matching score for score throughout the contest. But it was a Dawson Metten touchdown on the second play of the second overtime that gave Eldorado the edge, as Chester Nick Meyer failed to connect on passes to give the Eagles the victory.

Eldorado set the pace of the game in the first 15 seconds as Joe Mayberry took the opening kickoff and ran it back for a touchdown giving the Eagles a quick 6-0 lead. The pass from quarterback Aiden Whitlock to Jeremy Boulds failed.

Chester answered with a touchdown pass from Nick Meyer to Ethan Bert at the 6:30 mark to even the score. Meyer's pass to Keith Kiner III was incomplete for the extra points and the score remained tied, 6-6.

Chester did a good job of defending late in the quarter until Eagle quarterback Aiden Whitlock got hot and connected on a pair of big passes to senior Jace Jenkins to get the Eagles on scoring position with 3:47 to play. The big Eagle running back, Dawson Metten, then went to work and pounded the ball to the one yard line with 2:42 to play. With just 53 seconds remaining, Metten scored from one yard out to give Eldorado a 12-6 lead. The extra point attempts failed.

The Jackets had a good offensive drive going in the second quarter when Meyer's pass attempt was intercepted by Eldorado's Whitlock at the 3:26 mark.

Chester's defense then went to work and held Eldorado to 4-and-out to get the ball back with just 2:13 to play in the first half.

Meyer got his pass working with a completion to Kiner, who ran the ball to the Eldorado 42 yard line. On the next play, Meyer connected with Chester's Ethan Bert who scored the touchdown with 1:43 to play to tie the game at 12-12. Meyer handled the extra point himself and ran the ball in the end zone for two more points to give Chester the lead, 14-12 at halftime.

Chester started the second half strong. Eldorado got an unsportsmanlike penalty at the 10:30 mark and Chester took advantage. Meyer connected with Ian Reith to get Chester to the 1 yard line, and then hit him again on the next play for a touchdown with 9:40 remaining in the third quarter. Tristin Hobeck's extra point kick failed.

In the fourth quarter, Eldorado continued a drive that took less than two minutes score. Metten ran the ball to the 1 yard line on the first play of the fourth quarter then pounded it in for a touchdown with 10:22 to play in the game to pull EHS within two points, 20-18. He also scored on the conversion and Eldorado tied the game 20-20.

Chester answered with a march down the field with a series of runs by Ethan Rayburn, Bert, Drake Bollman, and Tristin Hobeck. But with a fourth and one on Eldorado's 19 yard line, a bad snap caused Meyer to bobble the ball and was sacked. The Jackets huge drive was stopped as they had to give the ball over to Eldorado on downs.

Chester had great opportunity with 7:15 left when the they forced Metten to fumble and Chester's Reith recovered the ball, but the Jackets could not get anything going and turned the ball over on downs with 4:37 remaining.

At the end of regulation, the score remained 20-20, forcing the first overtime for the Jackets for in most fans' recent memories.

Under IHSA overtime rules, the ball is placed on the 10 yard line and a flip of a coin determines which team takes the ball first for a four-play series. Each team gets an opportunity for a four-play scoring attempt.

In the first OT, Chester had the first opportunity. Drake Bollman had a great opening run taking the ball to the five yard line. Bert carried the ball on the second play but Chester was called for holding and received a 10-yard penalty. Meyer connected with Reith, who ran the ball to the seven yard line. Bollman then ran the ball to the 3 yard line. After a time out, Meyer hit Kiner for a touchdown pass, giving Chester the lead at 26-20. The extra point attempt was no good.

Eldorado's Metten bulled his way to the end zone on the Eagle's second play to tie the game at 26-26. Metten attempted the extra point but Chester closed the door, forcing a second overtime period.

Eldorado had the first opportunity in the second OT. On the first play, Metten ran the ball eight yards before he was brought down. On the next play, he scored giving the Eagles a 32-26 lead. Metten ran the ball for the two-point conversion to extend the lead 34-26.

Tough defense forced Meyer to run after being pressured and was brought down after one yard. Meyer then failed on a pass to Kiner. On the third play, Meyer was sacked with a six-yard loss. With 4-and-15 to go, Meyer's final pass attempt was thwarted and Chester fell to Eldorado, 34-26.

For the game, Chester had 283 yards while Eldorado had 234. Chester had 147 passing yards and the Eagles had 50. Eldorado led in rushing yards with 184 while the Jackets recorded 136. Both teams had 22 first downs.

Meyer was 9-for 19 in passing for a total of 147 yards. Eldorado's Whitlock was 5-for-13 in passing for 50 yards. Chester's Bollman led the Jackets with 52 yards on 11 attempts. Eldorado's Metten led the Eagles with 102 yards on 22 attempts. Bert was led CHS in receiving with 73 yards on two receptions. Jace Jenkins led EHS with 36 yards receiving on four attempts. Bert also led the Jackets with eight tackles.

With the loss Chester opened the 2018 season at 0-1 overall and 0-1 in the Black Diamond Conference.

CHS travels to Fairfield next Friday August 31.