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Final Week leaves this Broadcaster Speechless, Playoffs set for Friday

by Jon Henseler

So for our final game to cover this season we decided to go to Cedar Grove to watch the Rockets and Oostburg Flying Dutchmen play for the CLC championship. Originally we were going to be at the North/South rivalry game, but with all due respect to both programs (one of which I'm an alumni of), there was too much on the line in the Rocket/Dutchman game to miss out on it. Both teams were 4-0 and unbeaten in conference, winner takes the CLC championship and likely a #1 seed in the WIAA brackets. To say that we were not disappointed would be an understatement. The final 14 minutes of this matchup were borderline epic. Rockets led 24-6 going into the final quarter. Game over right? Wrong. Oostburg gets a TD early in the 4th, and a 2 point conversion to make it 24-14. Then, on the next drive, the Rockets get down to the Dutchman 4 yard line, 1st and goal with 8 minutes left. Game over right? Wrong again. Dutchman make a stand and get the ball back to their offense. Only problem is there's 5 minutes left and they have to go 96 yards to get a touchdown and that still leaves them down three points. Well in a blink the Dutchman do just that. in less than 2 minutes they end up scoring on a 75 yard TD pass from Parker Gabrielse to Jake Hurlbutt to make it 24-20. Oostburg goes for the onside kick with under 3 minutes left. And gets it. On the drive after the recovery they face not one, but TWO, 4th and longs and convert both! Eventually scoring a touchdown to take the lead 27-24. Only problem is, there's still 1:20 left on the clock. Rockets take the kickoff back to their 44 yard line. Next play Drew Emperley hits Logan Peterson at the Dutchman 37, and when Peterson was shoved out, a 15 yard facemask penalty. In the span of 9 game seconds, the Rockets are at the Oostburg 22. Eventually they would score with 30 seconds left to take a 32-27 lead (two point converstion). Oostburg had a few last gasps but ultimately a deep throw was intercepted, game over.

Now how the Rockets could get back up off the deck after seeing a 24-6 lead with 12 minutes left evaporate is a credit to their resolve. How Oostburg dug down to even make it the game it was was astonishing. So the Rockets get the #1 seed and will host Octonto. Oostburg gets a #4 seed and will host Bonduel. And if both win? We all win! They'd play again in the second round.