Geneva’s Nate Stempowski seemed up on the scoreboard and will need to have thought, “Why not?”
The senior quarterback determined it was time to exit like his favourite participant in Madden NFL 24. The Vikings had not scored, had been trailing by a bunch, and the mercy rule was in place.
“It was a running clock, so I guess I’ll just run around, throw the ball, play backyard football and do my thing,” Stempowski mentioned. “We needed to exit with a landing.
“Let’s just leave it all on the field and have fun. It’s our last drive.”
Stempowski went out in fashion Saturday afternoon, engineering a remaining landing drive for the Vikings in a 41-7 loss to host Cary-Grove in a Class 6A state quarterfinal sport in Cary.
Dealing with a working clock, Stempowski hit Michael Rumoro for a 1-yard TD go within the third quarter. Stempowski completed with 80 yards on 16 carries. Rumoro added 51 yards.
It was 41-0 when Stempowski led that 15-play, 75-yard scoring drive for Geneva (9-3). He had runs of 15 and 12 yards, whereas Rumoro chipped in with a 15-yard run.
On a damaged play on the purpose line, Stempowski then shoveled a go to Rumoro whereas falling down for the TD. And all of the whereas, Stempowski tried to maintain the Vikings on level.
“It’s frustrating, but you have to look forward,” he mentioned. “You can’t actually do something about it. You can’t management the previous. You attempt to management the long run.
“You have to control your own mindset and keep going.”
Rumoro simply saved his head up on the TD play, ready for Stempowski to do his factor.
“We were just trying to get a score,” Rumoro mentioned. “We tousled a pretend handoff and threw it into the tip zone. Nate being the nice participant he’s, he simply threw the ball.
“He wanted to make something happen to remember.”
That remaining TD of Stempowski’s profession was indicative of what he’s performed the previous two seasons.
“He’s a great leader, one of the greatest athletes I’ve ever seen,” Rumoro mentioned. “His ability to make plays, I love to work with him.”
Geneva coach Boone Thorgesen wasn’t stunned Stempowski saved the group collectively within the face of adversity.
“He’s as special a player as you can get,” Thorgesen mentioned. “He’s 160 kilos soaking moist. The child has over 950 yards dashing on the yr. Stats don’t matter with what he brings to the desk.
“I haven’t met a competitor and a player like that at that position to hang in there and take the hits and the physicality that he does and make as many plays as he does for us.”
Geneva turned the ball over 4 occasions and Cary-Grove (10-2) took benefit. The Trojans ran for 303 yards and scored on their first 5 possessions, including a pick-six defensively.
“There are too many times we shot ourselves in the foot, especially early,” Thorgesen mentioned. “It’s all the time exhausting with a group like that if you’re not firing on all cylinders and getting behind early.
“That’s what good teams do, and that’s what they did.”
It wasn’t the ending Stempowski and the Vikings had been searching for, both. He seemed again fondly on the journey, nonetheless.
“I left everything out on the field,” Stempowski mentioned. “I grew up with them since middle school. We’ve been really good. We’ve been tough for our opponents. That’s all you can ask.”
Rumoro mentioned he and the remainder of the gamers who might be again subsequent season had been already trying forward, similar to Stempowski taught them to do.
“We’ll be back,” Rumoro mentioned. “The feeling we’re feeling right now will drive us in the offseason. We have to try to get better, do everything we can.”
Paul Johnson is a contract reporter for The Beacon-News.