Mulvane football wins for stricken classmate
CLEARWATER Football is a game often described with tacky cliches and fighting metaphors.
But the Mulvane football team, and its community, saw what it truly meant to battle this week from Mulvane High sophomore Taylor Heersche.
Heersche, who was diagnosed May 1, 2008, with leukemia, was aggressively attacked by the disease earlier this week and was flown to Kansas City for treatment. She wasnt expected to make it through Wednesday night, but when she did, Mulvane knew what it had to do.
Decked out in orange garb and Taylors Gang signs, Mulvane showed up Thursday night and provided the following as tribute: a 39-0 shutout victory that improved the Wildcats to 8-1 and won them Class 4A-District 12.
Shes still fighting strong and giving everything she has, so we had to do the same and win for her, Mulvane senior Austin Sands said. Our town will give her everything we can.
Quarterback Ty Redington completed 16 of 20 passes for 175 yards and three touchdowns and running back Michael Mason added three scores of his own in this lopsided affair.
Clearwater didnt produce a first down until four minutes left in the second quarter. By that time, Mulvane led 13-0 and its defense was unrelenting.
The school has really rallied around (Taylor), Mulvane coach Dave Fennewald said. The kids played with some heavy hearts tonight. Shes 250 miles away, but were still thinking about her.
Clearwaters best chance to score was when quarterback Chad Reibenspies broke free down the sideline with no one in front of him. But Sands kept in pursuit and tripped him up just before the goal line. Four plays later, Mulvanes defense held.
This is my senior year and my last chance to give it my all, Sands explained.
The sequence only added to the frustration for Clearwater, which had its season end with 93 yards on 40 carries and 13 runs for negative yardage.
It was a season full of big swings, said Clearwater coach Dirk Ankerholz. We would play really well, then we let some other games slip away from us.
As the points piled up, a chant began across the field on the Mulvane side. Another touchdown and it grew louder until finally everyone in attendance could hear.
Taylors Gang...Taylors Gang...Taylors Gang, they chanted.
We did it tonight for Taylor, said Mason. We won this game for her.
MEvans 33 pass from Redington (Wayman kick)
MEvans 3 pass from Redington (Wayman kick missed)
MDempsey 4 pass from Redington (Wayman kick missed)
MMason 66 run (Redington pass failed)
MMason 4 run (Wayman kick)
MMason 24 run (Wayman kick)
RushingMulvane, Mason 17-131, Wayman 1-16, Smith 1-9, Evans 1-8, Rieger 6-0, Redington 6-(-6); Clearwater, Reibenspies 21-46, Terwort 3-16, Dunnegan 4-15, Becker 2-11, Vaughn 3-6, Budd 5-4, Wright 1-0, Hall 1-(-6).
PassingMulvane, Redington 16-20-1-175, Rieger 0-3-0-0; Clearwater, Hall 1-5-1-29, Reibenspies 2-8-0-13.
ReceivingMulvane, Evans 7-90, Bell 5-40, Smith 1-29, Dempsey 2-15, Mason 1-1; Clearwater, Roth 1-29, Becker 1-14, Vaughn 1-(-1).