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September 12, 2004

Bobcats turn up head on Wisconsin Deaf

From: Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil, IA - Sep 12, 2004

MATT PRIETO , Staff Writer

Iowa School for the Deaf was mired in a scoreless tie late in the second quarter of Saturday's game with Wisconsin School for the Deaf and Eric Humlicek took it upon himself to do something about it.

The Bobcat junior jump started the offense with a 60-yard touchdown run, breaking four tackles along the way as he led Iowa Deaf to a 40-6 win over WSD in Great Plains Schools for the Deaf football action at ISD.

Humlicek had been flattened for no gain the play before his big run, and the visibly angry junior shared his feelings with his team in the huddle.

"I told the team we had to play harder. Not just one or two players, but everyone," said Humlicek. "I asked them to hit hard and get me some space and I would do the rest."

He made good on his promise the very next play and the Bobcats never looked back.

Following a Wisconsin punt, Jordan Borgalia made the margin 14 with a 60-yard reverse on first down.

"We had been setting that reverse up," said Bobcat coach Mark Murray. "We caught them off guard looking for Eric."

Not to be outdone, the Iowa Deaf defense stepped up by knocking Wisconsin standout LaShawn Morgan out of the game and forcing a fumble that Josh Knudsen carried 30 yards for a score.

"We sensed a chance to really take over the game after the defensive score," Murray said. "So we went for broke with the old hook-and-ladder when we got the ball back late in the second quarter."

It worked to perfection as Jay Haar whipped the ball to Jordan Borgalia, who stopped and pitched to Humlicek.

Humlicek did the rest, putting his head down and taking the ball the remaining 45 yards for his second score.

"Three offensive plays and three scores," said Murray.

When the smoke cleared at half, Iowa Deaf led 28-0 and what had been a colorless game for the first 18 minutes had burst into Bobcat maroon and yellow.

"The first quarter was mostly both sides shaking off the rust," said Murray. "Once we got our act together it was a pleasant surprise how well we played."

Humlicek nearly scored his third touchdown on the first play of the second half, but was ruled out of bounds inside the one yard line after a run of 40 yards.

"I was in bounds - I swear I was," he said. "My knees had not hit (the ground) when I grabbed the pylon."

Humlicek scored one play later and finished the game with 225 yards on 15 carries.

Quarterback Jay Haar hooked up with Borgalia for a 15-yard pass to close the Iowa Deaf scoring late in the third quarter.

The Firebirds broke the shutout on the final play of the game, as Dominic Albano caught a pass from 15 yards out after LaShawn Morgan set up the score by breaking a big gainer.

LaShawn really hurt us last year so we were ready for him," said Murray. "I also have to give high praise to our quarterback Jay Haar.

"He stepped up big for us in his first high school game ever."

Wisconsin Deaf 0 0 0 6 - 6

Iowa Deaf 0 28 12 0 - 40

Records: Iowa Deaf (1-0, 1-0), Wisconsin Deaf (0-1, 0-1).

©Daily Nonpareil 2004