Atchison shines in win over Pleasant Ridge
By Randy Speer The St. Joseph News-Press
WyKeen Gill took it upon himself to make sure Atchison won its season opener.
Gill scored five touchdowns to help lift the Redmen to a 42-30 victory over Pleasant Ridge.
The senior quarterback racked up 420 yards of offense, throwing three touchdowns and rushing for another two.
After a scoreless first half, Gill found fellow senior Bryce Enzbrenner for a 90-yard touchdown strike a minute into the second quarter. The Redmen (1-0) were backed up into the shadow of their own field goal posts after recovering a Ram fumble at the 10-yard line.
Pleasant Ridge (0-1) held the ball for most of the first half using a grinding rushing attack to keep the Atchison offense off the field.
The Rams found the end zone after a 7 minute drive lead by the backfield duo of quarterback Nick Holmes and running back Jager Haack. The Rams’ drive nearly stalled out, but they converted a fourth-and-18 to keep the drive alive, eventually scoring to put Pleasant Ridge up 8-7 with 50 seconds remaining in the half.
“They just grinded away at us,” Atchison coach Jim Smith said. “They run a very patient offense and they did a good job executing.”
Atchison had a chance to take the lead in the final second of the half, but sophomore Austin Bonnel missed the 25-yard field goal.
The Rams struck first in the second half, with Holmes finding Haack wide open for a 26-yard touchdown pass, one of only four passes completed by Holmes on the night.
The Redmen responded with four straight touchdowns.
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