Editor's note: This report has been corrected to recognize Matheu Escobedo's contribution to the Miami victory.
The 99th Copper Kettle bowl on Friday night (Oct. 26) was an epic battle between Globe and Miami, as the rivalry continued, and the Kettle moved west with the Vandals taking the prize with a 38-35 win over the Tigers.
After a tight first quarter in a back and forth half of football, it looked like the Tigers would run away with the Kettle, but plucky defense by the Vandals gave the Miami offense a chance to stay in the game and overcome a large early deficit.
The Vandals won the toss deferring first possession to the Tigers, who promptly marched down the field in less than three minutes.
With the help of a penalty on the Vandals, and a balanced air and ground attack orchestrated by Globe quarterback Caden Hanson (7), the Tigers jumped to a 7-0 lead.
In what may have been a portent of things to come, the Globe kickoff attempt barely cleared the tee, leading to a Miami first possession in Globe territory on the 41-yard line.
One minute later, Vandals’ Luke Olvera (2) scampered into the endzone after a 38-yard run. A successful 2-point conversion by Vandal’s quaterback Ryan Powell (11) gave the Vandals a brief, yet hopeful lead at 8-7.
On the Tigers’ next possession, Hanson showed off his skills running and passing, even dumping off the ball to avoid a sack. A balanced attack utilizing WR Michael Marquez (3), Robert Burries Jr. (30) and Seth Durbin (10) led the Tigers to a 14-8 lead that was topped off by a 48-yard touchdown pass to Marquez.
The Tigers looked like they were ready to run Miami out of its own yard, taking over the remainder of the half and holding the Vandals to eight points in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, a promising drive by the Vandals stalled after a fumble recovered by Miami and a holding penalty put a first down out of reach.
The Tigers took over with 9:05 left in the half on its own 28-yard line. Durbin was on fire early, taking the ball to the 45 for a first down.
On the next play, Hanson dropped a bomb to one of his favorite targets, Burries, who took the ball deep into Tigers’ territory at the 35-yard line. A handoff to Aragon for a big gain takes it to the Vandal 4-yard line and Durbin finished it off, dashing into the end zone with 6:44 in the half. Aragon missed the PAT for a Tigers’ 20-8 lead.
The next Miami possession fizzled out and it looked like the Tigers were ready to pounce again.
But the Vandals’ defense, which stepped up at critical points throughout the night, set the tone, harassing the Globe quarterback at every opportunity.
After CJ Huggins (54) sacked Hanson for a loss at mid-field and a third and 18. Hanson’s pass was picked off by Luke Olvera (2) for a pick-six. After a successful 2-point conversion, the score was 20-16 Tigers with 3:17 left in the half.
The Tigers answered quickly though, with Burries taking the kickoff to the Vandal’s 48. Aragon took it four yards for a second and 6 and on the following play, Hanson connected with Burries who took it to the house for a 52-yard score.
Miami took the next possession deep into Tiger territory, but the promising drive was killed when Powell fumbled on the 6-yard line and Globe’s Marquez ran the ball back to the Tiger 13 with 38 seconds left.
The half ended with the score 27-16 Tigers.
The second half started out fast for the home team, as the Vandals took the kick into Globe territory. Powell methodically doled the ball out to Olvera, Justin Cook (21) and Raymond Galvan (3) to bring the Vandals back into the game.
The drive culminated with a handoff to Olvera who took the ball to the house with an exciting 52-yard scamper. Galvan topped it off with a 2-point conversion to get the Vandals back into the game at 27-22 Tigers with 8:53 left in the third.
The Tigers began their first drive of the second half on their own 35-yard line. After a short gain by Aragon, Durbin was driven for 5-yard a loss by Vandal Jayven Badilla (58). On third and 15, Hanson handed off to Avirum Curiel (20) for no gain and a fourth and 15 deep in their own territory.
But then Miami’s defense showed up when it counted, holding the Tigers for the only punt of the game when it was on the line.
On the ensuing possession, Miami methodically took the ball downfield for a score.
Relying heavily on Matheu Escobedo (30) and Dominic Gonzalez (10), the Vandals took their second lead of the game with 2:13 left in the third at 30-27.
The Tigers were not out of it though, and with the help of a little razzle-dazzle, Globe took the lead for the final time.
With a third and 16 on their own 34-yard line, Hanson took the snap and tossed the ball to Burries who showed off his athletic skills, dropping a bomb on Mikael Widner (44) who took it to the 2-yard line. A facemask penalty against the Vandals took the ball half the distance to the goal at the one.
Two plays later, Hanson muscled in for the touchdown and then connected with Widner for a 2-point conversion and a Tiger lead of 35-27.
But the Vandals were not out of it, as there was still 9:29 left in the game.
Leaning heavily on Galvan and Escobedo, Powell led a scoring drive that put the Vandals up for good.
Escobedo’s scoring play thrilled the crowd by running the rock in for a touchdown and Olvera ran in for the 2-point conversion to make the score 38-35 Miami with 4:58 left.
With a chance to take the ball down the field for a possible victory, Globe fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Vandal to Justin Cook (21) recovered, taking it to Globe’s 38-yard line.
The final four minutes of the game were chaotic and there were several brutal hits.
Durbin was eventually thrown for a loss in Vandal territory with 10 seconds left to seal the Miami victory and the Copper Kettle moved from its location at Globe High School to its home for the next year on the campus of Miami High School.
Editor’s note: A previous report in the Silver Belt stated that this year’s Copper Kettle was the 104th. That has been corrected for this report.
Miami quarterback Ryan Powell (11) scores a 2-point conversion to put Miami ahead. Photo by Susanne Jerome.
Globe's Michael Marquez puts the Tigers ahead in a see-saw battle for the Copper Kettle. Photo by Susanne Jerome.
The coveted Copper Kettle at its former residence at Globe High School. The Kettle is firmly ensconced at Miami High School until next year.