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Examiner
  • Bears see vision becoming reality

  • On Wednesday, William Chrisman football coach John Crutcher talked about his desire to conjure up some pride within his program and school. Something that’s been desperately lacking in recent seasons.

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  • On Wednesday, William Chrisman football coach John Crutcher talked about his desire to conjure up some pride within his program and school. Something that’s been desperately lacking in recent seasons.
    Two days later, seconds after being drenched in Gatorade, Crutcher looked around and saw his vision inch closer to becoming reality.
    The Bears garnered their second win of the season on Friday night with a dramatic and emotional 27-25 victory over Truman at Independence All-School Stadium to recapture the Wagon Wheel Trophy and even the rivalry series record at 24.
    Moments after Truman sophomore quarterback Alex Ryan’s two-point conversion pass to senior Alex Davis fell incomplete in the corner of the end zone, ending the Patriots’ final threat, a crazed Chrisman student section swarmed the field and engulfed the players. Over and over they chanted, “We believe that we have won!”
    “I can see it coming,” Crutcher said of his program’s continued progress after going winless in 2011. “We’ve just got to continue. It’s going to take a little time to keep doing this. I can see it happening.
    After starting 2012 with five more losses – stretching their losing streak to 17 – the Bears (2-6) are finally starting to dream again. And Crutcher isn’t about to dampen their enthusiasm with the postseason approaching.
    “I’d like that to be a district championship or finishing the season undefeated,” Crutcher said. “I see that. That’s my vision. That’s where I want to go and I think the kids are buying into that and that’s where the kids want to go.”
    Friday’s win was a testament to Chrisman’s resiliency. Truman (1-7) took the initial lead with 2:32 left in the first half on a 73-yard run by Demetric Dinwiddie. The senior running back later added another score on a 4-yard run and finished with 192 yards on 21 carries and added three receptions for another 54 yards.
    But the Bears answered before halftime with a 13-play, 80-yard drive that ended with an amazing 18-yard touchdown reception by junior Alex Ball. On the final play of the half, junior quarterback Dylan Cole heaved a pass to the end zone that deflected off Ball’s hands. Ball dove and caught the pass before it hit the ground and fell into the end zone to bring Chrisman within 7-6 at half.
    That was only the beginning of Cole and Ball’s dramatics.
    Chrisman turned the ball over on the opening drive of the third, setting up Dinwiddie’s second score. But Chrisman manufactured an 11-play, 80-yard drive that chewed up more than five minutes and ended with Cole narrowly escaping a sack and finding Ball for a 20-yard TD. After the two-point conversion, the Bears took a 14-13 advantage with 5:15 left.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Pats retook the lead with 9:44 remaining in the fourth as Ryan hit senior Josh Oerman on an 11-yard strike to go up 19-14.
    But the Bears came right back with a 67-yard scoring drive with Cole hitting Ball for a third score on a 13-yard connection to move ahead 20-19 with 5:43 left.
    Cole’s second-half effort drew high praise from his coach and star receiver. For the game, Cole ended 14 of 22 for 246 yards with four touchdowns and also rushed for 86 yards on 15 carries. In the fourth, he went 6 for 6 for 108 yards and two touchdowns.
    His final toss was possibly his best. Facing a third-and-12 from the Truman 39 with 1:56 left, Crutcher put the ball in his playmakers’ hands. The result was yet another Cole-Ball scoring connection.
    “He’s an amazing quarterback, an amazing leader,” said Ball, who totaled a staggering 14 receptions for 211 yards and four touchdowns.
    Truman wasn’t done, though. Ryan found Dinwiddie for a 43-yard dash that set up his 14-yard TD pass to Scott Agee. But the Chrisman defense thwarted a potential tying two-point conversion and the Pats’ ensuing onside kick try didn’t travel the required 10 yards.
    “We’re playing four quarters and we continue to fight, fight, fight,” Crutcher said.
     
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