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Oh my, Hunter Reestman.
That's about all you can say when looking at Reestman's performance on Friday as he did everything in his power to will the Elgin Public/Pope John footballers to a win. The junior put up 276 yards rushing and 22 receiving before taking over at quarterback to go 10-of-14 for 170 yards and four scores. In total, Reestman racked up 468 yards of offense, but the Wolfpack were unable to come away with the win in a 40-32 loss to High Plains.
The Wolfpack needed every one of Reestman's yards to battle back into the game in the fourth quarter. After taking a 6-0 lead early on a connection from Conor Ramold to Kyle Schumacher, EPPJ fell behind 40-18 with just 4:42 remaining in the game. However, Reestman, who came in when leg cramps got the best of Ramold, dished out scores to Schumacher and Cameron Nielsen as part of EPPJ's 20 fourth-quarter points to bring the game to a 40-32 battle.
"Hunter was our starting quarterback last year. Then we moved Conor around with injuries and we had to move Hunter back to tailback," Coach Randy Eisenhauer said on the personnel shuffle after Ramold's injury. "It's something that we've played, Hunter knows how to play that. Kyle was our tailback so they know that."
The Wolfpack defense held and forced a punt, giving the offense the ball back with 12.2 to go from their own 15. Just as it looked like EPPJ would work some magic, Reestman had his attempted quick screen pass picked off - perhaps the only flaw in his stat line - to seal the win for High Plains.
"We just had some mental breakdowns, but the kids kept fighting," Eisenhauer said. "We keep talking about, our biggest thing this year is every play, every down, every second, every quarter, whatever it is, let's get better. That's something I saw today. Our kids never quit."
Before leaving the game, Ramold had just six yards through the air on two completions but also had 46 yards rushing. Schumacher, who slid over to running back in place of Reestman, finished with 85 yards rushing to go along with 35 yards and two scores through the air. Nielsen finished with five receptions for 103 yards and two scores, with most of that production coming in the huge final frame. Liam Heithoff added one grab for 38 yards as well.
Defensively, Heithoff and Schumacher were all over the field, racking up 14 and 12 tackles, respectively. Hayes Miller added eight, including 2.5 tackles for a loss. Ramold also pulled in an interception for the Wolfpack.