The scoring summary for Friday night’s football game at CMH Field was short and simple: “Andrew Schauermann 20 FG.”
And that was it.
The Astoria Fishermen put the game into the hands (and foot) of their all-league senior place-kicker, and — despite two earlier misses — Schauermann came through on the very final play of regulation.
The senior, whose last name is more synonymous with Astoria soccer, booted a 20-yard field goal to give the Fishermen a 3-0 win over Gladstone.
Schauermann’s kick sailed through the uprights as time expired, and Astoria celebrated its third win over Gladstone in two years.
The game was a far cry from last year’s pre-season game vs. the Gladiators, won by the Fishermen 49-42. And Astoria had no trouble in defeating Gladstone in a first round state playoff game Nov. 5 at CMH, 48-14.
The points were just hard to come by in Friday’s rematch.
“That’s what happens when two teams play each other three times in 12 months,” said Astoria coach Howard Rub. “We’ve felt from the beginning that (Schauermann) is going to be a difference-maker for us.”
In addition, “I was really pleased with how our defense played against a tough, physical offense,” he said. “It was more of the solid job we did with our red zone defense, as opposed to not scoring in our red zone offense. It felt like we only ran five offensive plays the first quarter and a half.”
Gladstone was also not without scoring opportunities. The Gladiators had forced two turnovers the first two times the Fishermen even touched the ball, on a fumbled punt and later an interception on the first play from scrimmage for the Astoria offense.
The Gladiators began their second drive at the Fishermen 16, but Astoria stuffed a running play on fourth-and-one to end the drive.
An interception on the very next play gave Gladstone the ball at the Astoria 34, but that drive ended when Astoria’s Ian Hunt intercepted a pass in the end zone.
Late in the second quarter, Gladstone’s Damian Alvarado broke away for a 25-yard run before he was tackled by Justin Villa at the Fishermen 4-yard line. Villa’s touchdown-saving tackle was the play of the night, because on the very next play, Astoria recovered the first of two fumbles by the Gladiators.
Even more surprising was Astoria’s scoreless game through three quarters.
The Fishermen lost two fumbles, failed on a couple fourth down conversions, and Schauermann missed on field goal attempts of 48 and 32 yards in the second half. Gladstone’s Josiah Wachlin missed a 33-yard attempt in the third quarter.
The numbers across the board were fairly even, in total offense (Gladstone 246, Astoria 243); first downs (Gladstone 14, Astoria 13); and turnovers (three apiece).
The big difference? Penalty flags.
When the Fishermen weren’t helping themselves with big defensive plays, the Gladiators were helping the Fishermen. Gladstone was penalized nine times for 102 yards.
That included three crucial roughing the passer calls, the final coming on Astoria’s biggest offensive play of the game.
Facing a third-and-21 from their own 30 with just under three minutes left, Astoria quarterback Tristin Wallace found Trey Hageman down the left sideline for 29 yards and a first down. The officials tacked on 15 for a roughing the passer penalty, moving the ball to the 26.
The Fishermen ran six straight running plays to the Gladstone 3, where — after Astoria’s final time out and two more time outs by the Gladiators with four seconds left — Schauermann kicked the 20-yard field goal from the left hash mark as time ran out.
“It was about as exciting as a 3-0 game can be, from a fan’s standpoint. I can’t recall a game like that in my time here,” said Rub, Astoria’s coach since 1999.
“(The Gladiators) had a few big plays, and that’s on us (the coaching staff) to establish some depth. Tyler Ranta, Justin Villa and Trey Hageman barely came off the field.
“Justin’s saving touchdown tackle was huge,” he said. “Those kind of plays make the difference. And then the 3rd-and-21 was a play that we had to make, a great timing throw from Tristin to Trey, and of course the late hit adding yards was big, too.”
And the win only bodes well for Astoria’s near future, as the Fishermen started 10 juniors on offense Friday.
In looking at the big picture, Rub said, “it’s a healthy thing to be involved in a game like this. Our games with North Bend and Gladstone are against teams that will probably finish first or second in their league, so it’s helping us prepare for league play.”
Astoria hosts Philomath Friday at CMH Field.