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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Special teams continue to shine for A-W

Monday, October 22, 2001

AKRON -- Akron-Westfield's football team used the same formula to win a second consecutive game and assure themselves of a second consecutive winning season. Special teams play. Tyler Easton returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter to highlight the Westerners' 21-0 victory over West Sioux during Class 1A District 1 action Friday night. Easton, who returned a punt for a TD for the second straight week, also posted a 33-yard punt return that jump-started a drive for Akron-Westfield (3-3 in Class 1A District 1, 5-3 overall) in the first quarter, shortly after Adam Small's 5-yard TD run. However, the drive ended after the Westerners were assessed an offsides penalty on fourth down. Overall, Easton returned five punts for 175 yards. During the contest, Easton posted 298 yards of all-purpose yardage, considering he had a 27-yard kickoff return and five receptions for 32 yards. "They had 201 total yards and we had 202, so the big difference for us was special teams," said Akron-Westfield coach Craig Parkinson, who celebrated his 150th career win in 25 seasons afterwards. "Field position is challenged by our punt teams. Greg Palmer has a 41-yard punt average this season and he went 37 yards Friday night, but they returned those punts for 13 yards and that's good." Something else continues to be better than good for Akron-Westfield and that's the defense, which posted its fourth shutout of the season. The Westerners only allowed two rushing plays of more than 10 yards. "They did have two passes, one was 26 and one was 28," Parkinson said. "So they had four plays over double-digits. Our defense is built on speed. We have enough size and that helps too. "It's a bend, but don't break defense," he added. "We'd give up nickel and dime stuff and it would take them two or three times to get a first down. They didn't have anything long." Riley Allen paced the Westerners' defense with 22 tackles, while Justin McCrill added 13. Cory Hughes supplied 10 tackles, two tackles for losses and one quarterback sack. Parkinson credited lineman Marty Dietrich with one of his best games as he provided 10 tackles; one more than the nine that both Cal Bobier and Brandon Forcier recorded. Tackles during the victory were also credited to Cory DeRocher (7), Jesse Heeren (7), Tyler Small (6), Adam Loutsch (4) and Joe Eden (4). DeRocher intercepted a pass. Small rushed 17 times for 64 yards, while Easton carried four times for 64 yards. A.J. Dirks carried seven times for 30 yards, while Mike Parkinson, who rushed for a 15-yard TD with 3:09 left, carried three times for nine yards. Parkinson also completed 6-of-9 passes for 39 yards. Easton caught five passes for 32 yards. Cory Hughes added a seven-yard catch for Akron-Westfield, which will conclude its season Friday night at Moville against Woodbury Central.

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