Akron-Westfield's final game of 2005 turned out to be a pretty good representation of the entire season.
The Westerners closed out an 0-10 season by allowing four 100-yard rushers in a 49-8 Class 1A District 2 loss to rival West Sioux Friday night in Hawarden.
"When they got the ball they marched down, marched down and marched down," said veteran coach Craig Parkinson. "We'd been beat before and we got beat again and that was that."
The game took a negative turn early on for A-W as John Sievert fumbled the opening kickoff and West Sioux recovered the ball at the 15-yard line and scored on a short run several plays later. The Westerners recovered initially, however, as senior Dustin Carter returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown and Matt DeRocher crossed the goal line on the 2-point conversion to give A-W its first lead since Week 4 against Hinton.
The Falcons, who totalled 449 rushing yards in the contest, continued to eat up yards on the ground after that on the way to two more first-quarter scores to take a commanding 21-7 lead. A pair of rushing scores in the second quarter expanded the West Sioux advantage to 35-7 and the Westerners continued to struggle moving the ball.
"Defensively we just weren't strong enough to consistently stop a team," said Parkinson. "Offensively, we weren't consistent enough to keep a drive going."
West Sioux continued to find the end zone in the second half, scoring one rushing touchdown apiece in the third and fourth quarters, while the Westerners were held scoreless and closed out the season being outscored a total of 354-67 in 10 games.
"At the beginning of the year I thought we were going to be pretty even and I said I didn't know if it was varsity depth or JV depth," said Parkinson. "We found out it was JV depth."
Sievert completed 6 of 17 passes for 53 yards in the game before freshman David Parkinson came off the bench to complete 2 of 11 passes for 18 yards. Sophomore David Hecht caught two passes for 22 yards and rushed the ball twice for 25 yards as the Westerners churned out 146 total yards and managed eight first downs. Braxton Bursell paced the defense with a sack and an interception.
"We made drastic changes in our offense, going from a traditional offense to a spread formation with shotgun and no-huddle and that was a real interesting experience and a learning and growing experience," said Parkinson. "Some things we reacted to pretty positively and we kind of found out a couple little problems with our teams. There was no quick solutions or quick fix to it."
Parkinson said he hopes the winless campaign can serve as learning experience and pave the way for improvement in '06, when the Westerners return eight starters on each side of the ball.
"This was a team that never really developed into a competitive team," said Parkinson. "It was time to end the season, have the kids grow a little bit stronger and get a fresh start next year."