News Sports Editor
POSEN-The Posen football team had a record-setting night in its season finale on Friday and tied a school record for points scored in a game.
The only thing Posen didn't do was win.
Posen led Owendale-Gagetown 68-62 with 10 minutes left, but the Bulldogs rallied back and scored touchdowns and two-point conversions on their final two drives to beat the Vikings 78-74 at Posen High School.
Despite the loss, it was a record-setting night for the Vikings. Nick Hincka broke the single season rushing record with 1744 yards after a 28-carry, 306 yard performance on Friday which included four touchdowns.
He's been an outstanding kid. That's what we missed last year. He's one of the best players in the area," Posen coach Wayne Karsten said of Hincka.
Posen (2-7) also tied its own record for points in a game with 74.
Two plays into the fourth quarter, Hincka tied the game at 62 with a 50-yard touchdown run. After the Bulldogs punted on their next drive, Brandon Dietz have Posen only its second lead of the night with a 70-yard touchdown scamper to put the Vikings ahead 68-62 with just over 10 minutes to play.
Owendale, which battled through injures all game, fought back and a 12-yard touchdown pass from Adam Retford to Quinn Smith and a conversion gave the Bulldogs a 70-68 advantage.
After Owendale forced a turnover on downs with 5:26 remaining, Smith ran 51 yards to paydirt to put the Bullodgs firmly ahead 78-68.
Smith finished with 396 yards on 34 carries and four scores after briefly leaving the game with an injury in the third quarter.
Hincka answered on Posen's next drive with an 11-yard touchdown run, but the Vikings missed the conversion and trailed by four.
Posen attempted to recover an onside kick and Lucas Litwinski initially recovered the ball, but a re-kick was issued and Owendale recovered to end Posen's chances.
"The kids played hard, they played with some heart tonight," Karsten said. "We just left one offensive possession on the field. There was one possession we didn't score and we needed it."
Owendale led 62-56 after three quarters after a 10-yard touchdown pass from Retford to Ben Good and found success through the air while Smith was on the sidelines.
Dietz, who had 15 carries for 168 yards and three touchdowns and was 4-of-5 through the air for 87 yards and two scores, hooked up with Matthew Wisniewski for an 11-yard score with four minutes remaining in the third. On the previous drive, Posen took the lead for the first time all game after a 45-yard run by Hincka put the Vikings ahead 50-46 in the opening minutes of the half.
The first half was a shootout with each time scoring on each one of its drives. Owendale led 46-44 at halftime despite a late 66-yard touchdown pass from Travis Sharpe to Wisniewski.
Wisniewski had two catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns.
On the previous drive, Dietz made good use of his improvisation skills to set up a touchdown. With defenders bearing down on him and nearly tackling him, Dietz managed to break away long enough to pitch the ball to Litwinski, who scampered 25 yards untouched to the end zone to make the score 38-36 with a minute left in the half.
"He ad-libbed and he's good at that. When he twisted his ankle in the second half, he couldn't make those plays anymore," Karsten said of Dietz.
Smith and Jordan Kain each had three rushing touchdowns for the Bulldogs in the first half.
Owendale got off to a fast start, scoring on its first play from scrimmage on a 64-yard run by Smith.
Dietz answered on Posen's first drive with a 60-yard run and from there the two teams matched each other nearly point for point.
Hincka broke the school's single season rushing mark with a 13-yard run near the end of the first quarter.
Defensively, Hincka led Posen with 24 tackles and Litwinski had 22.
Despite the loss, Karsten was pleased with how the Vikings played all season.
We were in most of our games. We scored the most points against some of the best teams in the state that they've given up," Karsten said. "These kids played hard and they finished the season. They played all the way through, they could have given up and they did not."