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Akers leads Everett over West Branch in Battle of Warriors

Written by: on Saturday, September 29th, 2018


ALLPORT – West Branch coach Kevin Hubler said his game plan was to stop Everett quarterback Macen Akers.

Akers had other plans in Everett’s 34-28 overtime-victory on Friday night to ruin West Branch’s Homecoming.

“We didn’t do a very good job,” Hubler said of the game plan execution. “He is a heck of an athlete. He was making plays off the edge and his arm. He is a heck of a ballplayer.”

Akers accounted for all five of Everett’s scores. The senior has had his arm or legs on 21 of his teams scores this year.

However, Akers isn’t going to be tooting his own horn. It’s that characteristic that Everett coach Winston Redman knows makes Akers special.

“The thing about him is his head is not like this,” Redman said as he expanded his hands. “He is always down to earth. He is not a self-center kid and never brags about himself. He is a team player.

“I coached Andre Woodson in Kentucky, he was great but players couldn’t stand him. Akers, the kids love him 100 percent.”

Akers and Co. started on offense to open overtime. They took just one play for what was the game-winning score.

Akers scrambled to the near sideline and looked like he was going to be sacked. He rolled back slight to far side and found space to plant his feet. He threw the ball to the back corner of the end zone and just over the top of West Branch’s Josh Cantolina, who was stretched to his max.

The ball fell right into Cameron Mellott’s arms for his second score of the night. It was Akers’ fourth passing score of the night.

“My freshman year, I wasn’t allowed to play because I had fractured heels,” Akers said. “That feeling sticks with me and will stick with me. I remembered that and brought that on to the field with me tonight. I was just ready.”

Akers finished the night 6-for-18 for 77 yards passing and those four scores. He added another 160 yards on the ground on 17 carries. He had a rushing score of 46 yards for Everett’s first score of the night. Akers had two interceptions on defense too.

The only blemish on the night for Akers was an interception late in the fourth quarter deep in West Branch’s territory. West Branch though was unable to score on the ensuing possession and overtime came.

“Sometimes he is his own worst enemy,” Redman said of his quarterback, “because he thinks he has to do a little bit of everything instead of letting the game come to him. When he gets to that (letting the game come to him), he is going to be really tough.”

West Branch was in the game all night and even out gained Everett 385-277. Derek Yingling ran for 171 yards on 28 carries and two scores. However, turnovers and penalties plagued West Branch all night.

West Branch had the first possession of the game, and the third play from scrimmage saw Ayden Gutierrez’s pass for Cantolina picked off by Akers. On West Branch’s third possession of the first quarter and deep in Everett’s territory, Gutierrez fumbled the snap and Everett’s Shane Clark fell on it.

West Branch opened the second half with an onside kick recovery. However, Gutierrez was picked off again by Akers. In the end, West Branch had eight penalities for 90 yards.

“Turnovers, penalties and missed opportunities those are the tough ones to swallow,” Hubler said. “A great job to Everett. We did not have a very good first quarter. We can’t have that stuff and expect to beat good football teams, which Everett is. We gave them too many opportunities and kept them in it.”

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