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Preds fall in overtime

Posted 6/27/2012

By Ben Peterson
Leader-Telegram staff
Jimmie Mattson is no stranger to this situation.
Kicking the game-winning overtime field goal is a situation that populates
the dreams, and nightmares, of all place kickers.
Mattson likely slept well Friday night as he sent the Eau Claire Crush home
with a 24-21 overtime win over the Chippewa Valley Predators at Carson Park.
The victory helped the Crush gain ground in the Northern Elite Football
League Central Division standings.
"I don't try and get too excited," said Mattson, an Eau Claire Memorial
graduate. "I try and keep my composure. I got out there and remember I've
done it 1,000 times before, each kick the exact same, and just try to kick
it up the middle."
It was Mattson's only field-goal attempt of the game, and Crush coach Fred
Hoversholm is glad to have the placekicker on his side after Mattson spent
the last few seasons playing for the Predators.
"Jimmie, he's a gamer," Hoversholm said. "If the ball is at the 50 he wants
to kick it. He's one of those guys that's just nice to have on the team."
As the game clock dwindled down it appeared that Mattson wouldn't get a
chance and that the Predators, who led 14-0 at halftime, would hold off the
Crush's late rally.
But lineman-turned--quarterback Brock Pottinger threw up a prayer with just
seconds -remaining and David Green came down with it for a -touchdown to
make it 21-19 in favor of the Predators.
On the ensuing two-point conversion, Raushawn Wallace threw a high pass to
Green who stretched out to catch it and tie the game with just 16 seconds
"We could have folded at -halftime, down like we were," Hoversholm said. "We
didn't. That's what I've preached for two years is family and togetherness.
The guys are just so supportive of one another and that's what I saw in the
second half."
The Predators offense -controlled the first half as Joseph Mapson took over
at quarterback for Keith Richardson.
Mapson finished the day 5-for-15 for 81 yards, while Richardson was 5-for-9
for 47 yards.
Top receiver Reggie Houston caught four passes for 71 yards and a touchdown.
But the Crush caught fire in the second half and never let up despite facing
several third-and-long situations.
"It breaks down to having the opportunities and taking -advantage of them,"
Mattson said. "Fortunately for us, we were able to do that and put ourselves
in the position that we did."
It was a career win not only for Mattson and Hoversholm, but for the Crush
as well.
"Their coach said it when we got together at midfield, what a different
Crush team this is," Hoversholm said. "The guys really battled and played
"The effort that everybody displayed playing together was unbelievable. It's
probably the greatest win I've ever had."
With the statement win over their intracity rival, the Crush are looking to
carry this momentum all the way to the NEFL playoffs.
"This team is saying that they believe in each other," -Hoversholm said. 
"From here on out, win or lose any other games, we told everybody here
tonight that we're for real."

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