PREP FOOTBALL: Gators take out Eagles
Badger-Greenbush-Middle River faltered early, but found a spark to beat East Grand Forks Sacred Heart 46-12. "We came into this game wanting to run the ball well," BGMR coach Kent Janicke said. Run they did, as the Gators rushed the ball to paydi...
Badger-Greenbush-Middle River faltered early, but found a spark to beat East Grand Forks Sacred Heart 46-12.
"We came into this game wanting to run the ball well," BGMR coach Kent Janicke said.
Run they did, as the Gators rushed the ball to paydirt five times, including two touchdown runs by junior Alex Rhen, who also hauled in a touchdown pass.
Quarterback Nick Dostal started the scoring for the visitors with a 1-yard quarterback sneak midway through the first quarter. The run was set up by a blocked punt that gave BGMR the ball on the Sacred Heart 16.
Rhen, who scored three times in the game, expanded the Gators' lead in the second quarter with a pair of scores. He found a big hole in the line to run 75 yards for a touchdown, and found the end zone again, hauling in a 25-yard pass from Dostal.
"The first few possessions we did not have the spark that I expected from our big guys," Janicke said. "They found that spark, and were much more explosive as the game went on."
Trailing 28-0 in the third quarter, Sacred Heart put together a long drive that ended with an 18-yard touchdown pass by Michael Pietruszewski to senior captain John Melin.
Pietruszewski exhibited strong play throughout the night, but also was plagued by inaccuracy. He showed off a cannon arm, finding Daniel Ewens for a 39-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. He was also picked off twice, throwing interceptions to Jacquan Rhen and Mat Stromsodt.
After the Ewens touchdown, the score was 28-12, and the momentum had swung into Sacred Heart's favor.
Minutes later, however, the Eagles suffered a big blow when junior lineman Charley Johnson was knocked out of the game. Johnson was attended to on the sidelines and eventually taken off on a stretcher.
"Once Charley left the game, our players were distracted," Sacred Heart coach Drew Mortenson said. "They were more concerned about their teammate than they were about football, and you can't really blame them for that.
BGMR broke the game open late in the fourth quarter. Running backs Ryan Modahl and Wyatt Peppel found the end zone, and Alex Rhen punched in the last of his three scores.
"I don't feel the score was very indicative of the way the game actually went," Mortenson said. "When we finally showed up to play, we did well. We played hard in the first half and managed to work our way back into the game in the second half."
As the game progressed, the Sacred Heart defense lost its steam, and the BGMR linemen were able to open up big holes for their backs.
"Once we found that spark, our guys were able to play hard and do well," Janicke said. "At this point in the season, though, I bet most of the coaches are saying the same thing."