Friday the 13th turned into a very unlucky day for the Clayton Ridge Eagles when they suffered a 48-0 whitewash at the hands of the Beckman Blazers at Beckman Field.
Despite the lopsided win, the Blazers were not without some turns of bad luck, including their very first touchdown. That was a Tom Jaeger return of the opening kick that went 88 yards before being negated by a penalty, the first of eight, for 90 yards, the Blazers suffered in the game.
It took Beckman almost 10 minutes to get that score back, this time a lucky one. Riley Fangman stepped in front of an Oakley Harbaugh pass and returned it 42 yards for a 7-0 lead.
Near the start of the second quarter, another interception led to a score. This time it was Lane Kramer who stopped Harbaugh, setting up the next play and Evan Wulfekuhle’s first tally, a 52-yard jaunt and a 13-0 lead. The Blazers scored twice more before halftime, taking advantage of short fields given to them by the Eagles. The first was a Nick Offerman run that capped a five-play 46-yard series. The second came from Wulfekuhle again, on a series begun when Owen Huehnergarth recovered a fumble by the kick returner and set the Blazers up at the Eagles 27. A couple of penalties stretched the series but Wulfekuhle ended it with 6:53 left in the half and a 15-yard score to make it 27-0.
Three minutes into the third quarter, they scored again, this time an Offerman-to-Trent Koelker pass for 50 yards. When Jaeger hit the extra point, it was 34-0 with 9:46 showing. The continuous clock began three minutes later after the Eagles went for fourth-and-six and failed, giving the ball to the Blazers at their 29-yard line. A pass to Koelker gained six yards, and he scored two plays later on a 23-yarder to make it 40-0. The snap to Jaeger for the extra point skittered out of his reach, but he quickly retrieved it and ran the ball in for two and a 42-0 advantage.
In the fourth quarter, the Blazers wasted very little time, taking a series that began in the waning seconds of the third into the fourth for a quick pass back to Jaeger and a 68-yard scoring ramble, 48-0.
Coach Mark Atwater added, “Overall it was a good game for us this week. We were able to come out and be productive in all three phases (of the game). I was extremely happy with five turnovers and under 150 yards given up to them. Our defense played great.
“Offensively, we did some things as well. We were really able to work the passing game in the second half. It was good to see what we could do with Nick and a few of our receivers.
“We do have a lot to clean up though with two special teams touchdowns coming back on penalties. Penalties killed us all night. That is something we need to address and clean up. Also, we need to improve our kicking game. A lot of guys who are getting their first varsity experience are starting to settle in through three weeks.
“We will have our hands full with Anamosa Friday night (Homecoming game). We just need to stay focused on what we do and improve every day.”
The Blazers tallied 382 total yards, holding the Eagle to 141, on basically identical play numbers (44-43). 236 of those were from passing, with Offerman completing 10-of-15 for 217 and frosh Cayden Gassmann hitting 2-of-3 for 19 in the last quarter. Receivers for the Blazers were Jaeger with 5-for-111, Koelker 3-for-79, Hageman 2-for-19, Fangman 1-for-16 and Elliot Naughton 1-for-11.
Sixteen first downs for the Blazers topped the Eagles with 10, but they held the ball longer (time of possession 26:56 to 21:04). The only other stat the Eagles beat the Blazers in was penalties: they were never flagged, the Blazers received 8-for-90 yards.
Rushing yards came from Wulfekuhle with 12 carries for 141, Fangman 3-for-6, Luke Hirsch 2-for-5, Cole Domeyer 2-for-5 and Offerman 6-for-(-6). Jaeger kicked four extra points, Sean Kluesner two punts for 66 yards. Koelker returned a punt for 49 yards, Jaeger a kickoff for 40.
Defensively, Naughton led tackle numbers with 7.5 (six solo), Huehnergarth four (three), Kluesner and Will Brehm 3.5 (three), Hirsch 3.5 (two), Fangman and Victor Meyer three (three), Kramer three (two), Bennett English and Derick Ludwig two (two), Wulfekuhle 1.5, Hageman and Cameron Krapfl 1.5(one), Jacob Sadler and Koelker(one) one, Offerman, Domeyer and Michael Dinan 0.5. Fangman, Kramer and Krapfl all intercepted a pass.