For the first time since 1973, the Beckman football team went undefeated during its regular season, ending with a 41-6 Class 1A, District 4 win over MFL MarMac, Oct. 15 at home.

Looking at the official stats, the game was a close one. But that doesn’t take into consideration the turnovers at crucial times that the Blazers forced on the Bulldogs. Three fumbles, recovered by the Blazers and a pick-six interception turned the tide of a game that saw the Bulldogs hold possession of the ball for over 26 minutes, compared to the Blazers’ 21. That and the Blazers scored quickly when they did.

The first came with most of the second quarter gone after the Bulldogs’ fourth down punt failed and the Blazers took possession at their 20. Just two plays later, they scored with a 7-yard run from Luke Schieltz, followed by the first of Logan Burchard’s five extra-point kicks, 7-0. Two plays later, they forced a fumble that turned into their second touchdown five plays after that, a one-yard scamper from Owen Huehnergarth, 14-0, a score that took the teams to halftime.

MFL got the first mark of the third quarter when leading rusher Cullen McShane, who ended with a game-high 121 yards on 18 carries, took it 44 yards to pay dirt, 14-7. The Bulldogs tried to surprise the home team with an onside kick, but it backfired when the Blazers grabbed it at the 49 and went the distance two plays later on a Cayden Gassmann-to-Padraig Gallagher 36-yard pass play for a 21-7 lead.

One of the longest series the Bulldogs attempted, 10 plays, ended in a fumble and Nick Wulfekuhle made them pay, running the recovery into the end zone with 5:19 left on the clock, 28-7. On the very next play, the Bulldogs fumbled and the Blazers needed just two minutes to reach the end zone again, 34-7 when Burchard’s kick missed.

Burchard intercepted a Carver Bleitz-Bentien pass at the 15 and the Blazers got runs from Wulfekulhle and then Johan Platel for the final score with 3:05 left in the game.

Coach Mark Atwater was happy with the night’s work. “It was a great night for our team, school and community. To come out and play the way we did and finish off a district title was a big thing for us. On top of that, the wave at the end of the first quarter for Easton Koelker made it truly special.

“Our defense was once again the center of attention. We slowed down their attack and were able to create some big plays and big scores. We played really physical and that was the difference-maker.”

Beckman’s statistical leaders were: passing — Gassmann 12-of-16 for 237 yards, one TD; receiving — Max Mullis 3-for-87, Gallagher 3-for-58, Elliot Naughton 2-for-27, Eric Heinrichs 1-for-23, Schieltz 1-for-22, Conner Grover 1-for-99, Lane Kramer 1-for-9; rushing — Huehnergarth 21-for-81, Gassmann 5-for-55, Schieltz 2-for-13, Platel 2-for-9, Wulfekuhle 3-for-7, Kramer 1-for-6, Mullis 1-for-5; punting — Mullis 2-for-55, kick returns — Mullis 1-for-8, Ryan Funke 1-for-0; tackles — Wulfekuhle seven (four solo), Gassmann and Grover five (four), Huehnergarth 3.5 (one), Naughton 3.5, Heinrichs 3.5 (three), Ben Lueck and Jason Koopmann three (two), Ty Famgman 2.5 (two), Kramer, Oakley Harbaugh and Isaac Barrick two (two), Luke Boge two, Mullis and Schieltz 1.5 (one), Funke and JT Recker one (one), Eli Kluesner, Michael Dinan and Burchard 0.5.