Coming into their game Oct. 4 at Bellevue, Beckman had the advantage on paper, with the Comets sporting a 1-4 record versus the Blazers’ 4-1. So much for paper stats. The Comets upset the Blazers in a convincing Homecoming 28-7 win, with a game that took advantage of the turnovers they caused.
On the first Blazer series, they stalled at the five-yard line when Beckman fumbled trying to score. Several plays later, the Comets’ Max Jackson completed a 77-yard pass to Colby Sieverding for the score that put them ahead to stay.
Jackson added a 66-yard completion and a 24-yarder before the half ended to lead 21-0 at the break. A run of four yards from Ben Parker capped a clock-eating series that ended their scoring in the fourth quarter.
The Blazers, victims of two fumbles and an interception, could only snatch a touchdown in that final frame, when Nick Offerman found an open Sean Kluesner for nine yards, followed by a Logan Burchard kick, to make it 28-7.
Offerman was sacked six times in the game to add insult to injury, but the game stats, again that paper truth, were amazingly even. The Blazers gained 268 yards to the Comets’ 363, on 62-versus-54 plays. Offerman threw for 210 yards, Jackson for 200. In rushing, the Blazers were without their leading rusher Evan Wulfekuhle due to injury, and gained just 58 yards, while the Comets gained 163, hence the 100-yard differential. The biggest difference was in yards per catch —the Blazers gained 11.7 while the Comets hit a whopping 28.6 with those big throws.
Coach Mark Atwater said, “This was another situation of us not being able to cut out the mistakes to be able to win the game. We gave up three big plays for touchdowns. We played well on 97% of the defensive snaps and then those few times we gave up big plays. It came back to bite us this week. We weren’t able to make up for those and get ourselves back into the game.
“Offensively we drove down and had a great first drive, then turned the ball over. After that, we played from behind. We threw the ball 30 times but that isn’t what we are built to do.
“We have to continue just improving ourselves and getting better. We have to cut out these mistakes that have seemed to plague us all year. Good teams will take advantage of them like Bellevue did.
“We have tough games from this point on. There are no gimmes. This is a huge week to see how we respond.”
Individual stats include: passing — Offerman 18-of-30 for 210 yards, to Derick Ludwig 4-for-83, Tom Jaeger 5-for-62, Kluesner 5-for-42, Trent Koelker 3-for-22 and Fangman 1-for-1; rushing — Fangman 18-for-89, but Koelker lost seven, Offerman lost 11.
Kluesner punted four times for 126 yards; Koelker returned four punts for 48, and two kickoffs for 66, Jaeger 3-for-77; defensively Owen Huehnergarth notched 9.5 tackles (eight solo), Kluesner 9.5 (seven), Fangman 6.5 (six), Elliot Naughton 3.5 (three), Jacob Sadler and Will Brehm three (two), Koelker and Luke Hirsch 2.5 (one), Ludwig two (two), Cole Domeyer and Bennett English two (one), Lane Kramer and Mullis one (one).