Bearcats first win against Grizzlies 32-7
In a not so miraculous turn of events, the Webster Area Bearcats won their first game against the Dakota Hills Grizzlies 32-7 during their Oct. 15 game at Wilmot. No quarter scores were available.
During the first quarter, with 2:57 left on the clock, Brent Bearman ran it in for a six yard touchdown followed by a kick from Jacob “Boomer” Pereboom for the extra point. The kick was good, resulting in a 7-0 score.
Jaydon Keller led the defense during the first quarter with five tackles, followed by Carson Mount with three. Bearman and McGregor with two. McGregor had four assists. Bearman ran the ball for eight carries and 42 yards.
Head Coach Tanner Christensen said the Bearcats threw the ball one time during the entire quarter.
“In the first quarter, we threw the ball one time, otherwise, we ran the ball the entire way and scored the touchdown (in the) first quarter,” Christensen said.
With 5:52 left in the second quarter, Pereboom threw a 46 yard pass to Jaydon Keller resulting in a touchdown. Pereboom then went for the extra point but to no avail. Nearly two minutes later, Pereboom threw a 17 yard pass to Kaden Stoks who scored a touchdown, followed by a no good two point conversion. Keller received two passes for 28 yards, Mount received a 26 yard pass. Jaydon Keller once again came in clutch for the team’s defense with two tackles and assists, along with his brother Jacob Keller who had two tackles and McGregor with two. For the offense, Pereboom threw six completions for 117 yards in the second quarter. Bearman had four carries for 12 yards.
No one scored during the third quarter, however, Mount received two passes from Pereboom for 23 yards. The Bearcats came in hot defensively with two tackles and one assist from each Keller as well as two tackles from Tommy Vergeldt and Bearman. For the offense, Pereboom threw three completions for 28 yards, Bearman ran 36 yards in four carries.
In the fourth quarter, Bearman ran the ball in for a nine yard touchdown run with 9:36 left on the clock, followed by a no good two point conversion. With 6:02 remaining, Jaydon Keller came in with a 10 yard run which resulted in a touchdown for the Bearcats. Vergeldt led the quarter with three solo tackles. By the end of the game, McGregor accumulated four tackles for a loss. Pereboom threw a complete for 23 yards which had been received by Jacob Keller. Overall, Bearman ran the ball for 40 yards in five carries, Jaydon Keller had three carries for 18 yards within the fourth quarter.
“Game wise...we were able to do a lot of things that we’ve been focusing on throughout the entire season, we were able to run the ball, we were able to pass the ball, it was a very balanced offense, a combination between the two,” Christensen said.
Christensen said the Bearcats shut down the Grizzlies defensively by tackling tightly from a low angle. He said the Grizzlies efforts had been greatly hindered by a series of injuries.
By the end of the game, Christensen said, the Grizzlies had around six players sitting out, the most recent of which was due to Dylan Rumpza sustaining a shoulder injury the day before. Exact details are unknown.
Execution, Christensen said, is what it all boiled down to.
“When you execute and you do all those little things right, it helps propel you over that finish line. We limited our mistakes, limited our turnovers, we had one turnover in the game and when you limit those little mistakes, those minor details of the game, it puts you on a much better offensive roll,” he said.
Christensen said the Bearcats less than stellar season is attributable to the team being young. He said if onlookers took a look at the bigger picture, they would see the monumental growth in the team’s playing. He said the team’s win-loss record is not indicative to the team’s actual efforts at all. Even with six graduating seniors, Christensen said, the team will still be ornery.
“It’s gonna be tough to replace these six seniors...A lot of them have played multiple plays for multiple years...they’re very tough to replace,” Christensen said.
Wide receivers, quarterbacks and a starting center are just some of the positions that will be temporarily vacant upon graduation. However, Christensen is hopeful, saying he’s expecting quite a few incoming freshmen.
As for next season, Christensen never stops preparing, he and the other coaches will be finding some clinics to attend and so on in preparation for next season. He said it’s all about leading by example.
“As a coach, you make sure that you find ways to improve for your team. I expect my boys to work out and lift and do things throughout the off-season. If I’m not doing my due diligence, along with the coaching staff that we have...how can I expect to push these boys to that extent and say, ‘you need to always try to get better.’”
He said fans should be on the lookout for growth in the underclassmen on varsity, saying they only get better with each year. .
The Grizzlies finally scored in the fourth quarter with a three yard touchdown by Trey Jurgens in addition to a field goal. Jurgens rushed for 24 attempts and 119 yards, followed by Tigh Gaikowski three attempts for 42 yards and Caleb Weyh with a one yard loss in eight attempts. In terms of passing, Jurgens threw four completions in 10 attempts for 47 yards. He also caught two interceptions.
Jackson Wohlleber caught the ball twice for 18 yards, followed by Weyh with a 20 yard catch.
As for punting, Jurgens punted four times for 127 yards.
Logen Tomac had four kick returns for 56 yards and Wohlleber had two for 17 yards. Weyh returned one punt for a yard.
Seth Gaikowski had two kickoffs for 60 yards.
Hayden Niles led the Grizzlies attempts to bring down the Bearcats with eight solos and three assisted tackles, followed by Braden Ebben with six solos and three assisted and Logen Tomac with five solos and three assisted tackles.
Coach Zach Noffsinger said he was bummed that this was the last game of the year. The team, he said, did not accomplish what they’d hoped for which he attributed to having multiple players injured.
Dakota Hills will be graduating nine seniors this year. Noffsinger had the following to say about them.
“Our seniors were all valuable players for us, but they were also good leaders and high character kids...I appreciate all the hard work and the time the seniors put in this year. I will miss them and the program will miss them,” he said.
As for next season, Noffsinger will be getting players into the weight room as well as helping them find other opportunities for improvement. He also plans to get more kids interested in football.
Noffsinger said he wants this next season to be one that is competitive and full of wins. Until that time, fingers crossed.
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