Prep Football Review and Preview: Tri-County Area teams in defeat last weekend

Augusta has big Homecoming match-up with Cochrane-FC, FC needs win for playoffs as well

When it came to outcomes for the Tri-County Areas prep football teams last weekend, some were pretty basic and some were just heartbreaking.

For both of the Area's two Cloverbelt teams, last weeks lacks of points meant obvious defeat. Fall Creek fell to No.1 ranked Eau Claire Regis 41-6 at Thurston Field in Altoona on Saturday, Sept. 24 while Osseo-Fairchild was held to just eight points at Stanley-Boyd in a 42-8 loss.

For the Area's two Dairyland Conference teams, there were plenty of points to go around, but not enough to win as Eleva-Strum lost at home to Melrose-Mindoro 21-20 and Augusta was edged at Blair-Taylor 38-36.

Central led 14-7 at halftime with a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter after a scoreless first quarter for both teams. Carter Gunderson tossed a 59-yard scoring pass to Alex Anderson and Larrigan Smith returned a kick-off after a Mustang TD 80- yards for a touchdown.

But the Mustangs, winless before last week's DC game, controlled the ball for much of the second half and scored twice to take a 21-7 lead. It looked like Mel-Min would add to it but the Cards made a goaline stand midway through the fourth quarter and put on a brilliant drive which ate up nearly all of the time remaining in the ballgame, capped by a 37-yard scoring pass from Gunderson to Smith. Unfortunately for E-S the two-point conversion failed, the Mustangs recovered the ball on the kick-off and ran out the time.

Gunderson threw for nearly 100 yards and running back Ryan Julson rushed for 98 yards on 17 carries. Mel-Min had a very balanced game on offense with 133 yards passing and a TD from senior quarterback Ty Zeman, who also ran one into the endzone as well, while senior running back Carter Sacia rushed for 114 yards. Anderson finished with a team-best eight tackles while five other players had between 5-6 tackles. E-S has been the victims of winless teams the past two weeks by a combined eight points which has all but cost them a playoff bid and hope this week's contest at winless Whitehall will not be the third in a row.

Also on the gut-punch front was Augusta as they took a 38-36 loss to a Blair-Taylor squad which has not lost since league play began and has already nailed down a playoff bid even if they lost out, clinching last week against the Beavers who fell to .500 at 3-3.

Like their contest with No. 5 ranked Alma/Pepin, AHS's contest with B-T went back n' forth until it came down to the last score, a 46-yard TD pass from quarterback Ethan Kinsley to Evan Nehring with four minutes to go to give the Wildcats a 38-36 lead in their Homecoming game until the final seconds which the Wildcats held on for the win. B-T led at halftime 22-20.

Beavers quarterback Brennan King threw for 89 yards and a touchdown of 15 yards to Beau Harmer. He also scored on a two-yard run. Jackson Laxson had the bulk of the carries for AHS with 123 yards on 23 carries and TD runs of one, four and six yards. Teammate Ben Dickinsen rushed for 85 yards on 11 carries. All told Augusta rushed for 257 yards but it was the Wildcats with the balance as Kinsely threw for nearly 200 yards and the 'Cats rushed for 223 led by Jackson Shramek's 124 yards on 20 carries and a TD. Nehring caught four passes for 114 yards. Kinsley also ran well wit the ball, 59 yards on 10 carriesd with TD runs of two and 46 yards.

Augusta needs two more wins and closes with Eleva-Strum and Independence/Gilmanton but they know they can do lot for their confidence and psyche by handing Cochrane-Fountain City its first loss in their Homecoming Game this Friday at Centennial Field.

One thing Eau Claire Regis knows how to do well is score fast which they did to put their Homecoming game away in the first half. Already leading 12-0 with two minutes to go in the first half, the Ramblers were to put together two quick scoring drives, one a four-play drive which took less than a minutes capped off by six-yard TD run by Josh Brickner and a 30-yard TD pass from quarterback Kendon Krogman to the Ramblers' NCAA Division 1 back Zander Rockow right as the clock hit 0:00 before halftime. What could have been a manageable 12-0 deficit with Fall Creek own's quick-strike offense became unmanageable 26-point deficit.

The Crickets were able to move the ball well in the first half, getting down to the Regis red zone twice, but were unable to put any points up. Regis added three more scores in the third quarter, including a safety. FC's lone TD came on a one-yard run by sophomore back-up quarterback Nate Kurtz late in the fourth quarter. Rockow finished with 112 yards rushing and three TDs. Regis ran for 339 yards to FC's 49. Fall Creek's Eli Laube went 17-for-26 for 100 yards and the Crickets' top receiver was Bo Vollrath, six catches for 90 yards.

Fall Creek needs two more wins in its final three games for an auto playoff bid starting at home vs. Elk Mound this Friday. Last year's Fall Creek team used a dramatic, come-from-behind win during the Mounders' Homecoming to propel itself to its first playoff bid since 2017 and hopes to do so again as they close with EM, at Durand-Arkansaw and at home vs. Osseo-Fairchild.

Like Fall Creek, OFHS was left with just a lone late touchdown in a loss, a seven-yard TD run by Ashton Oliver. S-B amassed 372 yards of total offense on Thunder, building up a 34-0 lead in the third quarter led by quarterback Carter Isenberg going 5-for-10 passing for 98 yards and a TD and running back Chase Sturm rushing for 81 yards on 10 carries and touchdown runs of six and nine yards. Simon Pohlman nailed a 41-yard field goal for the Orioles, who their first league game at home last weekend while teammate Landon Karlen caught three passes for 77 yards and a TD.

Tyrggve Korger was 7-for-12 for 40 yards passing for O-F. Drake Swett led the team with 55 yards rushing on 11 carries and Chase Insteness had two catches for 26 yards as the Thuinder had 90 yards rushing and 102 passing. Osseo-Fairchild is at Durand-Arkansaw this week.

2022 Prep Football Standings

Cloverbelt Conference
Team Conf. Overall
Eau Claire Regis 4-0 6-0
Mondovi 4-0 6-0
Durand-Arkansaw 3-1 4-2
Fall Creek 2-2 4-2
Neillsville/Granton 1-3 2-4
Stanley-Boyd 1-3 2-4
Elk Mound 1-3 1-5
Osseo-Fairchild 0-4 0-6

Last Week's Games
Friday, Sept. 23
Durand-Arkansaw 21, Elk Mound 6
Mondovi 52, Neillsville/Granton 14
Stanley-Boyd 42, Osseo-Fairchild 8
Saturday, Sept. 24
Eau Claire Regis 41, Fall Creek 6 at Altoona

This Week's Games
Friday, Sept. 30
Elk Mound at Fall Creek
Neillsville/Granton at Stanley-Boyd
Eau Claire Regis at Mondovi
Osseo-Fairchild at Durand-Arkansaw

Dairyland Conference
Team Conf. Overall
Alma/Pepin 4-0 6-0
Cochrane-Fountain City 4-0 6-0
Blair-Taylor 4-0 4-2
Augusta 2-2 3-3
Independence/Gilmanton 1-3 1-5
Melrose-Mindoro 1-3 1-5
Eleva-Strum 0-4 1-5
Whitehall 0-4 0-6
Last Week's Games
Friday, Sept. 23
Melrose-Mindoro 21, Eleva-Strum 20
Alma/Pepin 41, Independence/Gilmanton 0
Cochrane-Fountain City 42, Whitehall 27
Blair-Tatylor 38, Augusta 36
This Week's Games
Friday, Sept. 30
Blair-Taylor at Alma/Pepin
Cochrane-Fountain City at Augusta
Eleva-Strum at Whitehall
Independence/Gilmanton at Melrose-Mindor


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