BCLUW falls to Central Springs on Homecoming
CONRAD — Things couldn’t have started much better for the BCLUW football team on Friday night in its homecoming match against Central Springs.
On the opening drive to start the first quarter, the Comets marched down the field and capped things off with a 30-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Brad Barkema to senior Troy Dolphin. Then after forcing a three-and-out of the Panthers on their first drive, Barkema found junior Jack Garber for a 71-yard connection that put BCLUW up 14-0 midway through the first quarter.
Once things settled down, however, Central Springs started to churn away with its run game and the Panthers eventually overcame the Comets 36-28.
BCLUW head coach Anthony Jahr said, given the general size difference his players faced against a huge Central Springs (3-1) squad, he was genuinely happy with how they performed on the night.
“They completely out-massed us, it wasn’t even close, but I tell you what we gave them everything they wanted,” Jahr said. “What I am so proud of our guys from tonight is that, we preach fast and physical because that’s the only way we are going to beat people, and they did everything I could have asked for tonight.”
The most physically-imposing player on either team on Friday night was the Panther’s 240-pound running back Zack Santee, who amassed 231 yards on the ground and three touchdowns off 35 carries.
Jahr said facing a guy who just pounds the rock like Santee does, he’s going to gain some yardage, but aside from a 51-yard touchdown scamper by the deceptively-quick back in the third quarter, he thought the Comets (1-3) contained him relatively well throughout the evening.
“We finally let that Santee kid loose on one but for the most part I thought we did a really nice job bottling him up all night, not letting him break more than 10 or 12,” he said. “I thought we played really well, but it just came down to two to five plays that just killed us tonight.”
As Jahr alluded to, the game came down to both what the Panthers were able to do on big plays and what the Comets weren’t able to finish. Central Springs didn’t throw the ball much, but it did connect on a 50-yard and 25-yard pass that both set up touchdown drives in the first half, and a 71-yard run by Zach Ryg after Santee’s long touchdown run was the eventual game winner for the Panthers.
“I thought we actually did a pretty good job on them in the second half. They only scored 14 points, it was just big plays,” Jahr said. “We made so many little mistakes that cost us that game tonight, in the first half it was two big pass plays that we should never give up on a team like that. Their goal is to run the ball and we shouldn’t give up those long plays. We are going to look back and see there were probably five plays that cost us this game tonight. It was no individual’s fault, we just have to get these guys coached up and move forward.”
On the other side of that argument, Barkema finished the night 10-for-24 for 174 yards and three touchdowns, but if not for some ill-timed drops by his receivers and miscommunications his line would have been significantly more impressive.
Jahr said missing on those big plays on the offense can kill a team’s momentum, and he feels that’s what happened to his Comets on Friday.
“That’s frustrating on a quarterback when you make some great throws and all of a sudden your receivers are dropping them,” he said. “You lose confidence in yourself and in those guys, and I kind of think that’s what happened in the fourth quarter, we stopped being confident in ourselves. We haven’t been in a game like this in a long time where we’ve been down close at the end, and that’s something we keep trying to battle through but it’s so hard to simulate in practice.”
Losing a close game at home is always a tough pill to swallow, and that goes double when it’s a homecoming game. Jahr said this loss will sting for quite some time, but hopefully his guys learn from the pain and come out ready to reverse their fortunes next time out.
“It hurts, we took one on the chin, but if nothing else we will learn what not to do down the stretch and hopefully we will learn from that,” he said.
Central Springs 36, BCLUW 28
Central Springs 8 14 14 0 — 36
BCLUW 14 7 7 0 — 28
BCLUW — Troy Dolphin 30 pass from Brad Barkema (Connor Thompson kick good), 8:42.
BCLUW — Jack Garber 71 pass from Barkema (Thompson kick), 5:03.
CS — Zack Santee 9 run (Santee run), 2:12.
CS — Santee 12 run (run failed), 10:44.
BCLUW — Dolphin 16 pass from Barkema (Thompson kick), 9:47.
CS — Azik Hodak 1 run (Santee run), 4:52.
CS — Santee 51 run (Zach Ryg run), 7:20.
CS — Ryg 71 run (run failed), 6:20.
BCLUW — Greg Schmitt 2 run (Thompson kick), 1:48.
RUSHING — CS: Santee 35-231, Ryg 10-158, Hodak 10-37, Dylan Kisner 2-0, Sebastian Beck 1-0; BCLUW: Barkema 11-49, Scmitt 7-16, Blake Mann 4-14, Colby Willett 3-4, Thompson 3-1.
PASSING — CS: Kisner 3-5-77-0; BCLUW: Barkema 10-24-174-0.
RECEIVING — CS: Beck 2-52, Allen Alexander 1-25; BCLUW: Garber 6-110, Dolphin 2-46, Mann 1-7, Thompson 1-6.