By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Belmont junior QB/LB does it all in Braves' first ever 8-player football game, a 19–6 victory
Junior quarterback Riley Christensen rushed for a game-high 150 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries, and scored on an interception return, in the Braves’ 19–6 season-opening victory over Elkhart Lake–Glenbulah last Thursday night in their eight-player football debut. - photo by Photo by Tom Gunnell / Republican Journal

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.

Riley Christensen, Jr., QB/LB, Belmont football
     BELMONT — Junior quarterback/linebacker Riley Christensen was all over the field last Thursday night as the Belmont Braves opened their first 8-player football season with a 19–6 victory over visiting Elkhart Lake–Glenbuhlah. Christiansen rushed for a game-high 150 yards and a touchdown, recovered a fumble and returned an interception for another score.

     “It was an exciting win for us,” said Belmont head coach Brandon Wiese. “It’s been fun reaching the (8-player) game and learning bits and pieces about it. We’re able to move some guys around, and I feel it allows us to have guys playing where they should have been playing in the past but couldn’t in 11-player. We’re excited for those guys to get out there and get the opportunity.”

     Christiansen connected with 260-pound senior offensive lineman/tight end Brady Wedig for a 49-yard touchdown pass on the Braves’ third play from scrimmage to put Belmont ahead 6–0 just over a minute into the game. Christensen recovered a Resorter fumble on the second play of the second half to set the Braves up at the Elkhart Lake 31-yard line, and seven plays later the junior signal-caller raced in from nine yards out to put Belmont into the lead to stay at 12–6 with eight minutes to go in the third quarter. Then he returned an interception 20 yards for a TD less than four minutes later, and he also tacked on the extra point to extend the hosts’ lead to 19–6.

     Christensen ran the ball 33 times for 150 yards and a score, and he completed 5-of-8 passes for 73 yards and another score for the Braves. Defensively, he registered six tackles with three solos and three for a loss to go along with his fumble recovery and interception for a TD.

HONORABLE MENTION (In alphabetical order)

Cole Crubel, Sr., QB/DB, River Ridge football

     Crubel ran all over host Iowa–Grant, rushing for 169 yards and four touchdowns, including a 94-yarder, in River Ridge's dominating 41–12 non-conference victory over the Panthers last Friday night. Crubel, a four-year starter at QB for the Timberwolves (1–0), also scored on runs of 1, 3 and 14 yards, and completed 4 of 6 yards for 96 yards. Crubel and River Ridge will host Wauzeka–Steuben Friday night at 7 p.m. 

Parker Fitzsimons, Jr., RB/DB, Darlington football

     Fitzsimons rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown on just three carries, and scored on a 90-yard kickoff return in Darlington's 20–12 season-opening victory over visiting Westby last Friday night. 

John Goomey, RB/LB, Platteville football

     Goomey rushed for 150 yards on 32 carries, caught a 17-yard TD, completed a 20-yard pass and recorded a team-high eight tackles to lead Platteville (1–0) to a 12–7 season-opening victory over visiting Cuba City Friday night at Pioneer Stadium in Jason Weittenhiller's head coaching debut for the Hillmen.

Corey Hahn, Sr., FB, Lancaster football

     Lancaster senior fullback Corey Hahn accounted for 83 percent of the Flying Arrows' offense in last Friday's 14–7 season-opening victory over Pecatonica/Argyle. He finished with 223 yards, including a 64-yard TD run in the second quarter, on 33 carries. Hahn and the Flying Arrows (1–0) will travel to Spring Green Friday night to face former Southwest Wisconsin Conference rival River Valley in a non-conference game. Lancaster is now in the Southwest Wisconsin Activities League.

Ben Udelhofen, Sr., QB/LB, Potosi/Cassville football

     Udelhofen threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in his first start at quarterback to lead the Potosi/Cassville co-op to a 50–6 blowout victory at Hillsboro in last Friday's non-conference season opener for both teams. Udelhofen completed 3 of 5 passes for 57 yards and added 112 yards rushing on six carries to lead the offense. He also recorded 16 total tackles in the win as the Chieftains (1–0) held the Tigers to just 108 yards of total offense.