GAME OF THE WEEK (Oct. 10–16)
SIX RIVERS FOOTBALL: Benton/Scales Mound 52, River Ridge 21
BLOOMINGTON – Last year, the tiebreaker didn’t go Benton/Scales Mound’s way and they missed out on a playoff berth. The Zephyrs weren’t going to leave anything to chance this season.
The Zephyrs guaranteed themselves their first WIAA playoff berth in eight years by piling up a season-high 52 points to steamroll the host River Ridge Timberwolves, 52-21, in their Six Rivers Conference finale on Friday, Oct. 12.
“The kids came out and performed well. They were ready mentally and went out on the field, executed to the best of their ability and got it done,” said Zephyrs’ head coach Todd Bastian.
The Zephyrs (6-3 overall, 4-3 SRC) rolled up over 550 yards of offense on the night and scored eight touchdowns– six on the ground and two through the air– to rout the Timberwolves (2-7, 2-5).
Senior Nick Jansen scored the first of his four touchdowns on a 4-yard TD run just a minute, 40 seconds into the game to put BSM ahead for good at 6-0.
An 80-yard scoring strike from senior Wyatt Bastian to senior Brooks Tiedeman extended the lead to 12-0 with just over four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but the T’Wolves came back just 16 seconds later with a 73-yard TD scamper by Blake Crubel to trim the deficit to 12-7.
The Zephyrs answered back with 28 unanswered points over a 21-minute span late in the first to midway through the third quarter to turn a five-point lead into a 40-7 advantage. Junior Will Lawrence caught a 36-yard TD pass from Bastian at the end of the first quarter and had a 21-yard rushing score midway through the second quarter, while Jansen added a pair of short TD runs from two and three yards out to put the Zephyrs ahead by 33 with 9:28 to play in the third quarter.
A 22-yard Blake Crubel TD run ended the Zephyrs' streak midway through the third quarter, but the BSM squad charged back with 3-yard TD runs by Jansen late in the third and Kaelan Shetler early in the fourth to make it 52-13.
“The o-line came ready to play. On those TD runs, they pushed the guy they were blocking far into the end zone and the runner was never touched,” commented Coach Bastian.
Blake Crubel hit the hat trick with 56-yard TD jaunt with 5:37 remaining to cut the gap to 52-21. He finished the night with 199 yards rushing on 15 carries.
The Zephyrs ran for 255 yards and passed for 297 yards on the night. Jansen ran 27 times for 191 yards and four TDs, while Tiedeman hauled in three catches for 133 yards and a score and Lawrence racked up 106 total yards and two TDs with 46 rushing yards on 10 carries and 60 yards receiving on two catches. Bastian completed 9-of-13 passes for 297 yards and two TDs.
Defensively, Lawrence tallied a team-high nine tackles and Jansen followed with eight stops. Zade Jones registered five tackles with one for loss, and Brad Goffinet had four tackles with two TFLs and a sack.
“After the game, they were jubilant about making the playoffs and about going 6-3 in a very tough conference,” Bastian replied.
The Zephyrs received the 6-seed in their regional bracket and will travel face #3-seed Fall River (8-1) at Fireman’s Park in Columbus on Friday, Oct. 19, in a WIAA Division 7 Level 1 playoff game.
The Pirates, who shared the Trailsway Small title with Johnson Creek and Lourdes Academy this season, is making their third straight playoff appearance and will head into Friday’s game having won three straight games since a 14-6 loss to Johnson Creek on Sept. 21.
“They have speed and size, and played with physicality,” said Bastian about the Pirates. “We’re going up there and give them everything we have.”
The Zephyrs, who are making their first playoff appearance since 2010, will be riding a four-game winning streak into Friday’s game.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
River Ridge… 20 12 14 6 – 52
Benton-SM…. 7 0 6 8 – 21
BSM – Nick Jansen, 4 run (run failed)
BSM – Brooks Tiedeman, 80 pass from Wyatt Bastian (run failed)
RR– B. Crubel, 73 run (Baus kick)
BSM – Will Lawrence, 36 pass from Bastian (Jansen run)
BSM – Lawrence, 21 run (run failed)
BSM – Jansen, 2 run (run failed)
BSM – Jansen, 3 run (Kaelan Shetler run)
RR– B. Crubel, 22 run (pass failed)
BSM – Jansen, 3 run (run failed)
BSM – Shetler, 3 run (run failed)
RR– B. Crubel, 56 run (Moravits pass from C. Crubel)
First Downs– BSM 22; RR 8. Rushing– BSM 42-255; RR 33-242. Passing– BSM 9-13-0, 297; RR 4-10-0, 52. Fumbles-Lost– BSM 0-0; RR 0-0. Penalties– BSM 5-50; RR 2-10.
Benton/Scales Mound Individual Leaders
Rushing (Att-Yds-Td)– Nick Jansen, 27-191-4. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Td-Yds)– Wyatt Bastian, 9-13-0-2, 297. Receiving (Cat-Yds-Td)– Brooks Tiedeman, 3-133-1.