The undefeated North Crawford Trojan football team rolled over another Ridge and Valley Conference opponent last Friday night with a 52-12 shellacking of the Ithaca Bulldogs.
With the win, North Crawford improved their record to 3-0 in conference play and 5-0 overall. The homecoming game victory was particularly satisfying to the Trojan seniors, who have been forced to watch the Bulldogs dominant their team for the past three years.
North Crawford head football coach Brandon Munson wasn’t taking the Bulldogs lightly even if the team was in a rebuilding year, relying heavily on a talented sophomore class.
“They’re a well-coached team, a dangerous team,” Munson said of the Bulldogs. “We didn’t want them to get out in front of us. We stressed a strong start.”
North Crawford has had problems starting in the first quarter in its previous four games, but the team appeared to take Munson’s message about starting strong seriously. When the first quarter ended the Trojans led 24-0.
The Bulldogs put together a sustained drive midway through the second quarter to score a touchdown, but failed on their two-point conversion attempt. Meanwhile, the Trojans added two touchdowns and another successful two-point conversion in the second quarter to take a 38-6 lead at halftime.
North Crawford scored two touchdowns and one successful two point conversion in the third quarter to take a 52-6 lead. The Bulldogs responded in the third quarter with the final touchdown of the game to make it 52-12.
Munson said later he was “very surprised by the outcome.”
Branden Baumeister continued to blister the defense with an outstanding running performance. The Trojan’s premier running back gained 266 yards on 20 carries-averaging 13.3 yards per carry, while scoring four touchdowns. Baumeister’s first touchdown came on a 62-yard run in the first quarter followed by Jake Salmon’s successful two-point conversion. Baumeister also scored the last North Crawford touchdown of the game on a five-yard run in the third quarter. The running back also scored two touchdowns in the second quarter on runs of 53 and 58 yards. Despite all of the success, the Trojan running back was irritated with himself for fumbling the ball in the second half.
For the season, Baumeister has gained 1,191 yards on 100 carries for an 11.91 yards per carry average. He has fumbled the ball twice recovering the first one and losing the second one last Friday.
When Baumeister wasn’t scoring touchdowns, Trojan quarterback Hank Schellhorn was throwing touchdown passes. He threw for two in the first quarter, including a 24-yard pass to Austin Abbey and four-yard pass to Eric Friar. Schellhorn found Friar again in the third quarter on a 45-yard pass play for a touchdown.
The touchdown passes were a big step forward for North Crawford’s fledgling passing game. For the game, Schellhorn was four for seven passing for 73 yards and three touchdowns. Schellhorn also passed to Friar for the final two-point conversion. It was by far the team’s best passing performance of the season.
In addition to Schellhorn’s pass to Friar and two successful two-point conversion runs by Baumeister, Jacob Salmon also successfully ran in two two-point conversions.
“We didn’t throw a lot, but we were fairly efficient when we did throw,” Munson said in explaining the passing game. “Our receivers and quarterback are getting more comfortable with each other. They’re starting to get themselves on the same page.”
“It was a happy homecoming for North Crawford,” Munson said later. “It really was a big homecoming win and we’re proud of our seniors for finally beating Ithaca.”