The North Crawford Trojans drew first blood in their homecoming game against the visiting Seneca Indians last Friday night, when senior running back Branden Baumeister ran in a three-yard touchdown.
However, the Indians answered quickly. Seneca quarterback Brady Fernette found some running room along the right sideline and ran for 51 yards and touchdown. The Indians failed on their two-point conversion attempt and the quarter ended with the Trojans leading the Indians by a score of 8-6. That’s as close as it would ever get.
In the second quarter, both Baumeister and senior fullback Hunter Fortney scored touchdowns on short runs and with two successful two-point conversions the Trojans went into the locker room leading 24-6.
The Trojans essentially ended the game in the third quarter with Baumeister adding three long touchdown runs of 66, 36 and 60 yards. It was 44-6, when the third quarter ended and that became the final score for the game, when neither team scored in the fourth quarter.
Aside from being unable to stop Branden Baumeister, who scored five touchdowns in the game, the Indians shot themselves in the foot with four turnovers on two interceptions and two lost fumbles. By contrast, the Trojans lost the ball only once on a fumble. It was a point Seneca coach Justin Goodrich acknowledged later.
“North Crawford forced us to have some turnovers that gave them good field position early in the game,” Goodrich said.
For his part, North Crawford coach Brandon Munson was pleased to see the Trojans bounce back from their 46-0 trouncing by the Ithaca Bulldogs in the previous week.
“It’s definitely a good win for us after coming off a tough loss the week before,” Munson said. “Overall, the defense played very well outside of a couple big plays. We created a couple turnovers, and were able to capitalize off those turnovers.
“Offensively, we had success running the ball, as we went back into our base double wing, something we haven't done in a couple weeks,” Munson noted.
For the game, Baumeister led all rushers, as he ran for 203 yards on just 12 carries, averaging 16.9 yards per carry on his way to scoring five touchdowns. The Trojans’ other senior running back Corey Spencer gained 61 yards on nine carries to average 6.8 carries. Senior fullback Hunter Fortney gained 45 yards on six carries and caught two passes for 35 yards. Trojan receiver Dallas Hershberger caught one pass for 40 yards to set up a touchdown.
North Crawford had 400 yards of total offense to Seneca’s 218 yards.
The Indians struggled in the run game rushing for just 114 yards on 36 carries. They were 6-17 passing for 104 yards, but gave up two interceptions.
Seneca quarterback Brady Fernette led his team in rushing going 58 yard on 16 carries, but 51 of those yards came a long touchdown run. Running back Ian Joy gained 51 yards on 14 carries.
Fernette was 6-17 passing including three completed passes to Nick Payne for 55 yards and two completed passes to Eric Konichek for 51 yards.
Things won’t get easier for either team this week, as the Indians host the always-tough DeSoto Pirates, who will be looking for a win after getting off to a 1-2 start in the Ridge and Valley Conference this season.
Meanwhile, the Trojans must host the Kickapoo-LaFarge Predators, who are 3-0 in conference play.
“It will be tough game this week with Kickapoo,” Munson said. “We have traditionally struggled stopping big physical running backs, and Kickapoo has a good one. They have a good mix of size and speed. We will have to respond by matching their physicality.”