It was a mismatch—plain and simple. The North Crawford Trojans easily defeated the visiting Wauzeka-Steuben Hornets 38-8 last Friday night.
How bad was it for the hapless Hornets? Well, the Trojans led 32-0 at halftime before taking their foot off of the accelerator in the second half. It wasn’t until the third down play of their third possession of the game that the Hornets finally had a play go for positive yardage. Aside from a 75-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, Wauzeka-Steuben had just 78 yards of total offense in the game.
By contrast, the Trojans had 321 yards of total offense including two completed touchdown passes from quarterback Zach Stluka to wide receiver Dallas Hershberger for a total of 65 yards.
Playing in his first game of the season, Trojan running back Corey Spencer gained 115 yards on 20 carries. North Crawford’s outstanding senior running back Branden Baumeister gained 55 yards on seven carries before sustaining a rib injury in the second quarter that kept him sidelined for the rest of the game.
Trojan freshman running back Skyler Olson gained 57 yards on seven carries, while fullback Hunter Fortney gained 20 yards.
North Crawford coach Brandon Munson was happy with the performance of the team in the conference opener and was impressed with quarterback Zach Stluka, who he thought “looked more comfortable throwing the ball.”
Munson was equally impressed with the Trojan defense that held the Hornets to under 100 yards of total offense until Wauzeka-Steuben scored on a 75-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against, essentially, North Crawford’s junior varsity defense.
“This was a solid win for us to start the conference season,” Munson said after the game.
North Crawford is scheduled to play the Silver Eagles at Weston this Friday at 7 p.m.
In the game against Wauzeka-Steuben, the Trojans gained 321 yards on 47 plays, including 65 yards passing with Stluka completing two of five attempts. North Crawford rolled for 256 yards rushing on 42 attempts to average over six yards per carry.
Flag-happy officials called 18 penalties in the game, including seven against Wauzeka-Steuben for 65 yards and 11 against North Crawford for a total of 95 yards.
The Hornets came out better than the Trojans in one category losing just one fumble, while North Crawford turned the ball over twice on fumbles. Neither team was intercepted.
Some other telling statistics in the mismatched game were North Crawford’s 15 first downs compared to Wauzeka-Steuben’s five first downs. In fact, the Hornets were 0-7 in third down conversions and 0-4 in fourth down conversions, while the Trojans were 6-10 in third down conversions and 2-4 in fourth down conversions.
Hunter Fortney led the Trojan defense in tackles with six solo tackles. Casey Spencer had 4.5 tackles and Ryne Kroning had 3.5 tackles.
Weston will be looking to right themselves this Friday after losing to Kickapoo-LaFarge 36-16 in the conference opener last week. The Eagles are led by senior quarterback Deven Boland, who has passed for 212 yards and ran for 192 yards already this season. Weston’s junior running back Mark Klang leads the team in rushing with 193 yards. The Eagles’ other junior running back Ramsey Arneson leads the team in receiving with 89 yards.