BELMONT – Quarterback Riley Christensen had another big night on the home gridiron to lead the #8-ranked Belmont Braves over North Crawford, 47-6, in an eight-player prep football game played at Belmont High School on Friday, Sept. 20.
Christensen ran for 202 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries and completed 7-of-8 passes for 140 yards and another touchdown as the Braves (4-1 overall) rolled to their third straight victory at home while scoring over 40 points.
Christensen has rushed for 846 yards and 12 touchdowns and has thrown for 483 and four TDs this season. He also has a receiving TD and two defensive TDs for the Braves.
Christensen got the hosts rolling on Friday night with TD runs of four and 26 yards in the first quarter, and the junior signal-caller added a 1-yard scoring jaunt early in the second quarter to put the Braves ahead 20-0.
Belmont struck for two more scores just 16 seconds apart in the closing minute of the first half. Senior Kolton Westemeier capped a 12-play, 51-yard scoring trek with a 1-yard plunge to make it 26-0 with 39 seconds remaining in the half.
Then, freshman Konnor Lancaster recovered a Trojans’ fumble at the NC 40-yard line on the ensuing kickoff, and Westemeier hit pay dirt once again on the Braves’ first play from scrimmage when he hauled in a 40-yard scoring strike from Christensen to add to the lead.
Sophomore Waylon Palzkill’s two-point conversion run put Belmont up 34-0 at the intermission.
Christensen ripped off a 15-yard TD run in the third quarter to start up the running clock, while sophomore Tanner Paulson capped the scoring for the Braves with a 1-yard TD run midway through the fourth quarter.
North Crawford Jace Roys scored on a 1-yard run of his own early in the fourth quarter as the Trojans (0-5) avoided being shutout in their first eight-player game. Next season, North Crawford will compete in eight-player football full time.
Westemeier ran eight times for 40 yards and a score and caught three passes for 66 yards and another score for the Braves, who finished the night with 468 yards of total offense. Palzkill added 40 rushing yards and 72 receiving yards for Belmont.
Defensively, the Braves held the Trojans under 100 yards rushing and passing for the game. Junior Will Cutler had four solo tackles and two assists to lead the hosts. Christensen and Mitch Douglas each had six total tackles, while Douglas and Casin Carey each registered a sack.
“Friday was a good win for us as a team. We had a chance to get in a grove early on, and it allowed us to continue that throughout the game. We had some young guys get a chance to step up and take advantage of their opportunity as well,” said Belmont head coach Brandon Wiese.
“The key to the win was our versatility on all sides of the ball. We have guys understanding their role and doing their job when their number is called. We preach that everyday so it is good to see that transition to the field on game night.”
Belmont travels to Viola on Friday, Sept. 27, to face Kickapoo/LaFarge (1-4) in a contest at Kickapoo High School. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
No Crawford… 0 0 0 6 – 6
Belmont……… 12 22 6 7 – 47
B – Kolton Westemeier, 63 yard pass from Riley Christensen (Christensen run)
B – Christensen, 39 run (run failed)
B – Christensen, 2 run (Cody Lindholm kick)
NC – Walz, 20 run (Fields pass from Kepler)
B – Waylon Palzkill, 1 run (Christensen run)
B – Christensen, 24 pass from W. Palzkill (Christensen kick)
B – Tanner Paulson, 1 run (Christensen kick)
Team Stats: First Downs– NC 12, B 24. Rushing– NC 35-88; B 40-328. Passing– NC 3-9-0, 65; B 7-9-0, 140. Fumbles-Lost– NC 2-1; B 1-1. Penalties- NC 4-25; B 9-65.
Belmont Individual Leaders: Rushing (Att-Yds-Td)– Riley Christensen, 16-202-4. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Td-Yds)– Christensen, 7-8-0-1, 140. Receiving (Cat-Yds-Td)– Waylon Palzkill, 3-72-0; Kolton Westemeier, 3-66-1.