BENTON – It took a furious fourth-quarter rally and a big play in overtime, but the Cassville varsity football team collected its first win of the 2011 season by beating host Benton-Scales Mound last Friday night, 26-23.
The win improved coach Doug Fure’s squad to a Six Rivers record of 1-3, while coach Al Alexander’s Zephyrs dropped to 1-3 with the loss.
After each team exchanged touchdowns in the first quarter, Benton-Scales Mound held a halftime lead of 7-6.
It was Cassville sophomore Cole Adams who scored the game’s first points on a 41-yard TD pass from senior quarterback Garrett Schauff.
The Zephyrs answered with a 25-yard interception return for their score by junior cornerback Josh Korte.
Coach Alexander’s squad came out in the second half and owned the third quarter, putting up 13 points on a 3-yard TD plunge by Brett Pulvermacher and a 43-yard TD pass from Stephen Korte to Josh Korte with 1:44 remaining in the quarter.
With kicker Toby Fischer making one-of-two extra-point kicks in the third quarter, the Zephyrs took a 20-6 lead into the final quarter of regulation.
“In the third quarter we couldn’t stop them, and we kept shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties and an interception,” said Cassville coach Doug Fure.
His quarterback, Garrett Schauff, threw three picks in the game, the first of which was returned for a touchdown in the fist quarter.
On the ensuing kick off following the TD connection from the Korte boys, Cassville senior Nate Baliff received the kick from his own 14-yard line and returned it 69 yards to the Zephyr’s 17.
The Comets used six plays to get into the end zone, as Dallas Bernhardt scored from one-yard out. The extra-point kick by Schauff made the score 20-13 with 10 minutes to play in regulation.
On their next possession, Benton-Scales Mound marched down the field, picking up three first downs. Faced with a fourth-and-six from Cassville’s 24-yard line, Dallas Bernhardt picked off a Stephen Korte pass and returned it to the Zephyr’s four-yard line. An unsportsmanlike penalty after the play gave the Comets a first-and-goal from the two.
It took two plays and a five-yard penalty, but Cassville put the ball in the end zone when Baliff scored from seven yards out. The scored was knotted at 20-20 with 4:21 to play when Schauff knocked home the extra-point kick.
With neither team threatening in the final minutes of regulation, the game went into overtime, where each team took their turn at the 25-yard line.
Benton-Scales Mound had the ball first, and after four plays and one first down, Fischer knocked home a 34-yard field goal to take a 23-20 lead.
Knowing they had to get the ball in the end zone to win the game, Cassville started out with a three-yard run by Cole Adams on their first play.
On their second play, Baliff was given the ball on a stretch play to the left, and after reading a great kick-out block by Dakota Bernhardt, the speedy senior cut against the grain and raced 22 yards for the game-winning score.
“It was a very neat atmosphere at the time,” said coach Fure of the win. “I’m just happy for the kids. They were able to claw their way back and see that hard work does payoff.”
While it was ultimately good field position by the defense and special teams that allowed Cassville to win, they did manage to rush for 126 yards on 34 attempts, led by Dakota Bernhardt’s 43 yards on nine carries.
Schauff completed 5-of-9 passing attempts for 73 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions, while Chris Meier hauled in a team-high three receptions for 36 yards.
“Offensively, we still need to find our way, but our defense and special teams is what really gave us a shot in the arm.”
Benton-Scales Mound finished the night with 158 yards rushing on 39 attempts, and was led by Brett Pulvermacher.
Korte completed 4-of-8 passing attempts for 71 yards, one TD and one interception.
Leading the Comets in tackles Friday night was Schauff, who had 17 total, three solo. Dallas Bernhardt finished with 15 tackles and one interception, while defensive tackle Jacob Haas was in on 14 stops and one sack, while the other defensive tackle, Cody Schwab, had 11 tackles and one sack.
The Comets will play this Saturday at Shullsburg (1-3, 1-2), while Benton-Scales Mound will host Weston on Saturday in a 1 p.m. non-conference contest.
Benton-Scales Mound 23 (OT)
(from Friday, Sept. 9)
Cassville 6 0 0 14 6 - 26
Benton/SM 7 0 13 0 3 - 23
C - Cole Adams, 41-yard pass from Schauff (kick failed)
B/SM - Josh Korte, 25-yard interception return (Fischer kick)
B/SM - Pulvermacher, 3-yard run (kick failed)
B/SM - J. Korte, 43-yard pass from Stephen Korte (Fischer kick)
C - Dallas Bernhardt, 1-yard run (Schauff kick)
C - Nate Baliff, 7-yard run (Schauff kick)
B/SM - Fischer, 34-yard field goal
C - Baliff, 22-yard run
First downs - C 5, BSM 8. Rushing - C 34-126, BSM 39-158. Passing yards - C 73, BSM 71. Passes - C 5-9-3, BSM 4-8-1. Fumbles lost - C 0, BSM 0. Penalties-yards - C 10-55, BSM 8-55.
Rushing - C: Dakota Bernhardt 9-43, Dallas Bernhardt 11-32, Nate Baliff 5-27; BSM: Brett Pulvermacher 18-n/a. Passing - C: Garrett Schauff 5-9-3, 73; BSM: Steven Korte 4-8-1, 71. Receiving - C: Chris Meier 3-36; BSM: Josh Korte 1-43.