SHULLSBURG – Once the Comets got rolling on Saturday afternoon, they were hard to stop.
Cassville dominated the line of scrimmage in the second half and ran away with a 20-6 Six Rivers Conference victory over the Shullsburg Miners on Homecoming Day at Badger Park on Sept. 17.
Senior running back Dallas Bernhardt ran for 112 of his 173 yards in the second half and punched in a pair of short touchdown runs in the fourth quarter to lift the Comets to the win.
The Comets controlled the ball for nearly 17 and a half minutes in the second half, running 31 plays- all runs- to Shullsburg’s 17 plays and outgaining the Miners, 140-58, to grind out the victory.
After a scoreless opening quarter, Cassville (2-3 overall, 2-3 in SRC) broke the shutout on a 4-yard run by sophomore Dakota Bernhardt with 3:16 remaining in the first half.
Shullsburg (1-4, 1-3) answered with a scoring drive of its own before the intermission to tie the game up once again.
After the teams traded fumbles at the Comets 32-yard line, the Miners hit paydirt when freshman quarterback Brett Matye teamed with tight end Matt Cook on a 4-yard TD pass with 39 seconds remaining in the half. The extra point kick failed, sending the teams into the break deadlocked at 6-6.
Dal. Bernhardt’s six-run scoring jaunt with 10:35 remaining in the game capped a 13-play, 60-yard drive and put the Comets ahead 13-6.
Cassville got the ball right back on a short field later in the fourth quarter and Dal. Bernhardt ended a six-play, 34-yard trek with a 3-yard TD run to hand the guests a 20-6 lead with 5:45 to play.
A fumbled snap on fourth down and inches deep in Cassville territory halted Shullsburg’s late rally, and the Comets ran out the final three and a half minutes to spoil the Miners’ Homecoming celebration.
The Comets finished the game with 262 rushing yards to the Miners’ 110 yards on the ground. Shullsburg led the way through the air, 48 yards to 12.
Shullsburg tailback Nate Carrier, who ranks eighth overall in the state with 1,010 rushing yards, was bottled up by the Comets’ defense the entire game. The speedy senior managed just 88 yards on 20 carries and 28 yards on four catches, but he was held out of the end zone in a game for the first time this season.
Senior Jacob Scott added 39 hard-earned yards on eight carries for the Miners.
Defensively, Connor Crotty notched 12 tackles and Brett Knautz added 11 tackles, while Scott and Andrew Uehling chipped in with nine stops apiece. Carrier and Bradley Sigwarth each recovered a fumble for the Miners.
Shullsburg heads to Potosi on Friday, Sept. 23, looking to play spoiler on Homecoming Night for the league-leading Chieftains (1-3, 1-3). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Cassville…… 0 6 0 14 - 20
Shullsburg.… 0 6 0 0 - 6
C – Dak. Bernhardt, 4 run (kick failed)
S – Matt Cook, 4 pass from Brett Matye (kick failed)
C – Dal. Bernhardt, 6 run (Schauff kick)
C – Dal. Bernhardt, 3 run (Schauff kick)
Team Stats: First Downs- C 17; S 11. Rushing- C 56-262; S 33-110. Passing- C 1-3-0, 12; S 6-11-1, 48. Fumbles-Lost- C 2, S 1. Penalties- C 6-75, S 5-35.
Shullsburg Leaders: Rushing (Att-Yds-Td)- Nate Carrier 20-88-0. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Td-Yds)- Brett Matye, 6-9-1-1, 48. Receiving (Cat-Yds-Td)- Carrier 4-28-0.