POTOSI — With a convincing 40–8 victory over visiting North Crawford last Friday night in a WIAA Division 7 Level 2 playoff game, the Potosi varsity football team now has a date with a very familiar foe who is solely responsible for changing the Chieftain’s season.
Coach Mark Siegert’s squad will head to South Wayne this Friday night to play the Black Hawk Warriors in a level-three playoff game beginning at 7 p.m.
The two teams from the Six Rivers Conference met earlier this year on Sept. 28, when Black Hawk (11–0) handed the Chieftains (10–1) their only loss of the season, 46–8.
In that game, junior quarterback Kyle Kaiser was knocked out of the contest, and the rest of the season, with a leg injury, forcing fellow senior Chase Kruser to take over the quarterback responsibilities.
“Our whole personality kind of changed a little bit since then, as far as how we go about our games,” said Siegert.
“The kids have done a great job of taking on that new personality, because we’re a totally different looking team for a bunch of different reasons. Obviously because of Kyle, and also because there were some things that were exposed that we needed to work on.”
Since losing to Black Hawk on Sept. 28, the Chieftains have won their last five games, scoring an average of 28.4 points per game, while giving up an average of 11.8.
Black Hawk, though, ran through the Six Rivers Conference with a scoring average of 49.3 points per game, while giving up 12.0 points per game to their opponents.
With a 48–0 win over Belmont in their playoff opener, followed by a 42–0 victory over De Soto last week, the Warriors have yet to give up a single point in playoff action this season.
Coach Siegert knows that the task at hand is going to be a tough one, but truly believes the team Black Hawk faced on Sept. 28 is completely different than the one they will face this Friday night.
“We just want to make it a better game than last time obviously,” said Siegert.
Kruser, who had been thrust into the quarterback position, has been improving each week, and now seems to have a secure grasp as the leader of Potosi’s offense.
“Chase is really starting to do a really nice job back there at quarterback, because there’s just some things that you have to learn at a game-pace,” Siegert said.
Such was the case last Friday night against North Crawford, where Potosi did not punt once, and scored on all but two offensive possessions.
“We’re an offense now that takes time off the clock,” said Siegert. “It’s not like it used to be, so we don’t get a ton of possessions. Obviously our offensive line did a great job, and they set the tone. After that, it was just a matter of our backs hitting the holes.”
Kruser accounted for 90 yards of offense, completing 3 of 5 passing attempts for 43 yards, and rushed 11 times for 47 yards, including two scores of one-yard each.
Potosi’s workhorse Friday night was junior Brent Curtis, who ran for 137 yards and two TDs on 17 carries, running for scores of two and eight yards.
“He’s running hard,” Siegert said of Curtis (6’0”, 200 lbs.) “He’s a big, strong, physical player, and it seems in the playoffs, if you have that combination, it really helps.”
Fellow senior Trevor Ehlen added 89 yards on seven carries, including a 45-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, while sophomore Teagan Friederick ran for 45 yards on eight carries, including a five-yard TD in the second quarter.
After neither team scored in the first quarter, Potosi blew the game open by scoring 28 points in the second quarter, then held a 40-0 lead late in the fourth.
It wasn’t until with 3:35 to play in the game that North Crawford finally found the end zone, but by then it was way too little, way to late.
It looked early on as if the Trojans might run all over the Chieftains, driving the ball 43 yards on 12 plays on their first possession of the game.
North Crawford’s initial drive stalled at Potosi’s 21-yard line though, where the Trojans turned the ball over on downs, and for the rest of the game gained just 112 yards.
North Crawford running back Brandon Baumeister came into Friday’s game averaging 194.5 yards per game, and 10.0 yards per carry. He had rushed for a total of 1,945 yards and scored 27 touchdowns in 10 games.
Against the Chieftains' defense though, Baumeister was held to 79 yards on 17 carries, an average of 4.6 yards per carry, and did not find the end zone once, other than a two-point conversion run.
“Anytime we go into any game, we try to take away their number-one threat. I think when you do that in high school football, you give yourself a huge advantage, because there’s usually not a ton of options after the first offensive threat,” explained Siegert.
“Our guys really did a great job of tackling, bringing some intensity, flying to the football and all that good stuff. It was a total team effort, and our defense is all based on that, with everybody doing their job.”
Leading the Chieftain defense with 17 total tackles and half a sack was senior linebacker Keegan Brown, while fellow senior linebacker Travis Collins had 15 total tackles.
Mitch Kuster had two sacks in the game and one blocked punt, while Jacob Udelhoven and Bryce McMahon each had one sack. Kruser had one interception for the Chieftains.
While North Crawford was limited to just 155 yards of total offense, the Chieftains managed 364 total yards, rushing for 321 yards on 36 attempts, and throwing for 43 yards on three completions.
Potosi 40, North Crawford 8
(from Friday, Nov. 2 @ Potosi)
North Crawford 0 0 0 8 — 8
Potosi 0 28 6 6 — 40
P: Brent Curtis 8 run (Travis Collins kick)
P: Chase Kruser 1 run (kick failed)
P: Teagan Friederick 5 run (Curtis pass from Kruser)
P: Curtis 2 run (Collins kick)
P: Kruser 1 run (kick failed)
P: Trevor Ehlen 45 run (kick failed)
NC: Schellhorn 54 run (Baumeister run)
First downs — NC 9, P 16. Rushing — NC 37-134, P 46-310. Passing yards: NC 21, P 40. Passes — NC 2-7-0, P 2-4-0. Fumbles-lost — NC 0-0, P 0-0. Penalties-yards — NC 5-38, P 3-30.
Rushing — NC: Branden Baumeister 17-79; P: Brent Curtis 17-127, Trevor Ehlen 7-89, Chase Kruser 11-47, Teagan Friederick 8-45. Passing — NC: Spulka 2-7-0, 21; P: Kruser 3-5-0, 43. Receiving – NC: Hershberger 1-14; P: Nathan Friederick 2-40.