POTOSI — The final score may not have indicated as much, but Potosi had to battle Belmont every inch of the way last Friday night to improve to 2–0 in Six Rivers Conference play.
Coach Mark Siegert’s squad used a pair of big special teams play to score 35 first-half points en route to an eventually decisive 42-6 victory over Braves (1–1, 1–1 Six Rivers).
The Chieftains’ versatile offense did just as much damage through the air as it did on the ground, while the special teams played an obvious roll in the victory.
The Potosi defense forced a three-and-out on Belmont’s first series and the Chieftains immediately drove the field.
But the Braves’ defense stiffened and stuffed Potosi three straight times from the 4-yard-line after an incomplete pass to force a turnover on downs.
After forcing Belmont to punt from its own end zone, Potosi took advantage of the short field and in five plays covered 25 yards for a 7–0 lead.
Senior quarterback Tim Fritz connected with senior tight end Mitch Langkamp for a 19-yard TD with 2:11 left the first quarter. Fritz’ extra point made it 7–0.
That was the first of Langkamp’s many big plays in the game.
Langkamp blocked a Belmont punt on the Braves’ very next possession and Potosi linebacker Spencer Hawes scooped up the loose ball and returned it 15 yards for a score.
Undaunted Belmont kept fighting.
John Hentrich picked off a Fritz pass on Potosi’s next possession and returmed it 25 yards down to the Chieftain 27-yard-line.
The Braves put together their best drive of the game and pulled within eight points on Jeremy Richardson’s one-yard plunge on 4th-and-goal.
The point after attempt was blocked.
A nice kick return set Potosi up at its own 41 and in three quick plays the balance of the contest began to tip. Jase Udelhofen ripped off a 12-yard run, that was followed by a 19-yard Fritz-to-Hunter Leibfried pass.
Fritz then hit junior wide out Chase Kruser on a short slant pattern that the speedy Kruser turned into a 28-yard touchdown reception.
The Chieftains drove to the Belmont 9 the next time they had the ball and appeared to score on Fritz to Langkamp pass, but the play was wiped out by a penalty.
They continued going backwards with penalties until a 4th-and-goal pass from the 27 fell incomplete.
But Langkamp struck again four plays later, blocking his second punt of the night and this time recovered it himself in the end zone for a 28–6 lead.
Potosi senior linebacker Alex Wright recovered a Belmont fumble on the Braves’ next possession.
Two plays later Udelhofen went around the left end for a 4-yard TD run to make it 35–6 with 1:29 left in the half.
Potosi completed the scoring midway through the third quarter with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Leibfried.
On the night Fritz completed 8 of 16 passing attempts for 148 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He was also a perfect 6-for-6 on extra-point kicks.
Leibfried finished the game as the team’s top receiver, hauling in two receptions for 41 yards.
On the ground, Potosi rushed for 134 yards and one TD on 34 attempts.
Senior Jase Udelhofen led the way with 103 yards and a three-yard touchdown on 15 carries.
Defensively, Potosi held the Braves to just three first downs and 102 yards of total offense. The Chieftains also came away with two turnovers, one interception and one fumble recovery.
Belmont senior Brandon Wedig led the Braves with 59 yards rushing on 10 carries.
The Chieftains will take their 2–0 record on the road up against the 2–0 Vikings of Pecatonica/Argyle this Friday night.
Pec/Argyle is coming off a 46-6 thrashing of River Ridge (1–1).
Meanwhile Belmont will travel to winless Black Hawk (0–2). The Warriors suffered a last-minute 27–21 loss at Highland on Friday.
Potosi 42, Belmont 6
(from Friday, Aug. 31 @ Potosi)
Belmont 0 6 0 0 — 6
Potosi 14 21 7 0 — 42
P: Mitch Langkamp 19 pass from Tim Fritz (Fritz kick)
P: Spencer Hawes 15 blocked punt return (Fritz kick)
B: Jeremy Richardson 1 run (kick blocked)
P: Chase Kruser 28 pass from Fritz (Fritz kick)
P: Langkamp blocked punt return in end zone (Fritz kick)
P: Jase Udelhofen 3 run (Fritz kick)
P: Hunter Leibfried 9 pass from Fritz (Fritz kick)
First downs: B 3, P 16. Rushing: B 28-93, P 34-143. Passing Yards: B 9, B 148. Passing: B 2-10-1, P 8-16-1. Fumbles–lost: B 2-1, P 1-0. Penalties-yards: B 8-58, P 8-60.
Rushing: B: Brandon Wedig 10-59; P: Jase Udelhofen 15-103. Passing: B: John Bahr 1-2-0, 11, Kyle Van Bogaert 1-8-1, -3; P: Tim Fritz 8-16-1, 148. Receiving: B: Kyle Van Bogaert 1-11, P: Hunter Leibfried 2-41.