BELMONT — For the first time since 2007, there is a new football champion in the Six Rivers Conference.
Potosi, which has won the past five conference titles, had to settle for second place this season, finishing with a conference record of 7–1 and an overall mark of 8–1.
With league action wrapping up last Friday night, the Chieftains had hopes of sharing this year’s title with the Black Hawk Warriors, who obviously were in no mood to share.
Potosi took care of business on its end Friday night with a 12–0 victory over host Belmont, but with a 48–12 victory over Highland, the Warriors (9–0, 8–0) secured the out-right conference title for themselves.
In their regular season finale last Friday night at Belmont, the Chieftains were engaged in a defensive battle with the Braves for the better part of three quarters.
The Chieftains finally found the end zone on their third possession of the third quarter, when senior Chase Kruser scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak.
The score capped off a five-play drive that covered 47 yards and was highlighted by an 18-yard pass from Kruser to Teagan Friederick.
The Chieftains added a little insurance to their side of the scoreboard when Friederick scored on a 2-yard plunge with 3:20 left in the game.
That touchdown was set up by a 47-yard pass play from Kruser to Brent Curtis, that gave the Chieftains a first-and-goal at the 8-yard line.
Belmont (4–5, 4–4) managed to get inside Potosi’s 20-yard line only two times in the entire game, having a 12-yard touchdown run called back on account of an illegal block late in the second quarter and turning the ball over on downs at the 13-yard line with 1:53 to play in the game.
Leading the Chieftains with 17 total tackles was Keegan Brown, while Trevor Ehlen was in on 14 stops, Travis Collins 12 and Friederick 10.
While the Braves finished with 137 yards rushing and 53 passing, Potosi rushed for 185 yards and threw for 75.
Kruser was the team’s leading rusher with 78 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries, while Curtis carried the ball 11 times for 57 yards.
Friederick carried the ball seven times for 18 yards, including a two-yard TD.
Junior Riley Hawes was injured (hip pointer) in the first quarter of Friday night’s game and was held out of action the rest of the night. His status for Potosi’s playoff opener this Friday is unknown.
Senior Kyle Van Bogaert rushed for 80 yards on 22 carries to lead Belmont.
Through the air, Kruser completed 3 of 7 passing attempts for 75 yards, including a 47-yard pass to Curtis, who finished with two receptions for 53 yards.
Junior Jon Bahr completed 6 of 19 passes for 53 yards and was intercepted once.
Lane Kamps hauled in three catches for 20 yards for the Braves.
With the first round of the WIAA playoffs beginning Friday night, the second-seeded Chieftains will host seventh-seeded Cassville in a 7 p.m. game.
The first time these two teams met this year on Sept. 13, the Chieftains picked up a 48–6 victory on their home field.
Belmont will travel to top-seeded Black Hawk Friday night to open the playoffs. The Warriors scored in the final minute of the team’s regular season meeting on Oct. 11 to escape with a 27–24 victory.
Potosi 12, Belmont 0
(from Friday, Oct. 18 @ Belmont)
Potosi 0 0 6 6 — 12
Belmont 0 0 0 0 — 0
P: Chase Kruser 1 run (run failed)
P: Teagan Friederick 2 run (run failed)
First downs — P 7, B 10. Rushing — P 34-185, B 36-137. Passing yards: P 75, B 53. Passes — P 3-7-0, B 6-19-1. Fumbles-lost — P 1-1, B 0-0. Penalties-yards — P 5-30, B 8-65.
Rushing — P: Chase Kruser 10-78, Brent Curtis 11-57; B: Kyle Van Bogaert 22-80. Passing — P: Kruser 3-7-0, 75; B: Jon Bahr 6-19-0, 53. Receiving – P: Brent Curtis 2-53; B: Kamps 3-20.