SOUTH WAYNE – Potosi football coach Mark Siegert made no excuses for his Chieftains losing to Black Hawk last Saturday afternoon, 46-8.
In fact, he put the blame solely on himself.
“I’ll take full responsibility for not getting those guys prepared,” Siegert said. “I just need to do a better job of getting these guys prepared, because we’re a lot better than what that score indicated.”
Plagued with fumbles, interceptions and bad field position, the Chieftains suffered their first loss of the season, dropping to 4-1 in Six Rivers west conference play, and 5-1 overall.
The Warriors remained one of two undefeated teams in the conference, improving to 5-0, 6-0, the same as Pecatonica/Argyle.
The Warriors, who go 6’5”-270; 6’4”-230 and 6’3”-242 on its front line, proved to be a mismatch for the smaller Chieftains, but yet again, Siegert refused to use that as an excuse.
“We’ve been up against teams that are bigger than us,” Siegert said. “We’re used to that, and we don’t use that as an excuse either.”
“They’re senior dominated, and they’re strong, they’re athletic, they’re big, they’re fast, and they’ve got a lot of stuff going for them,” Siegert said of Black Hawk. “They’ve got a good running game, and they’ve got a passing attack if they need it too.”
The biggest problem for the Chieftains was their inability to put together any substantial scoring drive, due to losing three fumbles and throwing two interceptions.
The only score Potosi managed came late in the first quarter when Chase Kruser got around the right corner and raced 65 yards for a score. Brent Curtis added the two-point conversion run, making the score 16-8 in favor of the Warriors.
Black Hawk scored one more time in the second quarter, giving them a 24-8 advantage at halftime.
While the Chieftains ran 18 plays for 82 total yards in the first half, Black Hawk managed 188 yards on 34 plays.
The second half belonged to the host Warriors, who scored two touchdowns in the third quarter, followed by a safety and touchdown in the fourth.
A key moment occurred midway in the third quarter when a pass by Potosi quarterback Kyle Kaiser was intercepted by Black Hawk.
During the interception return, Kaiser attempted to make the tackle, and subsequently suffered a season-ending broken ankle.
To make matters worse, the interception was called back due to a pass interference call against Black Hawk.
Kaiser entered the game as the leading passer in the Six Rivers conference, throwing 12 touchdowns to two interceptions. He also had a completion percentage of around 80 percent through five games.
Coach Siegert again made it clear not to use Kaiser’s injury as an excuse for losing the game, but there was little doubt about the impact it had on his team.
“That kind of compounded some of those scores because as soon as that happened in the third quarter, that kind of really took the wind out of all our sails, including me, and I shouldn’t have let that happen,” Siegert said.
In Kaiser’s absence, Chase Kruser played the quarterback position, using a “wildcat” package the Chieftains had devised earlier in the year.
“Now we’re in full scramble mode to replace (Kaiser),” Siegert said. “He was off to a really phenomenal start too.”
Just who will end up replacing Kaiser for the rest of the season is yet to be seen, as the Chieftains are looking to collect one more conference win to ensure a spot in the playoffs.
Against Black Hawk, Potosi managed 114 yards rushing on 28 attempts, and was led by Chase Kruser, who finished with 58 yards on five carries, including a 65-yard TD run.
Through the air, Kaiser completed 4-of-14 passing attempts for 49 yards, while Kruser was his top target with two catches for 19 yards.
The Warriors finished the game with 316 yards rushing on 53 attempts, and completed 3-of-7 passing attempts for 62 yards.
The Chieftains (4-1, 5-1) will next play this Saturday at Highland (1-4, 2-4).
Black Hawk 46, Potosi 8
(from Saturday, Sept. 28)
Potosi 8 0 0 0 - 8
Black Hawk 16 8 14 8 - 46
BH - Tanner Sweeney, 10-yard run (Sweeney run)
BH - Jayden Rufenacht, 3-yard run (Seth Butler pass from Heath Butler)
P - Chase Kruser, 65-yard run (Brent Curtis run)
BH - Heath Butler, 24-yard run (Rufenacht run)
BH - Sweeney, 23-yard run (pass failed)
BH - Heath Butler, 6-yard run (Lovelace run)
BH - Safety
BH - Rufenacht, 5-yard run (kick failed)
First downs - P 4, BH 15. Rushing - P 28-114, BH 53-316. Passing yards - P 49, BH 62. Passes - P 4-14-2, BH 3-7-1. Fumbles-lost - P 5-3, BH 2-1. Penalties-yards - P 7-50, BH 6-50.
Rushing - P: Chase Kruser 5-58; BH: Tanner Sweeney 22-132. Passing - P: Kyle Kaiser 4-14-0, 49; BH: Heath Butler 3-7-0, 62. Receiving - P: Chase Kruser 2-19; BH: Tyler Peterson 1-38.