DARLINGTON – Friday night football in Darlington has officially begun.
The new lights at Martens Field were baptized in a heavy rain last Friday, and the Redbirds made sure to shine bright under those lights rushing for nearly 400 yards en route to 30-13 non-conference victory over New Glarus/Monticello on Aug. 28.
Junior Hunter Johnson ran for 179 yards and scored on a pair of 70-yard runs and a 42-yard run, while senior Conrad Blosch added 166 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Redbirds (2-0 overall).
Neither team scored in the opening quarter, but it appeared as if the Glarner Knights (0-2) would be the first on the scoreboard after Trey Taylor ripped off a 50-yard run to set the guests up at the Darlington 1-yard line. After stuffing a pair of quarterback sneaks at the goal line, the ‘Birds forced and recovered a fumble on third down to keep the score knotted at 0-0.
A short while later, Johnson weaved through the Knights’ defense for his first 70-yard TD of the night to put the Redbirds on top 6-0. The extra point attempt was blocked.
Taylor answered back for the Knights with a 68-yard TD run to tie the score, and the extra point kick put the guests ahead 7-6.
Blosch followed with a 15-yard TD run and punched in the conversion to put the Redbirds back on top 14-7 at the intermission.
In the third quarter, the Redbirds added a 25-yard field goal by Chad Golackson and Johnson’s 42-yard scoring jaunt to push their lead to 23-7.
An 87-yard TD scamper by Taylor cut the lead to 23-13 with 4:26 remaining in the fourth quarter, but moments later the Redbirds sealed their victory on Johnson’s second 70-yard score.
Taylor gained 260 of the Knights’ 337 rushing yards on his 21 carries, while Johnson and Blosch combined for 345 of Darlington’s 392 rushing yards.
The Knights fumbled 10 times in the rain and lost five of those over to the Redbirds, and their only pass attempt was intercepted by the ‘Birds. Darlington did not attempt a pass in the game.
The Redbirds open SWAL play on Friday, Sept. 4, when they travel to Muscoda to face the Riverdale Chieftains (1-1). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
New Glarus/Mont... 0 7 0 6 – 13
Darlington.............. 0 14 9 7 – 30
D – Hunter Johnson, 70 run (kick blocked)
NGM – Taylor, 68 run (kick good)
D – Conrad Blosch, 15 run (Chad Golackson kick)
D – Golackson, 25 FG
D – Johnson, 42 run (kick failed)
NGM – Taylor, 87 run (run failed)
D – Johnson, 70 run (Golackson kick)
Team Stats: First Downs– NGM 9; D 7. Rushing– NGM 48-337; D 41-392. Passing– NGM 0-1-1, 0; D 0-0-0, 0. Fumbles-Lost– NGM 10-5; D 7-2. Penalties– NGM 6-50, D 2-15.
Darlington: Rushing (Att-Yds-Td)– Hunter Johnson, 18-179-3; Conrad Blosch, 10-166-1. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Td-Yds)– Jared Meister, 0-0-0-0, 0. Receiving (Cat-Yds-Td)– None.