By Marlys Kruger
COLFAX—The Boyceville football team showed everyone they are for real as they traveled to Colfax and trounced the Vikings 36-14 in the first conference game of the season for both teams August 31.
The Bulldogs took advantage of some Colfax mistakes and used the power running of Zach Klassen and Will Kraft to put the first points on the board midway through the first quarter.
After shutting down the Vikings offense on the opening drive, on fourth down the Colfax punter couldn’t hang on to the high snap and Josh Cormican broke through the line and fell on the ball at the Viking’s 15 yard line.
Klassen, Kraft and quarterback Matt Leach took a turn running with Leach picking up a first down at the four, and Kraft ran the ball twice, finishing things off with a two yard touchdown. Klassen ran in the two point conversion for an 8-0 Boyceville lead at the 7:43 mark of the first quarter.
Colfax took the ball on their next possession to the Bulldog’s 15 yard line on 10 plays but the defense stood tall and forced the Colfax runner to cough up the ball. Cormican, who appears to be a ball magnet, was there to pounce on it again to take possession for his team. Boyceville took over with 2:41 left in the quarter and went into the second stanza, controlling the line of scrimmage for 17 plays.
On a third and 20, Leach found Dominic Olson for a 35 yard pass completion to the Colfax 28 and Kraft, Leach and Klassen kept the ball on the ground with Kraft punching it in from four yards out. The conversion run was stopped but the Bulldogs had a 14-0 lead with 6:21 to go in the half.
Klassen came up big on the defensive side as he sacked the Colfax quarterback for an 11 yard loss, forcing another punt on their next possession and Boyceville added to their point total as Leach connected with Cormican for a 44 yard TD pass with 2:19 to go in the half. Leach then ran the ball in for two more points and a 22-0 Bulldog lead.
Boyceville had a momentary lapse in their defense as the Vikings scored on their second play after the kickoff return on a 43 yard TD pass from Dillon Lloyd to Nate Liebfried, but Liebfried got a little excited and waved the ball in the air before he reached the endzone.
The TD counted but a 15 yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct was tacked on to the kickoff after the extra point kick was missed. Boyceville took a 22-6 lead into the break.
“We came up with some big defensive plays in the first half and took advantage of it,” Boyceville coach Brian Roemhild said. “We had a short field to work with because of those plays and scoring early gave us some momentum.”
The momentum appeared to carry over into the second half as the Bulldogs took the kickoff and moved the ball down field, but two holding calls and a delay of game penalty stopped the drive on the Colfax 22. The Vikings took over but a tackle for a two yard loss by Cormican and an incomplete pass forced another punt, and just like last week against Flambeau, Klassen and Cormican broke through for another block with –you guessed it—Cormican landing on the ball on the Colfax 12 yard line.
The shell shocked Vikings seemed to just watch as Klassen ran through them for six points on first down and with Leach’s conversion run, Boyceville had a 30-6 lead with 3:37 to go in the third quarter.
Boyceville added their final points on Kraft’s third touchdown run of the night, this time from six yards out as the Bulldog line men were simply pushing their opponents out of the way to open holes for their runners.The drive went 44 yards as Leach completed a 16 yard pass to Kraft, but the next seven plays were running plays.
With a 36-6 lead and just over 10 minutes to play, plenty of back up players saw some action for the Bulldogs. Colfax put their final points up on a 55 yard run around the left side by Lloyd and added an extra point kick with 3:30 to go, and the offside kick attempt was covered by Brady Schutts of the Bulldogs, allowing them to run out the clock.
“The win was a total team effort,” Roemhild said
“Our offensive line blocked well for all of our runners. Our players are 100 % for each other and they don’t care who carries the ball. On defense, our linebackers stepped up and filled the holes which didn’t allow the Colfax runners to break any long runs. We wanted to keep their runners in front of us and we accomplished that. And our special teams came up big. Our assistant coaches Jamie Olson and Mike Roemhild have done a good job with them. Colfax is a good team and they will win some games. The Dunn-St. Croix Conference is very balanced and every game will be tough,” he added.
Boyceville finished with 307 total yards, 212 on the ground as Kraft ran for 95 yards on 21 carries and Klassen picked up 85 yards on 15 attempts. Leach completed 3 of 9 passes for 95 yards with one touchdown and one interception as Cormican, Olson and Kraft all snared one of his passes.
Boyceville hosts Mondovi this Friday while Colfax travels to St. Croix Central. Central, one of the favorites to win the D-SC lost to Elk Mound 35-0 in the conference opener for both teams.