By Cara L. Dempski
BOYCEVILLE — Boyceville looked like they were going to make their September 30 home game against Elk Mound a great football contest.
Despite allowing the Mounders to score on a long 56-yard pass play from Dane Lew to Noah Zurbuchen on the first offensive play of last Friday’s contest, the Bulldogs were able to quickly turn the tables when Boyceville’s Bryce Boda scooped up Hunter Adleman’s fumble on a fourth-down punt and turned it into six points as he raced in from the Mounders’ 10 to score almost before the Mounders realized Boda had the ball.
After two more scoring drives, one by each team, the clock wound down on the first quarter with Elk Mound holding a slim, 13-12 lead.
Unfortunately, Boyceville would not score another point while the Mounders scored three more times to win the game 33-12. The loss was the Bulldogs, now 2-5 overall, fourth straight conference loss in as many games.
Boyceville head coach Brian Roemhild said he was pleased by the team’s effort, which included 92 passing yards and 61 rushing. Defensively, the Bulldogs held the Mounders to only 284 yards rushing after the team rushed for 611 yards just two weeks ago.
“This is the kind of team we thought we had from the beginning, it’s just taken us a while to get it out of them,” he said.
He explained the team has been working on getting down the field to get the ball and make things happen, which is how the Bulldogs wound up with their first touchdown. Roemhild stated Adleman is a good returner, but he was pleased with the hit that caused Adleman’s fumble and shifted the momentum to Boyceville for the rest of the quarter.
The Mounders were able to put together a score on the possession immediately following Boda’s touchdown, with Noah Zurbuchen running the ball 30 yards to hit paydirt and lift Elk Mound to 13-6 after a successful PAT.
Four minutes later, Boyceville struck again when quarterback Bryce Boda found Gavin Olson on a 16-yard pass play for another six points. The two-point conversion failed, and the score became 13-12 with 4:14 left to go in the first.
The Bulldogs put a stop on the Mounders at their own 11-yard line on a fourth-and-goal play to take over on downs. Two plays later, Hunter Lipke fumbled the ball at the Boyceville 15 and the Mounders recovered it.
Senior quarterback Dane Lew connected with Chandler Schreiber on a 17-yard pass for the TD, and then sent the ball right down the middle of the goalposts for the point after to make the score 20-12 with 11:11 to go for the first half.
Ten minutes later, Lew handed the ball off to fellow senior Hunter Adleman, who punched through the center of a pack of Bulldog defenders to run 15 yards to the goal line. Lew was successful with another kick, and the last 1:07 of the half ticked away with Elk Mound leading 27-12.
The only other touchdown in the game came at 8:01 in the third when Lew flipped handed the ball off to Noah Zurbuchen, who pushed himself and a host of Bulldog defenders over the goal line to strike gold once more. Lew missed the extra point kick, and the score became 33-12.
The Bulldogs would threaten several times throughout the rest of the game, but could not complete a scoring drive.
To their credit, the Bulldogs did put a big stop on Elk Mound when the Mounders drove down to the Boyceville one-yard line on a series of long sprints by junior running back Chris Lee. Despite three tries, the Mounders were not able to puncture the Bulldog defense for the score, and Boyceville took over on downs.
Overall, Roemhild saw a lot of good from his team in the game.
“People are getting a lot of big plays on us right now, but it’s good to see our kids get fired up,” he said.
Roemhild admitted his team played a better first half than second half. He said the team needs to play all four quarters, and that is not happening yet.
The Bulldogs have two games left in the regular season. They travel to Colfax to take on the 0-4 Vikings October 7, and then finish the season at home against Mondovi October 14.
ELK MOUND 33, BOYCEVILLE 12
Elk Mound……………..13 14 6 0 — 33
Boyceville………………12 0 0 0 — 12
First Quarter: EM — N. Zurbuchen 56 pass from D. Lew (D. Lew kick), 11:59; B — B. Boda 10 fumble recovery (conversion fail), 8:44; EM — N. Zurbuchen 30 run (kick fail), 7:59; B — G. Olson 16 pass from B. Boda (conversion fail), 4:14.
Second Quarter: EM — C. Schreiber 17 pass from D. Lew (D. Lew kick), 11:11; EM — H. Adleman 15 run (D. Lew kick), 1:07.
Third Quarter: EM — N. Zurbuchen 2 run (kick fail), 8:01.
Passing (att-comp-int-yds) — EM (9-4-0-93) — D. Lew 6-2-0-73, D. Black 3-2-0-20. B (23-9-1-92) — B. Boda 22-8-1-87, M. Kahl 1-1-0-5, unk 1.
Rushing (att-yds) — EM (40-284) — N. Zurbuchen 10-97, H. Adleman 10-86, C. Lee 4-38, B. Lambele 2-36, T. Sahm 8-26, B. Redwine 2-11, C. Schreiber 1-6, D. Black 1-(-1), D. Lew 1-(-1); B (28-61) — G. Olson 8-24, H. Lipke 9-23, B. Boda 7-11, M. Kahl 3-3.
Receiving (att-rec-yds) — EM (9-4-93) — N. Zurbuchen 2-1-56, C. Schreiber 4-3-37, B. Lambele 1-0-0, C. Lee 1-0-0; B (22-9-92) — M. Kahl 10-3-36, G. Olson 4-2-33, H. Lipke 2-2-14, B. Boda 1-1-5, C. Boesl 3-1-4, L. Knudtson 2-0-0.