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By Laura Giammattei
BOYCEVILLE — A safety was all the Boyceville Bulldogs could scrape together against the Durand Panthers this past Friday, October 11 as they endured a 43-2 defeat at Boyceville High School’s Evenson Field to wrap up Dunn-St. Croix Conference football play.
“Durand has a good team,” Boyceville head coach Michael Roemhild said. “I thought we had a great week of practice, but Durand was just that much more physical than us.”
The Bulldogs finished 1-5 in conference action and are 1-7 overall.
The Panthers pounced early with a 45-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the game. They followed their first touchdown up with a flurry of three more in the first quarter and two in the second to carry a commanding 43-0 lead at halftime.
The Bulldogs would not be silenced this time, however, as senior quarterback Connor Sempf connected with Jacob Granley on a deep pass to set them up on Durand’s eight yard line. After the Panthers held the Bulldogs at bay, forcing a turnover at the three yard line, Boyceville’s Nathan Stuart came up with a big tackle on a Durand running back to give the Bulldogs their only two points of the game at 6:58 of the third quarter.
Despite the loss, Boyceville had a much more successful night on offense in comparison to previous weeks, tallying 194 yards, 129 in the air courtesy of Connor Sempf. Sempf connected with Brendan Sempf four times for 72 yards, including a 38-yard catch, and Jacob Granley on four passes for 57 yards, one good for 45 yards to set the Bulldogs up for their eventual safety.
Last week against the conference-leading Mondovi Buffaloes, the Bulldogs fell just shy of 100 offensive yards and the week prior mustered just 49 yards against Spring Valley.
“We know we are a young team still working on understanding football,” Roemhild remarked. “But the one thing we have been talking about the past three weeks is that we are not going to make excuses … we need to hold each other accountable as players and as coaches.”
The Bulldogs have exhausted their home field advantage this season, and they wrap up 2019 play this Friday, October 18 against the Hornets (3-5) at Cadott High School.
“We have one week left of the season,” Roemhild said. “We need to find some sort of rhythm on offense and we need to bring intensity on defense. If we don’t do those things, it will be another long night of football. I am hoping for a prepared team that wants to end its season on a high note and get excited for next season.”