Bloomfield wins battle of undefeated teams
RANDOLPH — Mother Nature and injuries combined to put a bit of a damper on a battle of undefeated teams in D2-3 district play here Thursday night.
Class D No. 5 Bloomfield improved to 6-0 on the season with a 30-12 victory over the No. 8 Cardinals, but the biggest storyline may have been injuries to top running backs for both teams on a soggy night that saw persistent rain most of the game.
“It was an important one for us to get,” Bloomfield coach Matt Kuchar said. “With them coming in 5-0, we knew it was going to be a big one.”
Noah Scott, the leading rusher for Randolph this season, went out late in the first half with a lower leg injury. Will Fehringer, who had a team-best 122 yards for Bloomfield on Thursday, was carted off the field following his 18th carry late in the fourth quarter.
The Bees took control with touchdowns on back-to-back drives to end the first half, starting with a 12-play march through the muck, capped with quarterback Braden Eisenhauer sneaking behind 240-pound center Daniel Bruegman for a score. Eisenhauer ran just 10 times, but amassed 93 yards on the night, including runs of 28, 34 and 30 yards in the first half.
“We don’t want to go and have too many touches on our quarterback, but we like to let him go and get loose, too,” Kuchar said. “He’s got that will to win.”
After a Randolph three-and-out, Bloomfield was on the move again, sparked by a 30-yard run by Eisenhauer down to the Cardinals’ 2. On the next play, Brantson Gieselman took a quick toss from Eisenhauer to paydirt, the second of three touchdowns on the night by Gieselman.
“Our problem wasn’t our defense,” Randolph coach Mark Lech said. “What we’re going to take out of tonight is how can we keep the ball. We’ve got to have a better offense so we don’t get pounded on and maybe take it to them a little bit.”
Randolph got going in the third quarter, thanks in part to Bloomfield miscues. A bobbled punt led to the Cardinals taking over at the 4, and Justin Haselhorst — Scott’s backup — sprinted around the left side to put the Cardinals within two touchdowns. Bloomfield answered with a 12-play, 55-yard drive capped by Gieselman’s third touchdown.
Three players rushed for more than 90 yards each for Bloomfield, including Gieselman’s 19 carries for 95 yards. As a team, the Bees rolled up 342 rushing yards on 57 carries despite attempting just one pass — an incompletion.
“I don’t know if it’s dreary and rainy and that, but we played like that (the weather) the first series, and then they started to go and really get after it,” Bloomfield coach Matt Kuchar said.
For what the Bees did on offense, what they did defensively was even more impressive. They limited the Cardinals to 78 rushing yards on 29 carries and 5 of 18 passing for 40 yards. Of those 118 total yards, 59 came on a 16-play scoring drive in the fourth quarter.
It doesn’t get any easier for Randolph, which plays No. 10 Allen next week.
“We’re going to be playing this same type of team next week,” Lech said. “Allen runs the same kind of offense. They have a huge running back, so basically, we have to figure out how to fix what we did tonight.”
Bloomfield 8 14 8 0 — 30
Randolph 0 0 6 6 — 12
BLM: Brantson Gieselman 3 run, Braden Eisenhauer run, 3:32.
BLM: Eisenhauer 2 run, PAT failed, 5:11.
BLM: Gieselman 2 run, Will Fehringer run, 1:48.
RAN: Justin Haselhorst 4 run, PAT failed, 7:59.
BLM: Gieselman 1 run, Gieselman run, 2:10.
RAN: Carter Schnoor 5 run, PAT failed, 2:21.