Comeback comes too late for ’Rocks, Lakeview moves to 3-0
West Point-Beemer controlled both sides of the line, blocked two punts, converted a Hail Mary and handed Scotus a second straight defeat at Pawnee Park Memorial Stadium on Friday night in 35-28 win over the Shamrocks.
Almost nothing went right for Scotus on a night the program celebrated the 25th anniversary of its 1993 state championship team and honored the memory of legendary head coach Jim Puetz. Puetz.
Puetz, who patrolled the sidelines at SCC for 31 years, won 235 games in a 35-year football career and coached the Shamrocks to two state titles, would have had trouble recognizing his former team on Friday night, at least in the first half.
Scotus failed to gain a first down until the final minutes of the game, managed just 12 yards in the first half, gave up long touchdown plays of 25, 48 and 44 and showed little emotion along the way.
Still, thanks to three touchdowns by Tyler Palmer and a touchdown catch from Dalton Borchers, the Shamrocks found themselves in the game with just over two minutes remaining.
Palmer intercepted a pass and returned it 58 yards for a score early in the second quarter, dashed around the left side for another 58-yard score at the start of the fourth quarter then went 66 on the next possession to give his team a peak at a possible comeback.
Borchers 22-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Caden Pelan on the next drive suddenly had the impossible seeming more likely.
It took a pass deflection in the end zone on the final play of the game to deny Scotus the heroic finish.
The Cadet’s advantage up front was evident right away when they took the opening kickoff and drove 10 plays for a touchdown capped by a seven-yard run from Blake Anderson.
The lead became 14-0 on the next West Point-Beemer possession thanks to a blocked punt after the defense forced Scotus off the field on a three-and-out.
Palmer’s pick-six came on the next possession, but the Cadets responded with a 60-yard drive in 11 plays capped by quarterback Jesus Barragan’s 25-yard scamper to the end zone.
The Shamrocks finally forced a punt and had 2:52 to work with before halftime to try and build some positive vibes for the second half but suffered a fourth straight three-and-out then allowed a 48-yard touchdown pass from Anderson on the final play of the quarter.
The Scotus defensive backfield had a chance to make a play at the goal line but batted Anderson’s Hail Mary heave to the side instead of straight to the turf. There, waiting in prime position, was Ben Vander Griend.
Up 28-7 at the break, West Point-Beemer started the second half blocking another Scotus punt and building the lead to 35-7.
Palmer’s dash around the left side to start the fourth seemed like too little too late until he followed it up with a 66-yard score and Pelan found Borchers in the right corner of the north end zone.
The defense gave the ball back with a minute remaining, Pelan completed two long passes to Borchers and Palmer, Palmer executed the halfback pass to Borchers down to the Cadet 7-yard line but after an odd intentional grounding call on a spike, West Point-Beemer knocked Pelan’s pass away from Palmer steps past the goal line.
Lakeview 21, Boone Central/Newman Grove 13
The No. 6 Vikings improved to 3-0 on the season and earned the win over last season’s Class C-1 state runner-up thanks to another suffocating defensive performance.
“We put our defense in a bind a few times. The best thing our offense did tonight was take care of the ball. Being plus-two in the turnover battle was probably the determining factor tonight,” coach Kurt Frenzen said. “We got the one turnover from them and turned it into seven points. That was huge.”
In three games, Lakeview has allowed just 26 points and shut out its opponent in Week 1.
Friday, the Vikings took a 7-0 lead on a 33-yard touchdown run by Cadge Janssen, allowed a fourth-and-goal conversion from the 2 for a 7-7 tie but regained the lead when Lucas Thatcher went 90 yards on the ensuing kickoff.
The first score came after an interception.
Thatcher’s run was one that may live on long after the senior graduates this spring.
“It was a huge play and a heck of a run. I can’t wait to see it on film,” Frenzen said. “I don’t know how many tackles he broke. It wasn’t just a kickoff return where he hit a seam and went untouched.
“We went down the right sideline, broke a few tackles back to the middle, broke another tackle then back to the right sideline and outran a couple guys, came over to the sideline, threw up, then went back in the game later on.
“Just a heck of an individual performance on his part.”
A 7-yard touchdown run by Jaden Johnson to cap a long drive with 1:26 left in the half made it 21-7 at the break. Lakeview went scoreless the rest of the way but allowed just six points to the Cardinals, denied a two-point conversion on the following play and hung on for the win.
“The guys were excited about getting a win at Boone because any win at Boone is a good one, but there’s a lot of room for improvement and a lot of things to clean up,” Frenzen said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. The good thing about it is we haven’t played our best football yet.
“Being 3-0 and saying you aren’t playing the best you possible can is exciting.”