Rout at L-O sets up SEC showdown
Tuesday, October 09, 2012 5:31 AM
It was Homecoming week in LeRoy-Ostrander with plenty of excitement heading into the Cardinals' gridiron date with the state-ranked No. 3 Spring Grove.
Caleb Happel avoids a tackle on this touchdown run at LeRoy-Ostrander. Harrison Speltz blocks at left.
Unfortunately for L-O, the visiting Lions proved all but unstoppable while running the football. Spring Grove scored on every possession except their first on Friday with drives of 11, 68, 58, 67, 40, 25, 46 and 65 yards plus a defensive touchdown. In fact, the offense was so potent that for the first time in 19 games, the Lions did not punt.
The kicking game set up several scores. After fumbling away their first opportunity at the L-O 36, the Lions took possession on the L-O 11 when senior fullback Josh Olerud blocked a Cardinal punt.
For L-O, three of four scores were ignited by kick returns. The Cards tied the score at 6-6 following a 39-yard kickoff return by junior Nate Bunne, moving an additional 38 yards on the possession with help of 20 penalty yards assessed to the visitors.
Trailing 50-6, L-O would score for the second time against the Spring Grove starters sparked by a kickoff return of 33 yards by senior Lucas Roe. Roe later kept the drive alive with a fake punt 11-yard run. Bunne's 51-yard kickoff runback to the Lion 23 set up the Cards' third touchdown.
The stunner of the game came when senior tight end Brandon Schuttemeier forced a fumble in the L-O backfield, which was returned 65 yards to the end zone by Alex Engelhardt. Engelhardt, a freshman end, also scored on a 35-yard pass from senior quarterback Blaine Storlie.
Storlie completed three passes to Engelhardt and a 17-yard toss to freshman Brady Schuttemeier down to the L-O eight. He was 4 for 5 in the air for 65 yards, a season-low total as the Lions were content to stay mostly on the ground.
Olerud carried 11 times for 99 yards and scored three times on runs of 4, 36 and 18 yards. Junior Caleb Happel ran 14 times for 83 yards including a 5-yard touchdown scamper plus a pair of point-after runs.
In limited-duty coming back from an injury, senior Spencer Dunn scored on a one-yard run while Matt Schleich ran for a 25-yard touchdown and a two-point conversion.
The final Lion score came on a third down quarterback sneak, which sophomore Keenan Siminski broke for a 55-yard sprint. Senior exchange-student Tanguy de Monval contributed to the total with 2 of 3 extra-point kicks.
Halfback Roe was the game's leading rusher carrying 19 times for 110 yards including 2 TD runs of 7 and 5 yards and an extra-point run.
Junior quarterback Nate Bunne scored on a four-yard run and caught a 7-yard TD pass from sophomore QB Jace Bunne.
Nate also passed to wide receiver Zach Royston for a two-point conversion.
Spring Grove came close to doubling the Cardinals yardage total (396-203). While the Lions stayed mainly on the ground, L-O was balanced with 100 rushing yards and 103 through the air. They floated 23 passes to three different players, completing 11.
Olerud led Spring Grove with 13 tackles (5 solo). The Schuttemeier brothers were each credited with 12 tackles while combining for two quarterback sacks. Happel was also in double digits with 10 stops.
With their fifth straight win in the series, Spring Grove improved to 6-0 (5-0 SEC) while L-O dipped to 2-4 (1-4 SEC). The Cardinals lead all-time against the Lions 12-6.
The Spring Grove win coupled with Grand Meadow's 42-6 rout of Lanesboro sets up this week's Southeast Conference showdown between both undefeated 6-0 teams. The SEC championship and the top section seed will be on the line in Spring Grove.
Southeast Conference 2012
FOOTBALL W L W L
Spring Grove* 5 - 0 6 - 0
Grand Meadow 5 - 0 6 - 0
Houston 3 - 2 3 - 3
Lanesboro 2 - 3 3 - 3
Mabel-Canton 2 - 3 2 - 4
LeRoy-Ostrander 1 - 4 2 - 4
Glenville-Emmons 1 - 4 1 - 5
Lyle/Pacelli 1 - 4 1 - 5
* defending champion