By Steve Pilz For Zaleski Sports
SPENCER – The Spencer/Columbus Catholic Rockets took care of business in workman-like fashion Friday night at Spencer’s Ted Fritsch Field, downing the visiting Neillsville/Granton Warriors 29-0 on the strength of four rushing touchdowns.
The win pushes the Rockets over the .500 mark at 3-2, but at 3-1 in the Cloverbelt Conference, they remain in the hunt for a title with their next contest next Friday, Sept. 27, at home against Colby. The Hornets hold a share of the conference lead with Eau Claire Regis.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Rockets took over at their own 47 with just under 10 minutes to play in the first half.
Junior quarterback Gage Stratman rushed for 13 yards, Austin Bacon rushed for no gain, and Eden Jacobson ripped off a 28- yard run. acobson then ran for five yards and Bacon for two, before Jacobson crashed in from the 4 for a 6-0 Rockets’ lead, as the PAT run failed.
After Neillsville’s fourth punt of the night, the Rockets took over from their own 39. Stratman hit Bacon on an out pattern to the Warriors’ 47 for a first down. Jacobson did the rest on the next play, bolting off right tackle, all the way to the end zone. Stratman hit Bacon on the PAT and it was 14-0 going into the half.
“I felt that our defense was stellar tonight,” said S/C coach Jason Gorst, “and our special teams very good. Our offense has a few things to work on, but credit them (Neillsville/Granton) for that. I thought their defensive game plan was pretty sound.
“We needed to go a little deeper into our play book than we had earlier in the season. We did a couple different things in the passing game, ran some veer and even a little option. Like I said, they had a very good plan and they took away some of what we wanted to do.”
What the Warriors couldn’t take away was a pounding Rockets’ run game that ran 43 times for 230 yards. In fact, the Rockets out distanced the Warriors 331-88 overall.
The Rockets did show some versatility in the third quarter after taking over at their own 26.
Stratman hit Brett Kasch on third-and-13 from his own 23 for a 31-yard gain. Four plays later it was déjà vu all over again when Stratman hooked up with Kasch, again for 31 yards, this time on fourth-and-8. Four plays after that, Stratman carried out a perfect fake to Jacobson up the middle and walked into the end zone from four yards out and a 22-0 lead.
Stratman found pay dirt again to put the finishing touches on the victory when he scored from 12 yards away with 3:11 to play. Stratman finished with 41 rushing yards and 101 passing, while Jacobson led the Rockets in their rushing attack with 132 yards on just 12 carries.
Next Friday’s opponent seemed all too familiar for Gorst.
“Colby’s a very good football team,” Gorst concluded. “They have a very good running back, good linemen, a good QB and skill positions, with a very solid defense. We know we have our work cut out for us this week.”
Spencer/Columbus’ game against Colby will be broadcast on WOSQ-FM 92.3 and wdlbwosq.com, and live-streamed at zaleskisports.com/live-sports. MarshfieldAreaSports.com will also have full coverage from Fritsch Field.
Rockets 29, Warriors 0 Neillsville/Granton 0 0 0 0 – 0 Spencer/Columbus Catholic 0 14 8 7 – 29 Second Quarter S/C – Eden Jacobson 4 run (run failed), 7:04. S/C – Jacobson 47 run (Austin Bacon pass from Gage Stratman), 4:09. Third Quarter S/C – Stratman 4 run (Bacon pass from Stratman), 1:52. Fourth Quarter S/C – Stratman 12 run (Ty McDonald kick), 3:11. Team Statistics First downs: N/G 6; S/C 14. Rushing (att.-yards): N/G 35-86; S/C 43-230. Passing (comp.-att.-yards- int.): N/G 1-5-2-1; S/C 5-9-101-1. Total yards: N/G 88; S/C 331. Fumbles (total-lost): N/G 1-1; S/C 0-0. Penalties (total-yards): N/G 1-5; S/C 3-20. Individual Statistics Rushing: N/G, Jonah Zoschke 17-51, Monte Diestler 2-21, Dante Erickson 6-16, Thomas Friemoth 2-9. S/C, Jacobson 12-132, Stratman 11-41, Hayden Bauman 7-35, Bacon 11-19. Passing: N/G, Diestler 1-3-2-0, Braden Trunkel 0-2-0-1. S/C, Stratman 5-9-101-1. Receiving: N/G, Zoschke 1-2. S/C, Brett Kasch 2-62, Bacon 2-37, Jacobson 1-2. Records: N/G 2-3, 1-3 Cloverbelt Conference; S/C 3-2, 3-1 Cloverbelt Conference.