Civic Memorial Eagles
BETHALTO – Triad’s rushing game outdid Civic Memorial’s passing game in a battle of high-powered offenses Friday night at Hauser Field.
The Knights scooted past the Eagles, 41-29 in the Mississippi Valley Conference football opener for both teams. Triad, rambling for 450 yards, improved to 4-0. CM, which passed for 265 yards, dropped to 2-2.
“That’s Triad football,” Knights’ coach Paul Bassler said of the team’s diversified running game. “It was a labor because we beat a good team that is talented and explosive. They can strike quickly on you, so I never felt comfortable. They are so dangerous.”
Running backs Adam Nelson (20 carries for 141 yards) and Josiah Pottorff (eight attempts for 125 yards), plus quarterback Alex Crehan (19 tries for 110 yards) directed the Knights.
And those three players combined for four of Triad’s five touchdowns. Offensive lineman Chris Zobrist got the other one when he recovered a Nelson fumble in the end zone. Teammate Dan Hilling added field goals of 42 and 34 yards, along with five PAT kicks.
CM quarterback Adam Hill completed 22 of 35 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns, including ones of 11 and 33 yards to Caleb Buhs. The Eagles led 21-17 at one point in the third quarter, but the Knights scored 24 consecutive points to put the game out of reach.
“At times, we played really well,” CM coach Justin Winslow said, “but we have to find a way to get the other team off the field. Triad runs the ball well on a lot of people. I’d like to see us become efficient at running the ball.”
The Eagles’ running game took a hit four minutes into the second quarter. Top back Zach Klocke suffered an injury to his right hand and he didn’t play the remainder of the game.
“We could have put him back in there, but we decided not to do that,” Winslow said, avoiding a risky move. “He could be back next week.”
Klocke rushed seven times for 45 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown in the first quarter. John Whitworth contributed a 20-yard TD with 1:02 to play. Devin Daniels booted three extra points, while Hill and Buhs hooked up for a conversion pass.
“Whitworth came in and did a great job,” Winslow added.
One third-quarter play might have steered momentum Triad’s way. The Eagles led 21-20 when they completed a pass inside their own 30. The ball came loose and a wild scramble ensued for possession.
The officials ruled that Triad recovered the ball at the CM 16. Four plays later, the Knights scored to forge ahead 24-21 with 1:28 remaining in the quarter. They never looked back in defeating the Eagles for the 12th time in the last 14 meetings.
“It was a big play,” Bassler said. “We just kept playing and hanging in there. We played hard and had to keep doing it. I’m so proud of our kids.”
Winslow said, “We thought the ball went out of bounds and it still would have been our ball. It’s just one of those things, but it was a turning point in the game.”
Brett Lane, Brenden Ricci and Buhs combined to snare 17 of Hill’s passes, covering more than 200 yards. Ricci’s five receptions came in the second half. Buhs caught one touchdown pass in each half. Lane snagged four passes in the first half and two in the second half.
Next up for the Eagles is a date with conference foe Waterloo. The Bulldogs are 4-0 after defeating Valley rival Mascoutah 20-14 in double overtime Friday. Highland walloped Jersey, 42-19, in another Valley contest.
“It’s going to be a slugfest in the conference every week,” Winslow said. “We just need to find a way to get to five or six wins.”
TRIAD 41, CM 29
Triad 0 17 10 14 – 41
CM 7 7 7 8 – 29
CM – Klocke 3 run (Daniels kick), 7:11
T – Zobrist recovered fumble in end zone (Hilling kick), 8:52
T – Pottorff 50 run (Hilling kick), 3:17
CM – Buhs 11 pass from Hill (Daniels kick), 1:00
T – FG Hilling 42, :0.1
CM – Buhs 33 pass from Hill (Daniels kick), 10:02
T – FG Hilling 34, 3:36
T – Nelson 1 run (Daniels kick), 1:28
T – Crehan 23 run (Hilling kick), 7:51
T – Crehan 1 run (Hilling kick), 4:50
CM – Whitworth 20 run (Buhs pass from Hill), 1:02