The Baldwin-Woodville football team made a triumphant return to King Field after a month away, much to the delight of its homecoming spectators Friday night. The Blackhawks (4-1, 3-0 MBC) defeated Middle Border Conference rival Osceola, 35-7, in a dominant come-from-behind win to remain the only MBC team without a conference loss.
“Our kids were really excited to play and we had our most complete performance to date,” said B-W Coach Dan Keefer. “Osceola is a physical team that really comes off the ball, but our defensive line and linebackers were up to the challenge.”
Osceola (2-3, 1-2 MBC) took the early lead on a 53-yard touchdown run by Matthew Germain with 2:25 left in the first quarter. That single run accounted for more than a third of the Chieftains’ total yardage for the night.
The Chieftains were able to hold on to the lead until the final 32 seconds of the first half when BW quarterback Ross Roemhild completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Zach Nilssen.
The Blackhawks tacked on two more touchdowns in the third quarter, including a 47-yard TD run by Isaiah Randall, and made good on both two-point conversions.
Then Roemhild closed out the scoring in the final four minutes with a 4-yard touchdown run, followed by a successful Jake Maurer extra point kick. The touchdown was Roemhild’s second on the ground as he also scored the team’s first TD from one yard out.
“We have really good depth on our time, and that was one of the keys to our success,” Keefer said. “It was a warm, muggy night, and if you can rotate players, they obviously will stay more fresh.”
B-W used eight different ball carriers, seven different receivers and two different passers to get the job done, completing 12 of 17 passes for 151 yards and running for 239 yards.
“Offensively, our line is progressing,” Keefer said. “We ran the ball effectively, especially in the second half. Thomas Albrightson leads that talented group and I really like their work ethic. Tyler Rudd is getting better every week and that is exciting.”
Randall finished with 137 yards on 10 carries while Roemhild tallied 57 yards on 17 rushes. Jake Lindquist tallied 24 yards on eight carries, including a 2-yard third quarter touchdown run.
“Randall ran with great vision and Ross Roemhild threw the ball to a number of different targets in addition to running the ball effectively himself. We are doing a good job of taking care of the football as we have had one turnover in our last four games combined. We had a 17-play drive in the first half that led to a TD. We need to practice well because when we do it shows on Friday nights.”
Austin Hanson racked up 51 yards on three pass receptions while Nilssen tallied 40 yards on three receptions. Roemhild completed 11 of 16 passes for 144 yards.
“Defensively, we were very physical, and we needed to be because Osceola brings it down hill,” Keefer said. “Dylan Hackner had his best game of the year and he really made an impact at DT. Our defensive end play from Thomas Albrightson and Tyler Rudd was outstanding. Jake Lindquist and Sam Crowley played very well at LB. The defense has been the backbone of our team all year.”
That backbone held Osceola to just 39 snaps for the game, three of which were punts and three were incomplete passes. The remaining 33 snaps resulted in 149 yards of rushing yardage.
Crowley and Lindquist led the Blackhawks in tackles, with eight each, and Crowley forced a fumble. Albrightson tallied seven tackles, including a sack and a forced fumble. Maurer also picked up a sack.
“On special teams, our kick off team did a great job of pinning Osceola deep in their territory,” Keefer said. “Maurer kicked the ball well and he also made his PAT attempt. Tanner Holldorf had a couple of really nice punt returns.”