The Baldwin-Woodville football team tied twice, but never lead against Altoona Sept. 10, falling 30-21.
“We moved the ball most of the game,” said B-W coach Dan Keefer. “Our offensive line is improving. Offensively, we turned the ball over three times, and we had some opportunities for big plays that we couldn’t take advantage of.
“Defensively, I thought our kids played hard, but again we made too many mistakes. We lacked discipline.”
The Railroaders jumped out to a 15-0 lead, but two touchdowns by Keegan Ofstie tied the game at halftime.
Jackson Berg scored the game’s only touchdown in the third quarter on a two-yard dive for Altoona. Colin Boyarski then scored the game-winner for Altoona midway through the fourth on a 30-yard run. He finished with 148 yards rushing and two touchdowns. As a team, Altoona finished with 306 yards rushing.
“Jackson Johansen is showing continued growth at linebacker which is a positive,” Keefer said.
There were a couple defensive highlights as the Blackhawks intercepted Ben Kuenkel three times thanks to Ofstie, Sam Hush and Masen Werner. Ofstie also led the team with 10 total tackles.
Ofstie cracked the 100-yard mark rushing for the second time this season with 124 yards rushing. Besides him, the running game suffered finishing with 19 rushes for 66 yards.
Wyatt Larson completed only eight passes for 85 yards. He had a touchdown, an eight-yard reception to Werner in the fourth quarter, and an interception.
“I liked the response we had after digging ourselves into a 15-point deficit after the first four offensive snaps,” Keefer said. “We fought our way back and certainly could have won the game, but we couldn’t make enough plays when we needed to.”
The Blackhawks fell to 2-2 overall. Osceola (4-0) comes to King Field 7 p.m. Friday. The Chieftains in its last two games against Amery and St. Croix Central, have outscored the pair 81-7.
Nothing went right against Ellsworth
On Ellsworth’s first possession against Baldwin-Woodville, they went nine plays and had fourth-and-goal at the B-W three-yard line.
Given the opportunity to make a stop, to turn the momentum, the Blackhawk defense was unable to as Ashten Quade scored the game’s first touchdown.
That one play was one of many to illustrate it wasn’t Baldwin-Woodville’s night as Ellsworth routed the Blackhawks 58-7 Sept. 3.
“We did not play anywhere near what we are capable of playing like,” explained B-W coach Dan Keefer. “Ellsworth is a very good team, but we completely lost sight of our fundamentals Friday night. I felt like we had a few things go wrong early and things snowballed.”
On the ensuing possession after the Quade touchdown, B-W dropped a third down pass which would’ve resulted in a first down.
The Panthers scored two touchdowns in a two-minute span late in the first quarter, stretching its lead to 22-0. The lead eventually became 36-0 at halftime.
“I felt like during weeks one and two, we were the ‘hammer’, not the ‘nail’, we were a confident aggressive team,” Keefer said. “We were neither confident nor aggressive versus Ellsworth. I expected a tight four quarter game and that didn’t materialize.”
With the game no longer in doubt, Keefer said, the junior varsity got some valuable experience in the second half.
“I thought our junior varsity offensive line showed promise and Ryan Veenendall ran the ball very well in the fourth quarter,” he said.
Veenendall scored B-W’s only touchdown with four minutes, 10 seconds left in the game. He led the B-W rushing attack with 35 yards rushing. Overall, they finished with 96 yards rushing.
Meanwhile, Ellsworth finished with 264 yards rushing on the ground. Max Grand had 130 of them and a touchdown. Quade added one more touchdown on the ground. Jackson Turner and Tyler Boley scored the other Ellsworth rushing touchdowns.
Jack Janke completed only two passes, but both went for touchdowns and both went to Quade. The B-W passing game struggled. Wyatt Larson threw for only 38 yards and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Cal Smith and Jackson Johansen led the team in tackles with six.
“We are a young team and I know we will learn from this experience,” Keefer said. “We have a lot to prove and I am confidence we will be a different team when we take the field at Altoona. A great lesson we hope to learn is that our response to the event determines the outcome.”