Buhler bowls over Ulysses
By KEVIN THOMPSON
ULYSSES — On paper, the Class 4A bi-district football game between Buhler and Ulysses seemed like it should have been closer.
But games are played on the field, not paper, and the visiting Crusaders flexed their gridiron muscles, easily defeating Ulysses 28-7 Tuesday night to end the Tigers' season.
Buhler used an impressive running game to tame the Tigers, racking up 359 yards on 52 carries, including 217 in the first half on way to a 14-0 lead at the break.
Ulysses cut the lead in half when Ian Rudzik capped a nine-play, 61-yard drive with a 2-yard run with 3:05 to play in the third quarter.
But Buhler countered with a 17-play, 80-yard drive that sucked nearly seven minutes off the clock.
The Crusaders scored once more on the one pass completed by Luke Berblinger on the night after Ulysses turned the ball over on downs.
Buhler (7-3) played steady all night.
In the first half, the Crusaders' Riley Allen showed why he has been a threat all season, rushing for a touchdown in each of the first two quarters and finishing the half with 173 yards on just 12 carries.
Ulysses, on the other hand, had just 131 total yards in that critical first half on 34 plays.
Rudzik and Armando Sandoval were held to 68 rushing yards in the first half.
Two long sustained drives took the Tigers deep into Crusader territory in the first half, but Buhler stopped them both times.
Allen answered the first drive with a 35-yard touchdown run, then scored a second time from 3 yards out midway into the second quarter.
Tigers coach Jason Kenny said it was going to take a tough team to beat his team this night, and Buhler proved ready for the task, especially to start the game.
"We got in the red zone and didn't get any points out of either one of them, and that definitely hurt us. I felt like it should have been 14-14 at halftime, but it wasn't," he said.
Things looked much better after the third-quarter score, Kenny said, until the Crusaders answered right back.
"If we could have got a stop there, I would have liked to have seen what we could have done," he said. "But (Buhler's) been a battle-tested team all year, too. Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to a team like that."
The Tigers (6-4) were led by Rudzik's 101 yards on 22 carries.
"I was proud of our kids. They played hard. We had a couple opportunities the second half, but it just didn't happen tonight," Kenny said. "And I'm proud of the season we had."
Buhler 0 14 0 14 — 28
Ulysses 0 0 7 0 — 7
B — Allen 35 run (Perry kick)
B — Allen 3 run (Perry kick) 6:43
U — Rudzik 2 run (Mendez kick) 3:05
B — Berblinger 3 run (Perry kick) 8:16
B — Berblinger 9 pass to Perry (Perry kick) 1:46
First downs 14 13
Rushing 52-359 42-119
Passing 1-6-9 9-18-68
Total yards 368 181
Penalties 6-70 2-20
RUSHING — Buhler: Allen 36-279, Gehring 6-44, Perry 3-25, Berblinger 7-11; Ulysses: Rudzik 22-101, Sandoval 8-18, Meierhoff 12-0.
PASSING — Buhler: Berblinger 1-6-9; Ulysses: Meierhoff 6-14-49.
RECEIVING — Buhler: Perry 1-9; Ulysses: Stringham 3-37, Annis 3-13.