Longhorns corralled by Beloit in 3A playoff test
By BRETT MARSHALL
BELOIT — There's nothing fancy about the double-wing offense that the Beloit Trojans employ week-in and week-out.
Nope, nothing fancy at all.
All it does is work, and work in a big, big way.
And for the 11th game of the 2012 season, that's just what happened here Saturday night as the Trojans rolled past the outmanned Holcomb Longhorns, 60-8, in a Class 3A regional contest at Trojan Stadium.
It would have been a tall task no matter what for the Longhorns, but they were missing junior wideout Heath Tucker, the team's fastest player, junior Corey Roth, an important cog on offense and defense all season, and senior Clay Gilbert played, but was hampered by a finger injury that will require surgery on Tuesday.
"They're big, physical and they have great size," Holcomb coach Jerry Johnson said of Beloit. "They're a complete team. Their wide receivers are big, they've got a quarterback who can throw and they take such long drives it just takes it out of you."
While the Trojans' stingy defense bottled up Holcomb quarterback Tyler LaSalle most of the game (3-of-17 passing for 74 yards, 11 rushes for a minus-1 yard), it was their grind-it-out offense that took an early and later toll on the Longhorns' defense.
The first half went something like this:
Beloit's opening drive of the game took 12 plays, moved 67 yards and consumed 3 minutes, 20 seconds. Touchdown on a 1-yard run by Stanton Krone, who eventually scored four touchdowns for the Trojans.
After holding the Longhorns' first possession, the Trojans went back to work, this time using 12 plays but stalling out at midfield when they went for it on 4th-and-11. It didn't seem to faze the Trojans in the least.
Holcomb had their best threat of the first half going, driving to the Beloit 21 when LaSalle was intercepted by Austin Budke at the 11, and the 6-foot-6 defender raced 89 yards unscathed for a TD. The Trojans got a 2-point conversion run by Krone and it was 14-0 just 25 seconds away from the end of the first period.
Beloit's defense continued to dominate in the second quarter while the offense continued its marathon ball possession.
They went 60 yards in 14 plays, taking just over five minutes to score when Krone again punched in from the 1-yard line. He would tack on a 7-yard scoring run just 1:22 before intermission and the Longhorns found themselves staring at a 28-0 deficit.
What adjustments Holcomb could make at halftime worked on the Longhorns' opening drive of the third quarter. They went 63 yards in 7 plays, taking just more than three minutes and was capped off by Aaron Hernandez' 12-yard scamper around left end. Blake Richmeier ran for the 2-point conversion, making it 28-8.
Once again, Beloit's double-wing offense went back to work. This drive was 15 plays, 4 minutes, 58 seconds and went 76 yards. Krone got his final TD on a 17-yard burst up the middle.
Beloit added insult to an already 36-8 lead by tacking on a Bowe Behymer 4-yard touchdown, a 14-yard pass from Payton Vetter to RJ Jackson and a 6-yard run by Tanner Niemczyk. Two point conversions were successful each time.
For Beloit coach Greg Koenig, it was another strong performance for what they hope will be a championship in three weeks.
"It's a good win for us, and gets us to the next round," Koenig said.
Johnson said it was tough going into the game without much of the speed and offensive firepower that had allowed them to win 9 of 10 games, falling only to unbeaten Scott City, 21-7.
"It makes for a long night," Johnson said. "We're hobbled, and on a night like this, we needed the speed to keep their defense honest. The kids played hard, and I've never had a group that was more fun to coach, worked harder. It's been a great season for us, and I couldn't be more proud of the way the kids played."
While Beloit moves on to the quarterfinals to face Sedgwick on Friday, the Longhorns end their season at 9-2.
Holcomb 0 0 8 0 -- 8
Beloit 14 14 16 16 -- 60
B--Stanton Krone 1 run (pass failed)
B--Austin Budke 89 pass interception return (Krone run)
B--Krone 1 run (Bowe Behymer run)
B--Krone 7 run (pass failed)
H--Aaron Hernandez 12 run (Blake Richmeier run)
B--Krone 17 run (Budke pass from Vetter)
B--Behymer 4 run (Budke pass from Vetter)
B--RJ Jackson 14 pass from Vetter (Krone run)
B--Tanner Niemczyk 6 run (Behymer run)
First downs 11 27
Rushes-yards 32-81 62-348
Passing yards 74 85
Com-Att-Int 3-17-1 5-7-0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 3-0
Penalties-yards 4-33 6-55
Punts-avg. 4-34.7 0-0.0
RUSHING--Holcomb: LaSalle 11-(-1), Hernandez 19-82, Richmeier 2-0; Beloit: Vetter 12-42, Niemczyk 9-45, Behymer 23-123, Krone 18-88.
PASSING--Holcomb: LaSalle 3-17-1--74; Beloit: Vetter 5-7-0--85.
RECEIVING--Holcomb: Cox 1-21, Mason 1-25, Gilbert 1-19; Beloit: Behymer 1-14, Budke 1-15, Niemczyk 2-42, Jackson 1-14.