Caledonia rolls over Fillmore Central, moves to 5-0
By Dugan Thomas
A swarm of Caledonia defenders tackle Fillmore Central's quarterback Bryce Whitehill in the first quarter Friday night.
CALEDONIA, MN - 09/27/13
The Caledonia Warrior football team had another impressive showing Friday night at Caledonia High School, taking down Fillmore Central 42-0. The win moves the team to (5-0) on the year, and it showed the Warriors are firing on all cylinders, in true midseason form.
Caledonia got off to a fast start as Ryan Pitts had a nice kick return, and with only a minute off the clock they were up 7-0. A Pitts run, a Mason DeMorett pass to Jacob Cuda, a pass to Adam Buttell, and a 22-yard touchdown scoring strike to Sam Schulte put Fillmore Central on their heels.
The Falcons couldn't get anything going on their first possession, and it escalated when they had a botched punt snap and the Warriors took over on Fillmore Central's 30-yard line. A big 4th down pass from DeMorett to Alex Goetzinger across the middle kept the Warriors marching, but Fillmore Central picked off a pass intended for Sam Schulte in the end zone to keep it a one score game.
Caledonia's defense continued it's steady play, and forced the Falcons to punt again on their next possession. The Warriors didn't waste any time, as the DeMorett to Schulte show continued on the next offensive series. Schulte ran a shallow crossing route and DeMorett struck him in perfect stride, as he outraced his defender to the sidelines and almost to the end zone, getting knocked out at the 3-yard line. DeMorett plunged into the end zone on the next play, and with the Mason Ashbacher extra-point the Warriors were up 14-0.
After a few exchanged possessions, the stingy Caledonia defense came out in full force to limit the Falcons next few offensive series. A Shane Sheehan sack ended one drive, then Austin Bauer adding another highlight play of his own. A tipped pass was sent high in the air, and Bauer made an acrobatic catch to snatch it away and come down with another Fillmore Central turnover.
The Warriors offense couldn't get anything going in the second quarter, but the defense kept them in business. West Spier knifed through the backfield and immediately took down Falcons quarterback Bryce Whitehill for a big sack to bring up a 3rd and 15. Then Fillmore Central botched a handoff on the very next play and the Warriors pounced on it, recovering the ball at the Falcons 5-yard line.
Ryan Pitts capitalized on the next play, taking a pitch to the left, sticking his foot in the ground and cutting straight up the field and into the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown run. The Mason Ashbacher extra-point made it 21-0, and the Warriors had all the momentum.
Caledonia tried a surprise onside kick on the next kickoff, and it looked like the Warriors had it, but the ball squirted away and the Falcons recovered with great field position. It didn't matter though, as Ryan Pitts intercepted a Whitehill pass a few plays later, and the Warriors took over with just 1:09 left before the half.
The hurry-up offense mode took over for Caledonia, and Pitts made another nice run to get them into scoring position. DeMorett spiked the ball to stop the clock, then hit Adam Buttell on the next play down the seam in stride for a 25-yard touchdown reception to give the Warriors a commanding 28-0 lead before halftime.
The Falcons tried to get it going in the second half, but the Caledonia defense wouldn't give them anything. Adam Buttell made a big tackle in the backfield for a loss of yards, and forced a punt with Caledonia taking over at their own 25-yard line.
Then Ryan Pitts put on a show for the hometown crowd. He took a handoff to the right, used a stiff-arm to get the edge, and flashed his sprinter speed all the way down the sidelines for an incredible 75-yard touchdown run to put the game out of reach. The Ashbacher extra-point kick was good, and the score was 35-0 Warriors.
Hunter Hauser-Caldwell added an 8-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, and Jacob Winjum intercepted a pass to end the game to give Caledonia a 42-0 win, and move them to (5-0) on the year. Another impressive win by the #1 ranked Warriors, and definitely a team that's gaining confidence as it goes through league play in the new Southern Football Alliance Conference.
The Warriors travel to Rushford next Friday night for a big showdown against the (4-1) Trojans, game time is 7:00 PM. Rushford-Peterson lost it's first game of the season Friday night to Chatfield 24-7.
Warriors offensive stars of the game: Mason DeMorett was 10 of 20 passing for 207 yards and 2 touchdowns, all in the first half. Ryan Pitts had 13 carries for 153 yards with 2 touchdowns and 200 total all-purpose yards. Sam Schulte had two receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown. Adam Buttell had five receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown. Hunter Hauser-Caldwell had 9 carries for 25 yards and a touchdown, and Mason Ashbacher converted all six of his extra-point kicks.
Warriors defense: The defense was dominant again Friday night holding Fillmore Central to 90 total yards in the game, and forcing 5 turnovers. Austin Bauer, Ryan Pitts, and Jacob Winjum each had an interception, and Mitchell Schmitz and Blaine Knutson each recovered a fumble. Seth Twite, Shane Sheehan, and West Spier recorded a quarterback sack for the Warriors.
Warriors alumni spotlight: Travis Frank had 9 tackles to lead the RCTC Yellowjackets in a win against Central Lakes College - Brainerd. They moved to (5-0) on the year with a 31-7 win Saturday against Mesabi Range, and are ranked 19th in the nation.
Isaac Fruechte had 2 receptions for 29 yards against Iowa Saturday for the (4-1) Minnesota Gophers to open their Big Ten schedule. He now has 5 receptions for 68 yards on the year, good for fourth best on the team for the run-heavy Gophers squad.
Karl Klug made national headlines Sunday with a play he made for the Tennessee Titans. The New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith was trying to set up a screen pass when Karl shot the gap and blew up the play before it could develop. Klug picked up the sack, a forced fumble, the fumble recovery, and a touchdown as he recovered the ball in the end zone. Now maybe the national media members can pronounce his name correctly. Here's a link to the play if you haven't seen it already.
Southern Football Alliance - Blue
Fillmore Central 0 0 0 0 - 0
Caledonia 14 14 7 7 - 42
First quarter: C-Sam Schulte 22 pass from Mason DeMorett (Mason Ashbacher kick); C-DeMorett 3 run (Ashbacher kick).
Second quarter: C-Ryan Pitts 5 run (Ashbacher kick); C-Adam Buttell 25 pass from DeMorett (Ashbacher kick).
Third quarter: C-Pitts 75 run (Ashbacher kick).
Fourth quarter: C-Hunter Hauser-Caldwell 8 run (Ashbacher kick).
Rushing: FC-Tyson Ristau 9-28; C-Pitts 13-153.
Passing: FC-Bryce Whitehall 6-15-2-64, Trace Tollefson 0-1-1-0; C-DeMorett 10-20-1-207.
Receiving: FC-Logan Masters 3-55; C-Buttell 5-57, Schulte 2-92, Sean Connor 1-33.
Total yards: FC: 26-64-90; C: 162-207-370.
Fumbles-lost: FC-7-2; C-4-0.