#1 ranked Warriors come alive in the second quarter to bury Goodhue
By Dugan Thomas
West Spier gets to Goodhue quarterback Tyler Schumacher before he can get the ball away Friday night.
CALEDONIA, MN - 09/13/13
The first Associated Press Minnesota Class AA high school football poll of the season came out this past week, and to nobody's surprise, the Caledonia Warriors were voted to the top at #1. The Goodhue Wildcats didn't think too much of the polls, because they were looking to take out #1, and they brought their A-game.
Goodhue held Caledonia to 9 total yards of offense in the first quarter. That's right 9...and put up 8 points on the Warriors as well, as Garett Huemann scored a 2-yard rushing touchdown with 2:52 left in the first quarter to stun the Warriors and their Homecoming crowd.
Ryan Pitts made sure that the Wildcats momentum wouldn't carry over to the second quarter, as he took a handoff and broke two tackles at the line of scrimmage, kicked it outside and was off to the races. He broke another last ditch tackle attempt at the 10-yard line, and waltzed into the end zone to bring the Warriors within 8-6.
Goodhue was four plays and out on the next drive, and Caledonia's offense kicked into overdrive. A long pass play to Sean Connor down the near sideline set up a perfectly drawn-up Carl Fruechte pass play. They slipped Ryan Pitts out on a one-receiver set and totally surprised the Wildcats. There's no way Goodhue would be able to cover Pitts in single coverage, as he flew right by his defender to catch a perfectly placed Mason DeMorett pass for a 36-yard touchdown reception to make it 13-8 Warriors.
Sam Schulte wasted no time in getting the ball back, as he intercepted Goodhue quarterback Tyler Schumacher at the Wildcat's own 20-yard line. A few plays later Austin Bauer saw his first action of the game at quarterback, and raced into the end zone from 4-yards out to make it 20-8 Warriors with 4:30 left in the second quarter.
The great first quarter by the Wildcats turned into a horror story in the second, as Goodhue fumbled it's very first play after the kickoff. West Spier recovered the fumble for the Warriors at the Wildcat's 25-yard line, and Caledonia was in business again.
A few plays later Ryan Pitts took the handoff at the 5-yard line, and raced untouched into the end zone to put an exclamation point on the Warriors second quarter assault. 27 unanswered points by Caledonia quickly turned the tide, and the Wildcats went to halftime trailing 27-8.
Caledonia's momentum carried over into the third quarter as the Warriors received the second-half kickoff, and got great field position all the way out to their own 40-yard line. Ryan Pitts stunned the Wildcats again a play later, taking a fullback lead handoff, cutting it backside, and out-sprinting the Wildcats for a 45-yard touchdown scamper to make it 37-8 Warriors.
Caledonia quickly started to substitute in it's second-team players, and were able to keep the third and fourth quarters moving at a decent pace. Goodhue put a nice drive together, and drove all the way down inside the Warriors 20-yard line, but the Wildcats fumbled at the 4-yard line and Mitchell Schmitz recovered for Caledonia.
The Warriors then started to grind out the clock on the ground, and the second-team unit put on a really impressive display. Behind the blocking of Hoscheit, Privet, Schieber, Mauss, and Skauge, Caledonia's running backs found their groove. Fullback Eli Craig led the charge, with Hunter Hauser-Caldwell and Devan Heaney taking turns running through the Wildcat's defense.
Heaney found a huge hole up the middle, and with 3:06 left in the fourth quarter he weaved through Goodhue's linebackers for a pretty 64-yard touchdown run to put a commanding 40-8 lead on the board. The Warriors closed it out with a fumble recovery on the Wildcat's last drive, and were able to run out the clock the rest of the way.
Caledonia might have underestimated Goodhue in the first quarter, but they made up for it in the second, as they showed why they are ranked #1 in the Class AA polls. The depth and talent on this team is reminiscent of the former state title squads, and it's looking pretty good after only three games. I can't wait to see how the rest of the season unfolds.
Next up for the (3-0) Warriors is a long road trip to Adams, Minnesota, to play the (1-3) Southland Rebels. The game is next Friday night, September 20th, starting at 7:00 PM.
Ryan Pitts led the offensive attack with 148 yards rushing on only 10 carries with three rushing touchdowns. He added two catches for 48 yards and another score. When Caledonia needed a pick-me-up, it was Pitts, and he was absolutely outstanding.
Mason DeMorett continues to lead this team impressively every game. He didn't have to throw much this game, but he has great touch on the ball, and the fade to Pitts couldn't have been thrown any better. I like the command he has at the line of scrimmage, and you can see his confidence growing every game.
Quite a few comments on the sidelines about the offensive line play Friday night. Brody Holter is really road-grading the holes up the middle, and it's really impressive the amount of players that rotate through without missing a beat. Hunter Hoscheit is an impressive looking lineman I kept noticing manhandling his opponent, and as only a sophomore, that kid has a bright future ahead of him. Also wanted to mention the play of Dannie Dunbar as the lead fullback, Ryan Pitts keys most of his runs off Dunbar's blocks, and he provides DeMorett great protection when he's in the pocket.
I don't know what happened at the high school Friday afternoon, but it sounded like one bad homecoming skit gone wrong. Alex Goetzinger had eight stitches put into his chin at the Caledonia Clinic, and after the pounding of the game, the stitches worked loose under his chin strap. Head Coach Brent Schroeder joked, "take a picture of that!"....not the kind of picture the football fans were looking for Brent!
It was nice to see the recent Caledonia Football alumni show up on the sidelines for the homecoming game. Travis Frank and Teddy Barthel are playing football for RCTC this year, and Alex Varney is helping out the Caledonia football program with plans to play in college next year. Also, running back Connor McCormick has 84 rushing yards through two games for St.Olaf College this year.
Southern Football Alliance - Blue
Caledonia 0 27 7 6 - 40
Goodhue 8 0 0 0 - 8
First quarter: G-Garett Huemann 2 run (Logan Breuer pass from Schumacher).
Second quarter: C-Ryan Pitts 64 run (pass failed); C-Pitts 36 pass from Mason DeMorett (Ashbacher kick); C-Austin Bauer 4 run (Ashbacher kick); C-Pitts 5 run (Ashbacher kick).
Third quarter: C-Pitts 45 run (Ashbacher kick).
Fourth quarter: C-Devan Heaney 64 run (kick failed).
Rushing: G-Wilson Jonas 2-40, Garett Huemann 12-49; C-Pitts 10-148, Devan Heaney 2-72, Sam Schulte 9-51.
Passing: G-Schumacher 7-20-1-63, Jacob Pasch 1-3-0-3; C-DeMorett 4-12-1-75.
Receiving: G-Alex Thomforde 7-63, Schumacher 1-3; C-Pitts 2-48, Sean Connor 1-22.
Total Yards: G: 127-66-193; C: 363-75-438.
Fumbles-lost: G-4-3; C-3-1.