Caledonia dominates Dover-Eyota 45-0, next up Lewiston-Altura

By Dugan Thomas

Caledonia's Ryan Pitts skies off the edge to partially block a Dover-Eyota punt in the second-quarter Tuesday night.

CALEDONIA, MN - 10/22/2013

It's been a long time since the Caledonia football team lost in the Section 1-AA playoffs, and Tuesday night the Warriors kept that streak alive as they dominated Dover-Eyota 45-0.

The Eagles received the opening kickoff, and went three plays and out to start the game, punting it away with the Warriors gaining great field position.

Ryan Pitts wasted no time showing his first-class speed, as he took the Warriors first offensive play the distance for a 40-yard touchdown sprint.

Through the lens of my Canon camera, Ryan looked like a bullet shot through the barrel of a gun, as he hit the near sidelines and smoked past me on his way to the end zone. That play told the story of the night for the Caledonia offense, as they racked up 455 total-yards of offense to bury the Eagles.

The Warriors defense was equally impressive on the night, as they gave up less than 120 yards of offense for the sixth straight game, and only allowed Dover-Eyota 79 total-yards.

After another punt by the Eagles, Caledonia turned to Jacob Cuda this time, and he took one straight up the middle busting tackles along the way to get the Warriors into scoring position. A first-down pass to Sean Connor down the sidelines, and another run by Cuda landed them on the doorstep. Then Mason DeMorett finished the drive off with a 2-yard quarterback sneak touchdown to put Caledonia up quickly 14-0.

West Spier then started dominating the line of scrimmage for the Warriors as he blew-up a fourth-down pass play, and a series later sacked Dover-Eyota quarterback Owen Riley to put the Eagles on their heals once again.

The second quarter started with another Caledonia drive, and Jacob Cuda got the call again. The senior running back took a handoff up the middle and saw nothing but daylight. The hole was blown wide-open by the Warriors offensive line, and Cuda scooted in from 13-yards out to give Caledonia another touchdown and a 21-0 lead.

The Warriors special-teams unit got into the fray on the next punt, when Ryan Pitts took off like superman and partially blocked the kick. Sam Schulte came running up and returned it to the 33-yard line of Dover-Eyota to give Caledonia excellent field position again.

It didn't take long for them to capitalize, as they drove down and called Sean Connor's number. DeMorett threw a perfect pass in the corner of the end zone, and Connor came down with it. An easy pitch and catch 4-yard touchdown with the Mason Ashbacher extra-point making it 28-0 Warriors.

The halftime break didn't cool down the Warriors offense as they took the third-quarter by storm again. A long time consuming drive with runs by Hunter Hauser-Caldwell and Sam Schulte gashed the Eagles defense, and the DeMorett to Connor connection was on display once again.

Connor faked inside and ran a fade to the corner of the end zone, as DeMorett was money on his pass again for a 12-yard touchdown to give Caledonia a commanding 35-0 lead.

The Warriors even had time for a little field goal practice on the next drive to make it interesting. Ryan Pitts got the call and nailed his second attempt, as the first one missed with the Warriors picking up a personal-foul running into the kicker call. The 17-yard field goal added another three points to the tally, and it was 38-0.

The fourth-quarter saw a running clock with the Warriors big lead, but the Caledonia offense kept the chains moving. Devan Heaney wanted to put his own personal stamp on the game, and he delivered. Heaney took a handoff from Mitchell Schmitz left off-tackle and put on the moves. He made a stop-and-go cut making a defender miss, then had great blocking down-field from Tanner Gran and Colton Lampert. He broke it down the sidelines and sprinted into the end zone for a 36-yard touchdown to give the Warriors the final 45-0 score.

The shutout was Caledonia's fourth in the last five games, and the impressive win moved them to the second round of the Section 1-AA playoffs. They'll host another game Saturday night at Caledonia High School, taking on Lewiston-Altura at 7:00 PM. The Cardinals took down Hayfield 35-14 Tuesday night, and have a (6-3) record on the year.

Game Notes:

Warriors offensive stars of the game: There were plenty of offensive stars in this game, but we'll start with Jacob Cuda and his 109-yard rushing effort with a touchdown added in. That gives him 213 yards rushing and 4 TD's the last two games, a very impressive display by Jacob.

Ryan Pitts had that first-play rocket of a touchdown, and finished with 75-yards rushing on only four carries.

Mason DeMorett and Sean Connor connected on the two scoring strikes in the end zone, with DeMorett going 7-13 passing for 63 yards and 2 TD's through the air, another TD on the ground - and Connor grabbing 5 for 44 yards and 2 TD's. Looks like a pretty lethal scoring connection developing there, and a big boost when the Warriors get into the red-zone.

Devan Heaney was really impressive on his fourth-quarter 36-yard touchdown run. He's got the moves and he's got the wheels, next year after star tailback Ryan Pitts graduates, the sky is the limit for Devan.

Warriors defensive stars of the game: West Spier was constantly in the Dover-Eyota backfield terrorizing the quarterback. He finished with 5 tackles, a quarterback sack, and a forced fumble. This is the type of game I've been looking for from West Spier and he delivered big time.

Tanner Steele, Jacob Neilsen, and Shane Sheehan each registered a sack, and Coach Schroeder did a great job dialing-up the pressure and getting to the quarterback.

Mitchell Schmitz had 4 tackles and a fumble recovery, and Seth Twite and Evan Welscher each tallied 4 tackles as well.

Ryan Pitts skied off the edge to block a punt, and the Warriors defense blocked two fourth-quarter field-goal attempts to preserve the shutout.


Caledonia        14  14  10  7  -  45

Dover-Eyota     0    0    0   0  -   0

First quarter: C-Ryan Pitts 40 run (Mason Ashbacher kick); C-Mason DeMorett 2 run (Ashbacher kick).

Second quarter: C-Jacob Cuda 13 run (Ashbacher kick); C-Sean Connor 4 pass from DeMorett (Ashbacher kick).

Third quarter: C-Connor 12 pass from DeMorett (Ashbacher kick); C-Pitts 17 field goal.

Fourth quarter: C-Devan Heaney 36 run (Hunter Hoscheit kick).

Rushing: C-Cuda 12-109, Pitts 4-75, Heaney 7-62, Hunter Hauser-Caldwell 7-53; DE-Ryan Keach 4-44.

Passing: C-DeMorett 7-13-0-63, Austin Bauer 0-1-0-0; DE-Owen Riley 4-13-0-26.

Receiving: C-Connor 5-44, Sam Schulte 2-19; DE-Dakota Welsh 1-12, Michael Otomo 1-11.

Total yards: C: 392-63-455; DE: 53-26-79.

Fumbles-lost: C-5-3; DE-2-1.

Records: C 9-0; DE 0-9.