Caledonia scores it's 30th straight win, dominates Southland 42-8

By Dugan Thomas

Adam Buttell sacks Southland quarterback Trent Reinartz Friday night causing a fumble that was recovered by Blake Mauss.

ADAMS, MN - 09/20/13

The #1 ranked Caledonia Warriors traveled through 70 miles of corn fields to play the Southland Rebels in Adams, Minnesota Friday night.

They left town not just with a dominant 42-8 win, but their 30th straight, dating back to the first game of the 2011 season. The Warriors currently have the longest active winning streak in the state, the next closest is the Mahnomen Indians at 18 games.

Caledonia's signature defense set the tone in the game by completely shutting down the Rebel's offense. This is the smothering defense the Warriors are known for, as they allowed only 1-yard of total offense in the first half.

That's right...1-yard. It doesn't get any more dominant than that.

Caledonia's Adam Buttell started it off with Southland's first possession, stepping in front of a Trent Reinartz pass for an interception at the Rebels own 30-yard line. The Warriors capitalized on the turnover a few plays later, when Ryan Pitts romped into the end zone from 11 yards out to give Caledonia a quick 7-0 lead.

After a few exchanged possessions, Caledonia had great field position again at Southland's 45-yard line. A big 4th-down conversion catch by Buttell along the sidelines kept the drive alive, but the Warriors failed to convert inside the 15-yard line and the Rebels took over on downs.

The Caledonia defense stood strong again and forced the Rebels to punt, and Adam Buttell had a nice return giving the Warriors great field position all the way to Southland's 41-yard line.

It didn't take long for the Warriors to capitalize as Ryan Pitts took a pitch sweep to the right and found the end zone for his second 11-yard rushing touchdown of the night, making it 14-0 Caledonia. When Pitts gets to the edge and turns the corner, the Rebels had no answer for his speed, and Ryan easily outraced them to the pylon.

Caledonia's stingy defense continued on Southland's next possession, as Ben Loging knifed through and threw quarterback Trent Reinartz down by his jersey on a big third-down pass play and forced a punt. The Warriors took over at the Rebels 45-yard line at 9:04 left in the second quarter, and started marching again.

A big fourth-down pass from Mason DeMorett to Sean Connor for 20-yards down the sideline extended the drive, and a few plays later Ryan Pitts plowed into the end zone from a yard out to give him his third rushing touchdown of the night, making it 21-0 Warriors.

On Southland's next possession Adam Buttell made the play of the game, as he came free on an outside blitz and absolutely crushed Reinartz, causing a fumble that Blake Mauss pounced on at the Rebels's 9-yard line. It was a textbook tackle by Buttell, and it was a perfectly drawn up blitz by Coach Schroeder.

The very next play the Warriors poured it on with a pretty DeMorett to Sam Schulte pitch and catch in the corner of the end zone to give Caledonia a commanding 28-0 lead.

The dominant Warriors first half caught a bad break when Devon Heaney tried to field a punt deep in his own territory and a funny bounce knocked it off his chest and the Rebels recovered. The Caledonia defense stood strong inside it's own 20-yard line, and broke up a big fourth-down pass play in the corner of the end zone and took over on downs. They ran out the remaining twenty-nine seconds of the half and escaped with the 28-0 lead intact.

Caledonia received the second half kickoff and marched right down the field continuing their dominant performance. On 4th and goal from the Rebel's 8-yard line Mason DeMorett drifted to his right and tossed a pass into the end zone directed at Alex Goetzinger. I still don't know how Alex came down with that touchdown reception, as he came out of nowhere and ripped it away from three Rebel defenders. The Mason Ashbacher extra-point gave the Warriors a huge 35-0 lead with 6:53 left in the third quarter.

Caledonia was able to start subbing in it's second-team players, and after a few exchanged possessions, Southland was able to drive deep into Warriors' territory. Running back Lukas Anderson took a pitch to the right and was able to find Alex Ruechel in the end zone with the halfback pass to finally put the Rebels on the board. Ruechel caught another pass from Reinartz for the 2-point conversion to make the score 35-8 with 11:51 left in the fourth quarter.

Just when Southland thought they could get some momentum, Ryan Pitts stole it away on the very next kickoff. Pitts took a short bouncing kick to the right with great blocking in front of him, broke through an arm tackle and was gone. An 83-yard kickoff return touchdown that broke the hearts of Southland's fans, and gave the Warriors an untouchable 42-8 lead.

Caledonia ran out the remaining clock in the next few possessions, and the Warriors remained perfect on the season with a (4-0) record. It was great to see Caledonia get off to a strong start against Southland, and this was easily their most complete game. The defense was phenomenal, holding the Rebels to only 75-yards of total offense in the game, with four sacks and two turnovers.

Next up for the #1 ranked (4-0) Warriors is a home contest in Caledonia against the (2-2) Fillmore Central Falcons on Friday, September 27, game time 7:00 PM.
Game Notes:

After seeing 10 starting seniors leave from last year's squad, I think many of the fans were worried about the Warriors continuing their winning ways. Through four games this year those worries are definitely gone, as the talent and depth on this team has shown to be rather impressive. Caledonia's squads always get remarkably better as the season goes on, and I see this team really starting to take shape in a hurry.

This was a standout game from Adam Buttell, as he made plays all over the field Friday night. With an interception, a huge sack and forced fumble, and four catches for 51-yards. He also had three punt returns for 34-yards and added 4 tackles. This was definitely a signature game from Adam, and it just showed what kind of great all-around athlete he is.

Mason Ashbacher is doing a great job kicking extra points as he nailed all 6 of his kicks Friday night. He's teaming up with Mason DeMorett on the hold, and it's a real valuable commodity to have an experienced kicker as the season goes on. I'm sure most people remember what happened in the state title game last year with Levi Schmitz. You never know when you're going to need that clutch extra-point kick or field goal in a close contest.

Alex Goetzinger had a big game on the defensive front with 10 total tackles to go with his big 8-yard touchdown catch. Tanner Steele, Adam Buttell, Dannie Dunbar, and Ben Loging all registered a sack Friday night, and Blake Mauss recovered the big Buttell strip fumble.

On the offensive front Ryan Pitts had another 100-yard game with 117 yards on 18 carries with 3 rushing touchdowns, to go along with his monster 83-yard kickoff return TD. Mason DeMorett had a great game at quarterback going 9-18 passing for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns. The leading receivers were Adam Buttell with 4 catches for 51-yards, and Sam Schulte who hauled in 4 for 49-yards and a touchdown.

Special thanks to Danny Tweten for getting me the game stats every weekend so I can write these game stories. He and Jeremy Leis do a great job collecting the stats, and they're a valuable asset to the football program.
Southern Football Alliance - Blue
    7  21  7  7  -  42
Southland   0   0   0  8  -    8

First quarter:
C-Ryan Pitts 11 run (Mason Ashbacher kick).

Second quarter:
C-Pitts 11 run (Ashbacher kick); C-Pitts 1 run (Ashbacher kick); C-Sam Schulte 9 pass from Mason DeMorett (Ashbacher kick).

Third quarter:
C-Alex Goetzinger 8 pass from DeMorett (Ashbacher kick).

Fourth quarter:
S-Alex Ruechel 3 pass from Lukas Anderson (Ruechel pass from Trent Reinartz); C-Pitts 83 kickoff return (Ashbacher kick).

C-Pitts 18-117; S-Anderson 11-23.

C-DeMorett 9-18-0-112, Austin Bauer 1-2-0-2; S-Reinartz 6-16-1-42, Anderson 1-1-0-3.

C-Adam Buttell 4-51, Sam Schulte 4-49; S-Lukas Mandt 1-21, Ruechel 2-12.

Total yards:
C: 156-114-270; S: 30-45-75.

C-3-1; S-2-1.

C 4-0, 4-0; S 1-4, 1-4.