|Caledonia clobbers Wabasha-Kellogg 55-0, stays undefeated in SFA-Blue Division
By Dugan Thomas
Caledonia's Tanner Gran cuts upfield during a punt return in the first quarter Friday night, as Seth Twite finishes off a block in the background.
CALEDONIA, MN - 10/10/2014
Caledonia Football didn't need anyone to tell them they were ranked #2 in the state Friday night. They showed it on the field, as they put away Wabasha-Kellogg 55-0, and held the Falcons to only 25 yards of offense in the game. They took control in the second quarter with 27 quick points, and the game was out of reach by halftime. Caledonia's quick strikes and smothering defense set the tone, and they ran away with another impressive division win.
The Warriors defense forced a punt on W-K's first series, and Caledonia's return man Tanner Gran took advantage. He fielded the punt at his own 45-yard line, knifed his way through the middle, and took it all the way down to the Falcons 26. After three straight Devan Heaney runs brought the offense inside the 10, quarterback Austin Bauer showcased his scrambling ability.
Bauer went play action and quickly found a defender in his face, as he cut it back to the middle of the field. Austin put the ball away and ran over a linebacker at the goal line as he scored from 6-yards out to put the first points on the board. The Alex Goergen extra-point kick was good, and the Warriors led 7-0.
A couple offensive turnovers through the rest of the first quarter slowed the Warriors down, but in the second quarter the defense stepped up quickly. Alex Goergen put his hands up in the throwing lane of Falcons quarterback Ryan Wolfe and batted a pass in the air. Linebacker Mitchell Schmitz picked it off, and he was going the other way for a 28-yard interception return touchdown. Another pick-6 defensive touchdown on the season for Schmitz, and the Warriors had a 13-0 lead.
The big second quarter continued on the next series, when the Falcons botched a pitch sweep deep in their own territory, and the Warriors recovered at the 9-yard line. Devan Heaney took it in two plays later from 6 yards out, and Caledonia was rolling all over the Falcons 20-0.
After the kickoff, the W-K offense imploded on the first play with another fumble, and it was recovered by Caledonia's Ben McCabe at the Falcons 26-yard line. The Warriors didn't waste any time, going to the air with quarterback Austin Bauer on the first play. Bauer dropped back and tossed it down the seam to a streaking Seth Twite, who made an acrobatic catch at the goal line. Set up at the one, Devan Heaney walked into the end zone behind his massive offensive line, and Caledonia struck again to take the score to 27-0.
Wabasha-Kellogg just couldn't get anything going offensively, and they were forced to punt after three plays. Tanner Gran had another good punt return to give the Warriors good field position, and they struck again through the air. Bauer this time found his favorite target and deep threat Colton Lampert wide open on a post pattern, and it was a 33-yard touchdown. A pretty pitch and catch by Caledonia's offensive stars gave the Warriors a commanding 34-0 lead going into halftime.
With the big lead and a comfortable margin, it allowed the Warriors to work on some trickery, and it started on the second half kickoff. Jacob Winjum fielded the kick on the right side, and tossed back left to a wide open Sam Stemper. The Caledonia wall formed, and Stemper was off to the races all the way down to the Falcons 31-yard line.
One Warriors offensive play, one Warriors touchdown. This time it was Austin Bauer connecting with Tanner Langen on a quick hitch. Langen stiff-armed his defender, turned on the jets, and never looked back for a 31-yard touchdown catch and run. The Alex Goergen extra-point kick was good, and it was 41-0 in a flash.
The big lead allowed Caledonia to bring in Owen King at quarterback on the next offensive series, and he went to work through the air. King found Tanner Gran on a wide receiver screen, and Gran ran over a defender on his way to the Falcons 41-yard line. Hunter Hauser-Caldwell took over in the backfield carrying the load, while King mixed in throws to Ben McCabe, and Sean McGonigle to march the Warriors down the field. King took it himself from the 2-yard line behind his offensive line, and another touchdown was on the board. The Goergen extra-point kick made the score 48-0, and it was all Caledonia in this game.
A running clock and the Warriors second-team units continued to get work through the fourth quarter, and Caledonia had one more scoring opportunity. Austin Werner came in at quarterback and directed the team down the field again. This time it was Andrew Vick who was wide open down the seam, and Werner found him for an 11-yard touchdown to finish out the scoring at 55-0 Caledonia. An impressive display by the #2 state ranked Warriors moved them to (7-0) on the year, and one game closer to another SFA-Blue Division title.
The last regular season game will be on a short week, because of the upcoming MEA school break. The Warriors will travel to Goodhue on Wednesday for a huge game that will have conference and post-season implications connected to it. Goodhue knocked off Chatfield Friday night 34-26, and their only loss on the year was to Rushford-Peterson on September 20th. Caledonia has rolled off 7 straight wins this year, and will be looking for their eight straight conference title. The game will be at Goodhue High School, Wednesday October 15th, at 7:00 PM.
The Warriors were clicking on all cylinders Friday night in all phases of the game. They put up 274 yards of total offense, and held Wabasha-Kellogg to only 25 total yards. The Falcons offense definitely didn't scare the Warriors, and they pinned their ears back the whole game and just kept coming. Alex Goergen had an outstanding game with 10 tackles, and a pass deflection that led to Mitchell Schmitz's interception return touchdown. He was also 7 for 8 on his extra-point kicks, and had a great night with his kickoffs and punts. Eli Craig had 5 tackles, a quarterback sack, and a forced fumble. He's been catching my eye with his kickoff coverage, always the first guy down the field, usually laying a big hit when he gets there. Eli Craig has been outstanding this year, and he's definitely one of the toughest guys on the field for the Warriors.
Quarterback Austin Bauer had another impressive performance Friday night going 5-7 for 94 yards and 2 touchdowns passing, with another touchdown run on the ground. His scrambling ability and elusiveness out of the backfield has caught many by surprise, and his toughness was shown on his 6-yard touchdown run when he ran over a defender at the goal line. The Warriors quick passes at the line of scrimmage gave W-K fits all game long as well. Tanner Gran, Ben McCabe, and Tanner Langen all had impressive runs after the catch, and it showcased their elite athletic skillset.
Southern Football Alliance - Blue
Caledonia 7 27 14 7 - 55
W-K 0 0 0 0 - 0
First quarter: C—Austin Bauer 6 run (Alex Goergen kick).
Second quarter: C—Mitchell Schmitz 28 interception return (kick failed); C—Devan Heaney 6 run (Goergen kick); C—Heaney 1 run (Goergen kick); C—Colton Lampert 33 pass from Bauer (Goergen kick).
Third quarter: C—Tanner Langen 31 pass from Bauer (Goergen kick); C—Owen King 2 run (Goergen kick).
Fourth quarter: C—Andrew Vick 11 pass from Austin Werner (Goergen kick).
Rushing: WK—Ryan Wolfe 11-9; C—Heaney 11-52.
Passing: WK—Ryan Wolfe 1-7-1-minus 1, Jackson Goffe 0-1-1-0; C—Bauer 5-7-0-94, King 5-6-0-42, Werner 2-3-0-39.
Receiving: WK-Paul Novak 1-(-1); C—Ben McCabe 3-35.
Total Yards: WK—26-minus 1—25; C—99-175—274.
Fumbles: WK—4-4; C—4-3.
Records: WK 3-5, 3-5; C 7-0, 7-0.