BREAKING: Badgers score 41 unanswered points, spoil Elkhorn homecoming
October 01, 2010 | 09:40 PM
Elkhorn -- Homecoming game for Elkhorn. A deafening volume in the student section. A 13-3 lead to start the game.
The Badger football team had to scratch and claw its way out a sizable hole Friday night on the road.
Not only did the Badgers battle back to take the lead, they proceeded to pour gasoline on the fire.
The local boys reeled off 41 unanswered points after a 10-point, first-quarter deficit to stun the host Elks, 44-13, and ruin the beginning of their homecoming weekend.
Badger clung to a 17-13 halftime lead before the flood gates opened. Touchdowns in the second half from all three phases, offense, defense and special teams, helped the Badgers pull away.
Badger has now won two straight games, both in convincing fashion, and is 2-4 overall and 2-2 in the Southern Lakes Conference.
What once seemed like a lost season at 0-4 is quickly turning into playoff contention for Lake Geneva. Badger needs to finish the season 2-1 to secure a fifth straight playoff appearance. Senior defensive back Rolando Sandoval said Badger is improving every week.
"We had a rough start," he said. "But I'm loving these guys right now. We're getting back to playing Badger football. I've played with these guys for nine years, and it's coming down to a strong finish."
After trailing 13-3 late in the first quarter, Badger's running machine took over. Touchdown jaunts from sophomore quarterback Peter Krien and junior fullback Rory Klean lifted Badger to a 17-13 halftime lead.
But it was senior tailback Trevor York who cut the first major incision into Elkhorn's chances.
The multi-faceted York returned the opening kickoff of the second half 96 yards for a score, catapulting Badger into control with a 24-13 lead. York started down the left sideline, hurdled a tackler, broke a few tackles then cut back all the way to the right side of the end zone for the touchdown.
"I saw a defender fall down, so I jumped over him," York said. "Then a guy grabbed my towel, and I thought for sure I was going down. But I broke some tackles, and I got through."
York added that the team's attitude was excellent even after a 13-3 deficit.
"We were emotionally high," he added. "We still were there. We didn't care. We've been down like that before. We're a team, and we are just going to ride it out."
After recovering an Elkhorn fumble and not scoring, Badger took the ball away again via the fumble. This time, Klean made the Elks pay with a nine-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter, increasing the lead to 30-14.
However, midway through the fourth quarter, Elkhorn was driving deep in Badger territory in a desperate attempt to keep the game close. But Sandoval wasn't trying to hear any comeback talk.
Elkhorn quarterback Chris Fryman rolled to his right, took a hit as he threw and tossed the ball aimlessly to the right. Sandoval made a leaping grab, then sprinted 91 yards down the sideline for the proverbial daggar touchdown, putting the game out of reach at 37-13.
"We were in man coverage, and I took away the inside," he said. "I got really lucky on that play, because if Fryman would've thrown it an inch or two higher, it would've been a touchdown. I went high and tight with the ball just like coach always tells me, and I put on the gas and hoped for green grass. I do whatever the coach tells me, to be honest. Hopefully, you'll make plays."
Badger racked up 300 total yards, all on the ground. And the local boys held the Elks to 282 yards, but most came in the first half. Badger also won the turnover margin, with four takeaways to Elkhorn's two. Badger coach Matt Hensler was pleased with Badger's crowd support.
"It was pretty exciting to get that many people here and be just as loud as Elkhorn during its homecoming," he said. "Our kids didn't lose their cool despite the hostile environment, and they didn't lose focus."
Hensler said the defense stepped up.
"After Elkhorn's first two drives, boy, did the defense come up big," he said. "The staff made some adjustments, and the defense was stopping people and playing confident and fast and putting licks on people. Before the game, coach Zweifel was talking about getting a defensive score, and we got one."
Hensler said every player is starting to know his role better, and each player is trusting his teammates.
"The guys were anxious to get back out there tonight to play after last week's game," he said.
Next Friday, Badger will try to spoil another homecoming, Burlington's, in a match-up of two 2-4 teams. A loss would force Badger to win its final two games to get into the playoffs. Hensler understands the importance of facing the Demons.
"They're very well-coached," he said of Burlington. "They're a very, very good team. We dug a hole early in the season, and there's no way we can let up. We are going to have our hands full. We can't breathe a sigh of relief, we have to just go and go. We're not going to lay down for anybody. Regardless of our record, we are going to keep fighting."
Klean led Badger 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Krien added 86 yards on the ground. York finished with 59 yards rushing. Ed Ruzga ran for a touchdown late in the game.
Other area scores
Big Foot 63, Beloit Turner 7
Junior Kenny Walker scored three touchdowns, and the Chiefs scored 56 first-half points for the second straight week.
Rio 55, Williams Bay 0
Delavan-Darien 40, Burlington 22
Wilmot 13, Waterford 7
Westosha Central 48, Union Grove 21
McFarland 47, East Troy 6
Evansville 25, Whitewater 0
Palmyra-Eagle 33, Orfordville-Parkview 7
Brodhead 70, Clinton 35
Richmond-Burton 28, Marengo 7
North Boone 34, Harvard 21
Johnsburg 21, Woodstock 9
McHenry 57, Dundee-Crown 15
Woodstock North 28, Chicago Hales Franciscan 18