Uncharacteristic turnovers doom Bulldogs in 41-7 loss to Beckman Catholic

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Bryce Radloff snagged a first quarter interception in the Oct. 15 loss to Beckman Catholic. The Bulldog defense allowed just 14 points in the first half, but the Blazers capitalized on turnovers and prime field position to pull away in the final two quarters. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

MFL MarMac quarterback Carver Blietz-Bentien searches for a receiver down field. He completed seven of 18 passes in the game.

Jonah Wille prepares for a point after kick, which was successful.

Cullen McShane accumulated 122 rushing yards on 16 carries, in addition to catching three passes for 10 yards.

Cole Allert drags down a Beckman Catholic runner while fellow Bulldog Kaden Stocker converges on the play.

Gabe McGeough dives for extra yardage against the Trailblazers. He earned 30 yards on 11 attempts.

Wyatt Powell wraps up the Beckman Catholic quarterback, just moments after he threw the ball.

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


The MFL MarMac football team lost its Oct. 15 regular season finale to Beckman Catholic, 41-7, dashing the Bulldogs’ hopes for a share of the Class 1A - District 4 title.


“We came down here expecting to win. Our kids were ready to play,” said head coach Dan Anderson. “We just ran into a better football team. You’re not going to get 400 yards rushing against Beckman. They’re too good, too big and too physical. You’re going to have to play nearly perfect football, and we didn’t tonight.”


Turnovers were the story of the game. MFL MarMac fumbled the ball three times and the Trailblazers also picked off one pass, setting them up with prime field position and scoring opportunities throughout the night.


“It’s unfortunate because that hasn’t been us. We don’t normally have that many turnovers in a game,” said Anderson. “You’re playing a team that’s 7-0, ranked fifth. You can’t have four turnovers in the game. And not only were they turnovers, but they were scoop and score. We gave them a short field, and your defense can only hold so long.”


Beckman Catholic racked up 413 total yards of offense, including 237 through the air. The Bulldog defense largely held the Blazers in check in the first half, though. Beckman Catholic didn’t score its first touchdown until late in the second quarter, then capitalized on an MFL MarMac fumble right before halftime to make it 14-0.


“The way the game started, it looked like it was going to be a low scoring game,” Anderson said. “We were able to move the ball, and it was defense back and forth to start the game. Our guys still believed we were in it.”


The Bulldogs cut the lead to 14-7 early in the third quarter, when running back Cullen McShane broke away for a touchdown. Kicker Jonah Wille added the extra point.

But things snowballed from there. The Blazers responded with a 36-yard passing TD and, a few minutes later, returned a fumble 66 yards to eventually go up 28-7. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, struggled to complete passes and sustain drives.


“I didn’t have to say a lot to our kids on ‘Hey, keep your heads up and keep on fighting.’ I didn’t see anyone have that look that it’s over until it got to be 28-7, then 35-7,” said Anderson. “Sometimes the bounces don’t go your way, and it didn’t for us. You learn from it.”


“If we run into them again, it could be a different story,” he added. “If we played like we did in that first quarter, and we don’t have the turnovers, I think this is a pretty close ball game.”


Despite being limited offensively, MFL MarMac still managed 203 yards on the ground, including 122 from McShane on 16 carries. Gabe McGeough earned 30 yards on 11 attempts, while Bryce Radloff tallied 28 yards on five touches.


Bulldog quarterback Carver Blietz-Bentien completed just seven of 18 passing attempts, for 88 yards, and threw one interception. Brandon Christofferson caught two passes for 45 yards, and Radloff had one 35-yard reception. McShane caught three balls, totaling 10 yards.


McShane was MFL MarMac’s top defender, accounting for 8.5 of the team’s 47.5 total tackles. Wyatt Powell picked up 7.5, including 2 tackles for a loss, while Karter Decker also had 7.5 tackles and 1 for a loss. Radloff finished the night with 4.5 tackles and an interception, and McGeough and Kaden Stocker each added 4 tackles.


The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in district play. It hurt, but Anderson said the team can’t feel bad for long. MFL MarMac will head to Denver on Friday, Oct. 22, for the postseason opener. 


“We believe our next opponent is someone we can beat, and then in the round of 16, you never know,” he shared. “We’ll have to clean some things up and work on some ball security things and a little better protection up front. But we are who we are—we’re not going to change that. We’ve won 21 out of the last 24 regular season ball games.”


“The ultimate goal, obviously, is to get to the Dome and win when we get down there,” Anderson added. “Our guys will be ready. We always have a good game plan. The kids always believe in what we’re doing.”

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