Warrior football team drops to 0-4 with loss to Trojans

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Warrior offensive linemen Ryan Schroeder and Mark Hertrampf prepare for the ball snap in last week’s game versus Turkey Valley. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

Jacob Cook helps tackle a Trojan runner.

Braxton Bormann skirts around the Turkey Valley defenders in last week's match-up.

Kale Doeppke tries to break free from a tackle in the Sept. 15 loss to the Trojans.

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register


The Central football team faced another tough opponent Sept. 15, in the Turkey Valley Trojans, and struggled on special teams, line play on both sides of the field and ball security in a 76-25 loss. It was the Warriors’ fourth straight loss to start the season.


The Warriors found themselves down early, with the Trojans putting up 38 points in the first quarter. Central scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, but by halftime, was down 62-12. By the end of the third quarter, the score had turned into 76-12. 


The fourth quarter saw some explosive plays by the Warriors, as they added two more touchdowns, but the game was well out of reach when they put their fourth touchdown into the end zone with under a minute to play.  


The Warrior offense found itself trying to solve a couple of problems throughout the game, including the play of the offensive line, which gave up eight sacks to the Trojans. Central also failed to convert on third downs, only capitalizing 20 percent of the time, which stalled drives and led to punts. 


Ball security is another concern that produced self-inflicted damage on the offense. The Warriors had three fumbles this week, one of which resulted in a turnover. 


While they have plenty to work on during practice, the offense scored four touchdowns, tying their season high. Two came on passing plays by Kale Doeppke, who went 3-11 for 114 yards and two touchdowns. On the receiving end of those throws were Owen Hammersland, who finished with two catches for 63 yards and one touchdown, and Jack Scherf, who had one catch for 51 yards and a touchdown. Hammersland also had eight rushing attempts for 83 yards and two touchdowns. 


The defense struggled at the line of scrimmage and was unable to get pressure, netting just two tackles for loss, while allowing the Trojans to convert on third down 83 percent of the time. 


“We did a good job of team tackling from the aspect of running to the ball. Most of the time there were multiple Warriors around the ball at the end of the play,” said coach Ben Heitland. He added that part of the reason for the Trojans’ success was a “timid” defense.


Hammersland, who adjusted mid-game when he was called upon to play multiple positions on both sides of the ball, highlighted the defense. He tied for the team high in tackles with 6.5, including 6 solo tackles. Teammate Braxton Bormann also had 6.5 tackles, with 3 solo tackles. Three players had 6 total tackles, including Doeppke, Max Fettkether and Scherf. 


The Warriors recorded 23 total tackles, including a pair for a loss, one each from Braden Taylor and Preston Kulper.


In the third phase of the game, special teams, Central gave up some big returns on both kickoffs and punts, allowing over 150 yards during the game. 


“We have to do a better job of running our lanes and fighting off blocks to put ourselves in a position to make plays on kickoff,” Heitland said. “We gave up some big yardage on punt returns after missing a tackle on what was initially good coverage. Open field tackling is important to playing well on special teams.”


With the season half over and the team looking to secure a postseason birth, Heitland stated ball security and physicality “will be points of emphasis this week.” So will improving on the fundamentals and blocking out the distractions of homecoming week. 


“Homecoming week is full of distractions, and we will have to be able to block them out in order to properly prepare for Waterloo Christian,” Heitland said. 


The Warriors will cap off homecoming week by welcoming Waterloo Christian (0-4) to the Dittmer Sports Complex Friday, Sept. 22. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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