Saturday, October 18th, 2008
Defense helps key New Bremen victory
By Ryan Hines
New Bremen quarterback Caleb Williams, 18, fakes a hand off to teammate Corey Ju. . .
NEW BREMEN - After back-to-back lop-sided losses, New Bremen pulled out of the Midwest Athletic Conference cellar with a victory on Friday night.
The Cardinals' defense forced four turnovers, including the first three interceptions of the season, and New Bremen turned three of those Parkway miscues into touchdowns on the way to a 28-6 victory at Cardinal Stadium.
New Bremen, which got beat by a combined score of 103-14 by Anna and Marion Local in the previous two weeks, improves to 3-6 overall and 2-5 in the MAC while Parkway falls to 3-6 on the season and 1-6 in league play.
The New Bremen defense helped the home team get off to a strong start as Corey Jutte corralled the first New Bremen interception of the season near midfield and returned the ball all the way to the Parkway five-yard line. After a Spencer Rohr run got the ball to the one-yard line, Jutte capped the drive with a one-yard plunge into the end zone and Jutte's PAT kick put the Cardinals on top 7-0 with 9:40 to play in the first quarter.
After a 12-play Parkway drive stalled and the Panthers were forced to punt, New Bremen got the ball at its own 24-yard line. Back-to-back offsides penalties by Parkway and a nine-yard run by Rohr put the ball at the Cardinals' 43-yard line and then New Bremen got a big play out of the passing game.
Caleb Williams dropped back to pass and lofted a pass deep to Jared Cox down the sidelines and Cox made a nice catch and sprinted to the end zone for a 57-yard touchdown reception. It looked as if Cox pushed away the Parkway defender on the play to make the catch, but the officials called defensive holding and the penalty was declined as the Cardinals went on top 14-0.
"Our kids were coming off two games where we were really beaten handily by teams, but we were able to keep our composure and continued to practice hard," said New Bremen head coach Rob Messick. "As a coaching staff, we talked about that it was very important for us to come out strong right away tonight. After the first quarter, you could see that the kids believed in themselves."
Parkway got its lone score of the game at the 2:55 mark of the second quarter as Josh Fisher capped a 14-play drive that covered 67 yards with an impressive run through the New Bremen secondary for a 16-yard scoring jaunt.
The Panthers then threatened to score just before half, but the New Bremen defense made a goal line stand. Fisher completed three-of-four passes on the drive to put the ball at the New Bremen six-yard line, but on the last play of the first half, Fisher dropped back to pass before scrambling toward the end zone and was stopped inches from the end zone.
"Our defensive stop just before halftime was very big," said Messick. "I don't know who made the tackle for us, maybe it was a couple of our kids, but it couldn't have been more than six inches from the end zone. That was a big momentum swing as we went into halftime. A very key play in the game, obviously."
Parkway then fumbled the ball on its first play of its first possession of the second half at its own 35-yard line and again New Bremen capitalized off the Calib Cox recovery. A pair of Jutte runs put the ball on the Parkway one-yard line and then on third-and-goal from the one, Williams hit Rohr with a touchdown pass to put the Cardinals on top 21-6.
"We put ourselves in a big hole and we were never able to recover," said Parkway head coach Ed Kuhn. "We made too many mistakes and they were able to capitalize on them and I don't think that they turned the ball over at all. You can't win turning the ball over in the MAC."
The second New Bremen interception of the game, this time by Calib Cox, gave the Cardinals the ball near midfield and they needed only three plays to hit paydirt. Jutte ran for 10 yards and Rohr gained four more before Jutte took the handoff on the counter and raced for 40 yards and a New Bremen touchdown.
Phillip Borkowski intercepted the third Fisher pass of the game in the fourth quarter and the New Bremen defense controlled the second half of play. Parkway was limited to just 79 yards of total offense in the second half.
"This was the first game that we were able to get an interception this season. We've had a few fumble recoveries, but we did a good job of picking off a couple passes tonight to put our offense in good field position," said Messick.
New Bremen will wrap up the season on Friday with a road game against Division IV top-ranked Coldwater while Parkway will conclude its season at home against Versailles.