Bulldogs bust Broncos

Published 12:27 pm Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Lake Mills Bulldogs kept their football playoff hopes alive Friday night with a dominating 41-21 homecoming win over Belmond-Klemme in Lake Mills.

The Broncos came into the game winners of two in a row and were in third place in the Class 1A District 2 standings at 2-0, 3-1 overall. With the win the Bulldogs are now 2-3 overall and 2-1 in the district.

“We’re a pretty good football team, it’s just up to this point we haven’t had a whole lot to show for it,” said Bulldogs head coach Bill Byrnes. “For this new sub-state situation that we’re in, getting that second win tonight was huge for us, we’re hoping that four wins in the district will be enough to finish in the top four and advance to the playoffs.”

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The Bulldogs wasted little time letting B-K know whose house they were in when Logan Strusz returned the Broncos’ first punt, 25 yards to the B-K 14. Two plays later Jake Brekken rumbled in from a yard out for a 7-0 LM lead with less than two minutes gone in the first quarter.

After forcing the Broncos second punt in as many possessions, the Bulldogs punted for the first time in the game and got burned by a dazzling 68-yard return for a touchdown by B-K’s James Brooks that evened the score at 7-7.

LM got the ball back and went on a typical Bulldog drive that lasted 11 plays covering 68 yards for a 14-7 lead on a Brad Midlang to Chris Throne 3-yard score.

Throughout the first half the Broncos had little offense but Brooks gave them hope with his punt return.

That hope turned to down right joy when Brooks struck again, this time from the quarterback position when he took the snap and sprinted 68 yards and knotted the score once again, this time at 14-14. Brekken scored again for the Bulldogs as the first half came to a close with LM in front 20-14.

“That first half, couple of big plays by them, some missed tackles by us,” Byrnes said. “Belmond-Klemme came here to play.”

With Tyler Olson’s jersey draped over their bench, the Bulldogs came out of the locker room after halftime determined not to let another game slip away from them. After taking the kickoff the Bulldogs went on a 15-play drive, converted five first downs, and chewed up almost eight minutes of the third quarter to 26-14 on a Midlang quarterback sneak from a yard out.

With the Bulldogs on top it was just a matter of waiting for time to run out as the offensive line pushed the Broncos defense up and down the field for an impressive 20-point win.

“The second half we were able to shut them down, then that offensive line of ours, there is two sophomores on that line, they just took it to them,” said Byrnes. “When it comes down to it, this game was for number 84 (Tyler Olson), we play every game for him now.

“We tell the kids, we have adopted a theme for the rest of the year, it’s now 12 on 11 when we hit the field. That’s what we believe, that he is right out there with us. It’s all about him and what he has done for this community, I don’t know that I have ever been around anything like this, where a whole community rallies and comes together. This one was for Tyler.”

Brekken led a very effective ground game with 187 yards and four touchdowns on 32 carries, he now has 643 yards for the year. But part of the reason the ground game was so effective was the play of Midlang who connected on 9-of-10 passes for 133 yards and one score.

Lake Mills 41, Belmond-Klemme 21

LM – 7 13 6 15 – 41

BK – 7 7 0 7 – 21

First Quarter

LM – Jake Brekken 1 run (kick good)

BK – James Brooks 68 punt return (kick good)

Second Quarter

LM – Chris Throne 3 yard pass from Brad Midlang (kick good)

BK – Brooks 68 run (kick good)

LM – Brekken 7 run (kick no good)

Third Quarter

LM – Midlang 1 run (conv. fail)

Fourth Quarter

LM – Brekken 3 run (conv. good)

LM – Brekken 6 run (kick good)

BK – Josh Hildebrand 7 yard pass from Brooks (kick good)