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Beavers Sports

Reedsburg's Fantastic Finish Beats Stoughton

Posted Friday, September 02, 2011 by Brady Ambrose

FOOTBALL: Reedsburg's fantastic finish beats Stoughton

Reedsburg junior quarterback Luke Bjorklund scored on a 1-yard plunge with 51 seconds left to play Friday night, capping a massive fourth-quarter rally and giving the Beavers a 27-21 non-conference victory over host Stoughton.

In rallying from a 21-7 deficit over the last 6 minutes of play, the Beavers (1-1) gave themselves some momentum heading into the Badger North Conference opener Friday night at Sauk Prairie.

Bjorklund's touchdown capped a 20-0 finish by the Beavers after the Vikings had taken a two-touchdown lead on Tony Volk's 1-yard touchdown run with 10:30 left.

Weston Ernstmeyer scored three touchdowns and totaled 214 yards rushing on 36 carries.

"Winning the game in the way we did, when it looked like we might have been headed toward an 0-2 record, will do wonders for our confidence," Reedsburg coach Brian Pottinger said.

Until the fourth, the game mostly had been a stalemate. The Vikings went up, 7-0, with 9 minutes 58 seconds left in the first quarter on a 31-yard run by Ben Gerber. The Beavers tied the game on a 3-yard dive by Ernstmeyer with 4:43 left before halftime.

The score held until Stoughton scored with 3:21 left in the third quarter on a touchdown pass from Tony Volk to Nick Liggett.

Leading, 14-7, the Vikings started the fourth quarter with a second-and-goal situation at the Beavers' 9-yard line. Three plays later, Volk scored on a 3-yard run to give the Vikings a 21-7 lead.

Reedsburg then mounted a drive, starting at its own 36. Bjorklund raced for a first down to the 48, Reedsburg picked up another first down at the Vikings' 35, and Ernstmeyer rumbled for nine yards to the 26. Four plays later, Reedsburg was at the 2-yard line, and Ernstmeyer scored. But the Beavers missed the extra-point try and trailed, 21-13, with only 5:37 remaining.

As if on cue, the Vikings fumbled the ball on the ensuing kickoff, with Reedsburg recovering at the Stoughton 19. Ernstmeyer picked up six yards on two runs, and then broke through on a third-and-four play to score from 13 yards out, trimming the deficit to 21-19. After a timeout, Reedsburg misfired on the two-point conversion and the Beavers kicked off.

That's when a fired-up Reedsburg defense rose to the occasion, forcing Stoughton to put with less than 3 minutes left.

"I like the effort our defense has given in both games so far," Pottinger said. "I think it was a matter of time before we started to catch some breaks."

Matt Archambo returned Stoughton's punt 11 yards to the Reedsburg 44. Then, on second and nine, Bjorklund hit Colin Scanlon with a 12-yard pass to the Stoughton 32 with 2:29 remaining. Reedsburg ground out yardage and time, awaiting its chance.

With 54 seconds to play, Ernstmeyer rumbled to the Stoughton 1-yard line and Reedsburg called a timeout with less than a minute to go. On the next play, Bjorklund sneaked into the end zone gave the Beavers their only lead with 51 seconds remaining.

Stoughton took over at its 35 with 51 seconds to play and advanced to the 46 with 36 seconds left. The Vikings then put a scare into the Reedsburg faithful when they completed a pass for 16 yards to the Reedsburg 38.

But that would be as close as the Vikings would get. Volk tossed two incomplete passes and picked up two yards on third and 10. With 18 seconds to play, Caleb Senzig intercepted Volk's last pass.

"It was nice to see that we kept battling when things weren't looking very promising," Pottinger said. "Special teams and defense got the stops and turnovers when we needed them.

"The offense didn't panic and turn the page in the playbook or start throwing on every down. They just continued to execute and believe in what they were doing."

The Beavers rushed for 281 yards on 52 carries and added 31 yards passing to finish with 312 yards of offense. On defense, senior linebacker Colton Brott had two solo tackles, 10 assists, a fumble recovery and a quarterback sack. Seth Douglas added six assisted tackles and three solos. Senzig and Nick Christensen were in on six tackles each.

Up next for the Beavers will be a trip to Sauk Prairie to take on the Eagles Friday night. Sauk (0-2) lost a 25-22 heartbreaker at Milton Friday on a 22-yard touchdown pass with 15 seconds left.

"(Sauk has) some really nice skill players with some speed," Pottinger said. "They're good at running the pistol offense and they utilize their players' abilities on both sides of the ball very well.

"I think they're dangerous in the fact that they're 0-2 right now, but could easily be 2-0."

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