No. 6 Lions cash in against LaVille
BREMEN — A local merchant donated $25 for each Bremen touchdown Friday night.
Given the frequency of their trips to the end zone, the Lions looked determine to bankrupt the unsuspecting business before the first quarter even ended.
Buoyed by outstanding first-half field position and Ben Hueni’s first-frame touchdown reception and interception return for six points, Class 2A No. 6 Bremen seized control early and cruised to a 55-14 Northern State Conference football win over visiting LaVille on homecoming night at Don Bunge Field.
“We were very efficient,” Bremen head coach Bob Holmes said. “Our offense was efficient. Our defense set the tone early, and really won the battle of the field position. Our defense set us up to take control early, and that’s exactly what we wanted. I’m very proud of the way our kids took care of things on homecoming night.”
Hueni, a 5-foot-7 senior, reeled in a 62-yard scoring pass from classmate Nate Leeper to cap off the Lions’ initial drive. Then, with the Lancers marching down the field late in the opening stanza, Hueni picked off a toss and took it back 69 yards to give Bremen a 27-0 lead at the 2:32 mark.
“We just made some mistakes early on, and that goes back to execution,” LaVille head coach Mark Reddy said. “We really tried to simplify things this week. Even at a bare minimum we still had people out of position at times. Bremen is an excellent football team. They make you pay for your mistakes. My hat’s off to them.”
Hueni also held the pigskin for kicker Lucas Schlarb’s seven extra points.
“Ben is a three-year starter,” Holmes said. “He works extremely hard; everything he’s got he’s earned. He played an outstanding game tonight. I’m very happy with Ben. He played exactly how I expect a three-year starter to play.”
Meanwhile, Leeper completed all four of his pass attempts for 139 yards and a pair of scores in one half of play. After opening the scoring with his completion to Hueni, he later polished off Bremen’s 34-point first-quarter eruption with a 33-yard catch and carry to Ethan Pike down the left sideline with 38 ticks on the clock.
Senior standout running back Braxston Miller carried the ball just six times for the Lions but cashed in with touchdown blasts of 7 — set up by a blocked punt — and 8 yards. Junior Reid Zellmer led Bremen in rushing with 82 yards and scores of 23 and 19 yards; his 23-yarder put the Lions, who scored in each of their seven first-half possessions, up 48-0 at halftime.
Sophomore Eric Knepper also scored on a 9-yard run to put the undefeated Lions up 14-0 midway through the opening quarter.
“Nate was very efficient and threw the football very well — I don’t think he missed a pass,” Holmes said. “Our receivers caught the ball, and our backs ran the ball extremely hard. We showed our versatility tonight, and that’s definitely a good thing.
“Each week is a championship week for us,” he said. “This week championship week was LaVille; next week Knox is our championship week. We’re approaching it one week at a time. I’m very happy with the progress we’re making.”
For LaVille, senior running back Tim Wicks cracked the century mark with 100 yards, highlighted by a 13-yard touchdown scamper set up by his own 52-yard ramble.
Junior quarterback Andrew Hostetler added a 26-yard touchdown keeper in the fourth quarter.
“I thought Andrew Hostetler ran the ball really well,” Reddy said. “Tim Wicks, we called his number a lot, because he ran the ball very well. I’m pleased with those two guys.
“The one good thing is we don’t quit,” he said. “I love that about this team. Every game we have come out and played four quarters. When the time comes that the game is on the line I know we’ll make the play, because we do play the whole game.”
Bremen heads to Knox next Friday, while LaVille travels to Triton.
• BREMEN 55,
Score by quarters
LaVille: 0 0 7 7 — 14
Bremen: 34 14 7 0 — 55
B — Ben Hueni 62 pass from Nate Leeper (Lucas Schlarb kick)
B — Eric Knepper 9 run (Schlarb kick)
B — Braxston Miller 7 run (kick failed)
B — Hueni 69 INT return (Schlarb kick)
B — Ethan Pike 33 pass from Leeper (Schlarb kick)
B — Miller 8 run (Schlarb kick)
B — Reid Zellmer 23 run (Schlarb kick)
LV — Tim Wicks 13 run (Trenton Priser kick)
B — Zellmer 19 run (Schlarb kick)
LV — Andrew Hostetler 26 run (Priser kick)
Rushing: carries 41 for 228 yards (Wicks 7-100, Hostetler 12-58, Cody Timm 10-31, Levi Lucas 7-27, Tyler Thompson 4-16, Greg Peppers 1-(minus)4.
Passing: Hostetler 3-10-1, 40 yards
Receiving: Priser 2-26, Timm 1-14
First downs: 12
Rushing: 40 carries for 231 yards (Zellmer 11-82, Knepper 5-45, Evan Wilson 6-37, Miller 6-33, Derek Cook 8-30, Adam Stoller 2-10, Corbin Holtsberry 2-(minus)6.)
Passing: Leeper 4-4, 139 yards
Receiving: Hueni 1-62, Pike 1-33, Miller 1-23, Tim Zimmer 1-21.
First downs: 17
Records: LaVille 0-6 (0-4 NSC), Bremen 6-0 (4-0 NSC).