By Craig Moorhead
The Caledonia Argus
A scoreless defensive struggle was interrupted by two quick touchdowns last week, as the Caledonia Warriors defeated Rochester Lourdes 15-0 on Friday, October 8.
It was Caledonia’s Homecoming game, but the visiting Eagles appeared ready to challenge their hosts as the contest began. Rochester marched downfield on their first possession, only to fumble the ball away at the Caledonia five yard line. The Eagles initially found success with their ground game, but the Warrior defense stiffened as the game progressed. That first possession, along with a field goal attempt as the second quarter began, were the closest the visitors came to scoring. Rochester finished with just one yard of net offense during the second half.
Both teams suffered turnovers on the wet and sometimes slippery eventing. The score remained 0-0 at halftime.
Caledonia brought a more balanced offense to the contest. With just over six minutes left in the third period, quarterback Ethan Stendel threw the ball to Kyle Bechtel for a 30-yard gain and the first touchdown of the game. Moments later, Logan Banse ran in a 2-point conversion on a fake point after (kick) play. Then on the second play after the ensuing kickoff, Warrior Chris Pieper intercepted an Eagle pass just a few inches off the turf and sprinted into the end zone, extending the margin to 14-0 Caledonia. This time the Warriors kicked the extra point, and the hosts led 15-0 with around 5:40 still showing on the third quarter clock. Any fans who were in line at the concession stand before the first TD could have missed all of the scoring.
Stendel (4-4, 64 yards) and Lewis Doyle (8-15, 80 yards) alternated at QB for the Warriors, who totaled 144 yards via airmail and 93 on the ground. Jackson Koepke was the leading receiver for Caledonia, with 5 catches netting 65 yards. Ayden Goetzinger caught 3 for 27 yards, while Pieper and Bechtel had a pair of grabs each, including the touchdown toss. Eric Mauss was the leading rusher, totaling 81 yards on 15 attempts. Ayden Goetzinger and Jordan Tornstrom led the defense, with eight stops each. A set of official stats for Lourdes were not available as this issue went to press