In their first game of the season, co-op Mercer-Butternut fooball team took on New Auburn in Mercer. The New Auburn Trojans played strong and won 36-6.
New Auburn showed their strength on their first drive. All rushes, they scored the first touchdown of the game. The two-point conversion was no good and they led 6-0.
The Mercer-Butternut Pioneers possessed the ball next. A couple of penalties ruined their start and they were forced to punt.
“Anytime there are hankies on the ground it’s a tough one,” coach Matt Schoeneman said.
New Auburn was back in business with a couple of runs by Nick Walker. Trae Schultz made one of the tackles for a nice stop.
A fourth down play came up and the Trojans went for it and got it. They continues to dink and dash all the way down the field until they scored. The two-point try was successful this time and they led 14-0.
The Trojans used their physicality to their advantage.
Trying to start anything, the Pioneers struggled to move the ball in their next possession. They went for it on fourth down, but came up short.
It only took two plays before the Trojans were in the end zone once again. The two point try was unsuccessful and they led 20-0.
“(New Auburn) is a different team than we played last year, they had some bigger guys that we had a hard time handling throughout the game,” Schoeneman said.
The Pioneers responded with their best drive of the first half. Jacob Schmidt rattled off a big run on first down. Then there was a penalty that gave the Pioneers move yards. Nothing came from the drive as it stalled after a sack in the backfield.
The Trojans were back in business and executed one of their rare pass plays to perfection. That set them up for what would be a rushing touchdown from quarterback Domonic Johnson. The Trojans upped their score to 28-0.
Mercer played better in the second half. Kobe Hiller ripped off a big run for a first down. Then it was Jordan Ahlborn with a catch that set them up on the goal line.
The drive hit a snag when Hiller ran backwards on a run. The Trojans rallied to him and it was a big loss of yardage. The Pioneers couldn’t recover and turned the ball on downs.
“Obviously our defense I’m happy with the second half,” Schoeneman said. “I was very excited about how some of the young guys stepped up in the second half.”
The Trojans looked to have an interception late in the fourth quarter, but it was negated because of a penalty.
Pioneer quarterback Baylie Huybrecht took advantage and ripped off a big run play. The Pioneers were determined to score.
Huybrecht continued to move on the ground and picked up another first down with his legs. All that running set up a pass in the end zone to Ahlborn from Huybrecht for a touchdown.
“We showed throughout the season we’re going to struggle at times but also we’re going to have some great things happen and we’re going to have to ride those waves in a positive manner,” Schoeneman said.
The two-point try was unsuccessful as the Pioneers finally got on the board. It was 36-6 as time ran out shortly after that.
“It was very encouraging to see we came out in the second half and played defense much better than we did in the first half,” Schoeneman said.
The Pioneers next game comes Friday, Aug. 30 when they hit the road at Lincoln High School starting at 7 p.m.
Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]