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Somerset football looks to avenge 2011 loss to Prescott

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sports New Richmond, 54017

New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

The first homefield loss in 10 years in a Middle Border Conference game by the Somerset football team was suffered last year against the Prescott Cardinals.

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Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but the Spartans will have a battle on their hands if they want to avenge that loss when they play at Prescott this Friday.

With no disrespect meant to Prescott, Somerset coach Bruce Larson said whether his team wins this Friday will depend wholly on how much the Spartans improve this week. The Spartans opened the season with a 28-14 win at Bloomer last Friday, but the Spartan coaches weren't awed with how the team performed.

"It doesn't have much to do with Prescott," Larson said about Friday's game. "It depends on how much better we get. We've got to improve, there's no question."

Larson said Prescott will pose a major challenge on Friday. The Cardinals have a top quality line, led by massive all-state tackle Nick Jacobsen, who is listed at 305 pounds. The Cards also have one of the fastest backs in the MBC in Matt Smith, who scored twice in Prescott's 27-22 win over Barron on Friday.

Somerset's coaches have long been believers that the biggest improvement made in a football season comes between the first and second games. The coaches are banking on that happening this week.

This isn't saying the Spartans did everything wrong against Bloomer, far from it. Senior fullback Vern Breault rushed for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Halfback Gabe Flandrick got outside for a 14-yard touchdown run. The defense created a score, with Tyler Ledbeter returning a fumble 38 yards for the touchdown.

Larson said Breault and Ledbeter, the Spartans' quarterback, were both able to run the ball well between the tackles. But the coaches were clearly frustrated by the offense's limited success getting the ball outside the tackles. The fact that the passing game couldn't produce a completion in six attempts also clearly bothered the coaches. Hands weren't just a problem on offense. The Spartans also had three interceptions in their hands and couldn't hang onto any of them.

This game received a great deal of attention because of the two classic games played between Somerset and Bloomer last season. The first game was a five-overtime epic in the second week of the season. In the playoffs, the Spartans beat Bloomer to advance to the Division 4 state championship game.

Bloomer graduated 22 of its 24 starters, while the Spartans returned a much more experienced team this season. The Spartans were able to limit Bloomer to 38 yards rushing but the Blackhawks did gain 175 yards through the air. One of the reasons for the success against the run was the play of Somerset noseguard Alex Piletich, who was able to consistently get past the Bloomer center to shut down plays in the backfield.

"Bloomer has a good program," Larson said. "In the last four years they've only lost to three teams: Northwestern, us and Baldwin-Woodville."

Somerset 28,

Bloomer 14

Scoring

S -- Vern Breault, 27 yard run (kick failed)

S -- Tyler Ledbeter, 38 yard fumble return (Ledbeter run)

S -- Gabe Flandrick, 14 yard run (kick failed)

B -- Colton Seibel , 4 yard run (Salm run)

S -- Breault, 4 yard run (Breault run)

B -- Ryan Buske, 13 yard run (attempt failed)

Statistics

Somerset Rushing: Vern Breault 30-175

Somerset Passing: Tyler Ledbeter 0-6, 0 yards, 0 interceptions

Somerset Receiving: None

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