Spartans make it unbearable for Barron
That wasn't the final score. It was the score with 57 seconds remaining in the first quarter as the Somerset football team devoured the Barron Bears, 41-0 last Thursday.
After the first quarter the Somerset coaches showed their merciful side, with most of the starters out of the game already early in the second quarter.
This Friday the Spartans will begin their attempt to win their third consecutive Middle Border Conference title. The Spartans will take a 25-game home winning streak into Friday's game, which will be played against New Richmond.
The Spartans were hoping for better competition from Barron to prepare for their MBC opener. Having to pull the starters a third of the way into the game wasn't something the coaches had hoped to do.
In the first quarter the Spartans were scoring at will. They got the ball first, and on their opening play, sophomore fullback Brock Montpetit bucked through the middle for 19 yards. Moments later he broke two tackles at the line and dashed down the field for a 42-yard touchdown run.
Barron's first possession lasted three plays, with the Spartans getting the ball back on their own 40. The Spartans breezed down the field, including runs of 16 yards from Drew Baillargeon and John Anderson and a 13-yarder by Montpetit. That set up a 1-yard TD run by Montpetit halfway through the first quarter.
Barron did get one first down in its next possession, before the Spartan defense forced the first turnover of the game. The Bears tried to run the option, but a pitch was mishandled and Montpetit recovered at the Barron 45.
By this time the Spartan coaches were looking at every page of the playbook, trying to do things to sharpen the players' skills that wouldn't break away for big plays. The first Spartan pass of the game was a completion from Anderson to Tom Fohrenkamm in the flat, which he took for 21 yards.
On the next play the coaches pulled one from the depths of the playbook calling a wide receiver reverse to Garret Germain. Barron was caught completely by surprise, with Germain sweeping around the perimeter of the defense for a 24-yard touchdown.
Barron's next possession again was done in three plays. Consecutive quarterback sacks by Brett Schreiner and Jake Asp pushed the Bears back more than 20 yards. A 21-yard punt return by Evan Kowalski then put the Spartans in great field position.
An 18-yard run by Baillargeon moved the ball to the Spartan 11. The coaches then called another pass play, with Anderson looking for Schreiner on a post route. Anderson showed good judgement, waiting for Schreiner to clear a defender, before he lofted the pass to his tight end for the touchdown.
Barron's next possession was also over quickly, started by an 18-yard loss on a shotgun snap over the head of the Bears quarterback.
The Spartan next possession was brief. Calin Hehling found a gap in the right side of the Barron defense and raced 39 yards for the touchdown. It was the Spartans' fifth score in less than 14 minutes of game time.
After that score there were full-scale substitutions by the Spartans.
About the only time the starters returned en masse was when Barron got the ball deep in Somerset territory after a bad snap over the head of Spartan punter Mitch Colanino. Barron got the ball to the Somerset 1, but the Spartan defense then pushed the Bears backwards on three straight plays.
The second half went by quickly with the clock running constantly because of the wide margin in the score. Barron held the ball the first six minutes of the third quarter, driving to the Spartan 37. Somerset then went on a 14-play drive, that spilled over into the fourth quarter. Fullback Jake Asp finished off the drive with a 7-yard touchdown for the final points of the game.
After so many fumbles in the opening game against West Salem, the Spartans did much better at holding onto the ball in this game. The only Spartan turnover of the game came on the game's final play, when the JV offense fumbled the ball away.
The one-sided win did little to assure the coaches that the team is ready for the conference schedule.
"I have no idea if we got better," Larson said about the Barron game.
He said the one bright spot was some of the double-team blocks by the interior offensive line, driving Barron linemen 10 yards or further off the ball.
Larson did find several things that need improvement for this week. He was not pleased with the performance of the special teams, especially the kickoff team. He is also looking for the offensive line to follow its assignments more closely and to have the running backs be more direct in getting upfield on their carries.
"I hope we're not going into (the New Richmond game) with a false sense of security," Larson said. "New Richmond has gotten a lot better."
Somerset 41, Barron 0
Barron 0 0 0 0 0
Somerset 28 7 0 6 41
Som -- Brock Montpetit, 42 yard run (Dan Kirk kick)
Som -- Montpetit, 1 yard run (Kirk kick)
Som -- Garret Germain, 24 yard run (Kirk kick)
Som -- Brett Schreiner, 11 yard pass from John Anderson (Kirk kick)
Som -- Calin Hehling, 39 yard run (Kirk kick)
Som -- Jake Asp, 7 yard run (kick failed)
First Downs 16 5
Rushing Yards 303 21
Passing Yards 32 31
Passes 2-3-0 int. 3-10-0 int.
Penalties 5-30 4-20
Som -- Brock Montpetit 14-118, Calin Hehling 2-47, Drew Baillargeon 6-42, Evan Kowalski 4-39, Garret Germain 2-32, John Anderson 3-21, Jake Asp 3-17, Tom Fohrenkamm 2-14, Alex Sullivan 2-5, Matt Johnson 1-0, Josh Wiederin 1-0, Mitch Colanino 1-(-32)
Som -- John Anderson 2-3-0 int., 32 yards
Som -- Tom Fohrenkamm 1-21, Brett Schreiner 1-11