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Wave of turnovers wipes out Panthers

When a team has more turnovers than points, you can immediately mark the game in the "bad night" category.

The bad night put a big hole in St. Croix Central's football playoff hopes. Playing in their Homecoming game last Friday, the Panthers turned the ball over eight times against winless Boyceville. And now Boyceville is no longer winless, beating the Panthers 14-7.

Central plays at Elk Mound this Wednesday, then plays Colfax and Mondovi in the final two rounds of the conference season. The Panthers need to win two of those three games to qualify for the state football playoffs.

In the Homecoming game, the Panthers turned the ball over five times in the first half, but still managed to lead at halftime 7-6. The Panthers drove for a touchdown in the first quarter, with quarterback Tyler Cody scoring on a 2-yard run.

The hidden success in this loss is the play of the Panther defense. When your offense commits eight turnovers and you only surrender two touchdowns, that means the defense is the only reason you stayed in the game.

"To be quite honest, our defense played quite well," said Central coach Tony DiSalvo.

Five times Boyceville got the ball inside the Panther 10-yard line, but only scored one of those five possessions. Garrett Ullom led the Panthers with 17 tackles. Brady Hughes was in on 16 tackles, Curtis Sobattka and Cameron Sarnstrom 10 tackles and Tony Bowman nine tackles.

In the second quarter the Panthers came up with a big stand, stopping Boyceville inside the Panther 5. The Panther offense then immediately fumbled the ball back to the Bulldogs. This time Boyceville was able to convert, on a 1 yard run by Jason Stark.

The Panthers nearly had another touchdown in the final moments of the first half, driving to the Bulldog 10 before being stopped.

In the third quarter the Bulldogs took the lead on the only big play the Panther defense allowed all night. Halfback Chris Steinbach, who missed most of the season with an injury, got free for a 62-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Boyceville's defense got the final two points of the night. With the Panthers near their own goal line, they ran a screen pass that would have picked up good yardage if handled cleanly. Only the ball was fumbled in the end zone. The Panthers recovered the ball, but couldn't get out of the end zone to prevent giving up the safety.

The Panther offense never got on track all night. The ground game only produced 76 yards and the passing attack netted 88 yards.

"It was a combination of the Homecoming blues," DiSalvo said of the team's struggles. "(The turnovers) are basic fundamental football, we hadn't done that all year."

Boyceville 14, St. Croix Central 7

Boyceville 0 6 6 2 14

St. Croix Central 7 0 0 0 7


SCC -- Tyler Cody, 2 yard run (Josh Armagost kick)

B -- Jason Stark, 1 yard run (kick failed)

B -- Chris Steinbach, 62 yard run (pass failed)

B -- Safety, Central running back tackled in end zone


First Downs 10 7

Rushing Yards 76 154

Passing Yards 88 -4

Passes 9-27-3 int. 2-11-0 int.

Penalties 3-45 5-35


SCC -- Dustin Hinkel 8-25; Craig Myer 10-21; Jordan Kooiman 8-18


SCC -- Tyler Cody 9-27-3 int; 88 yards


SCC -- Garrett Ullom 5-48; Dustin Hinkel 2-9; Adam Delander 1-22; Craig Myer 1-9

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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