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Somerset football looks to build on opening MBC victory

Somerset senior fullback Jack Peterson (24) breaks away on a 60-yard touchdown run that gave the Spartans the lead for good in their 42-7 win over Osceola on Friday. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia

There was a great deal of satisfaction for the Somerset football team in being the opponent that snapped Osceola’s 21-game unbeaten streak in the Middle Border Conference last Friday.

Some of the satisfaction rose from the fact that the two teams are heated rivals. Some rose from the fact that Somerset was the top team in the MBC before Osceola’s three-year reign. But the biggest amount of satisfaction showed that the Spartans appear to be returning to respectability after the 42-7 thrashing of the Chieftains.

Somerset coach Bruce Larson said the win showed that the Spartans never lost faith, despite the two non-conference losses to Bloomer and Superior that started the season.

“Our kids are committed to what we are doing. Each week there’s a strong belief in what we are doing and there’s a stronger belief in each other,” Larson said. “We played as a team, as well as we have in a long time, fighting for each other.”

The Spartans opened the game with an 80-yard scoring drive and the offense was nearly unstoppable the entire night. When Somerset has been at its best through Larson’s years as coach, there has been a strong mix of threats on offense. That was the case Friday, with 158 yards rushing from the fullback, 136 yards from the quarterback and 99 yards from the halfbacks. The halfbacks only had four touches, but nearly every one resulting in a big play. Roy Hale scored on both his carries and Tate Pitcher gained 63 yards in his two attempts.

Jack Peterson was again nearly unstoppable at fullback. He ran for three touchdowns, then threw a pass for a touchdown to David Ortega in the second quarter that extended the lead to 21-7.

Senior Will Piletich accounted for all the yards at quarterback. Larson made sure to point out the play of Piletich at quarterback. Piletich is now in his second season as a varsity signal caller. Larson pointed to former Spartan quarterbacks Tyler Ledbetter and Reed Baillargeon as examples of quarterbacks who saw a huge upswing in their production in their second year at the position.

The Spartan defense was just as successful, limiting Osceola to 197 yards of total offense. Larson said the defense has come together to form a solid group. He praised the work of Hunter Young, Hayden Kelly and Ethan Wegscheider up front, while praising how much Spencer Sindt and Jared Grahovac have improved at linebacker.

Larson said he felt the Spartans played better in the second half than the first, a sign that the team is believing in what it is doing.

Larson also warned against overconfidence. The Spartans play at Prescott this Friday. Prescott defeated the Spartans in Somerset last season.

“There’s no guarantees for us,” Larson warned. “It was good to get a win. If we can string a couple together, this could get interesting.”

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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