Brodhead-Juda advances to third round in football
RACINE Strategy was sound. Opportunities were seized. And Trenton Jordan was Trenton Jordan.
Add those three factors together and what you get is a bottom-line explanation on how Brodhead-Juda’s co-op football team ended Racine St. Catherine’s nine-game winning streak and advanced to Level 3 of the WIAA Division 4 playoffs.
Jordan got the seventh kick return for a touchdown of his high school career at just the right moment, Brodhead-Juda came up with some crucial turnovers, and coach Jim Matthys designed effective strategy in the Cardinals’ 32-21 victory Saturday at Horlick Field.
It was the first loss for St. Catherine’s (9-2) since Aug. 19, when it fell to Milwaukee Lutheran, 45-26, in the season opener.
Brodhead-Juda (9-2), which played in the Division 4 state championship game last season, advances to a third-round match-up with Lakeside Lutheran (10-1), a 30-18 winner over Marshall,
“We knew it was going to be tough coming in, obviously,” Brodhead-Juda senior quarterback David Earleywine said after leading the Cardinals to their eighth straight win. “That was one of the defenses (a 3-3 stack) we hadn’t seen a whole lot of this season, but we just knew if we stuck to our guns, played smash-mouth football and play-action passed when we needed it, we’d be all right.”
Matthys had his team well prepared. Anticipating St. Catherine’s would be geared to stop the Cardinals’ running game after they rushed for 370 yards in a first-round victory over Platteville, Matthys put the Angels off balance with an effective play-action passing game.
The 6-foot-4 Earleywine carried it out almost to perfection, completing 10 of 14 passes for 163 yards, with no interceptions.
“They pretty much did what we thought they were going to do, and that’s doing a lot of blitzing inside that caused us some issues with our inside game,” Matthys said. “That’s why our play-action pass and things like that were really working.
“They sold out to stop the run, and I guess I don’t blame them. We had a lot of yards last week.”
The Cardinals were just as prepared defensively. Matthys was concerned with a St. Catherine’s passing attack that had averaged 191.7 yards a game behind four-year starting quarterback Cary Thomas and game-breaking receiver Justin Erickson.
Erickson, a first-team AP All-State defensive back as a junior last season, consistently drew double coverage. He had his moments with five catches for 93 yards, but was never able to get into the end zone.
“We knew they had to do something as far as covering Justin Erickson,” St. Catherine’s coach Dan Miller said. “They bracketed him with two guys throughout the game, and then they took No. 25 (Trenton Jordan) and manned up on the other receiver.
“They had a nice strategy. We’ve seen that during the season, but as a team defense, they really got after it.”
Tipping this game in Brodhead-Juda’s favor were special teams and seizing crucial opportunities.
Take the Cardinals’ opening drive, when they had a third-and-six at St. Catherine’s 16-yard line. Earleywine passed to Brandon Bauman, who fumbled at the 2, but Joey Jordan picked up the ball and ran in for the first touchdown of the game.
In the second quarter, things really got interesting.
With 9:39 left in the quarter and St. Catherine’s trailing 7-0, a Thomas pass intended for Teddy Ruetz was intercepted by Bauman. Five plays later, Jesse DeLorme scored for Brodhead-Juda, putting the Angels in a 14-0 hole.
St. Catherine’s came back to score on its ensuing possession on a 1-yard plunge by Thomas, but any momentum the Angels gained quickly vanished. Trenton Jordan returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, and Brodhead-Juda passed for a two-point conversion, giving the Cardinals a 22-7 lead with 4:57 left in the half.
It was the fifth kickoff returned for a touchdown by Jordan, who also has returned two punts for scores in his career.
“We talked about kicking away from him,” Miller said. “Unfortunately, we kicked it to him, and we had one guy who got knocked down and created an alley for No. 25 (Jordan) to run through. He hit the seam hard and scored a touchdown.”
What’s more, Jordan knew what it meant.
“I think we got the momentum back after that,” he said.
On the Angels’ ensuing possession, they drove to Brodhead-Juda’s 3-yard line. But on second down, there was a fumbled exchange, and Brodhead-Juda’s Jacob Boegli recovered with 3:16 left in the second quarter. The Cardinals then ran down the clock in the first half.
Turnovers and special teams were the bottom line in this game. That was underscored one final time with 3:16 to play, when Justin Dougherty’s 35-yard field goal gave the Cardinals a 32-21 lead and all but put the game out of reach for St. Catherine’s.
“Turnovers and special teams ended up being very big for us,” Trenton Jordan said.
DeLorme pounded for 88 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries for the Cardinals. Jaron Harding added 70 yards on 13 carries.
Trenton Jordan caught four passes for 93 yards.
ST. CATHERINE’S 21
Brodhead-Juda 7 15 0 10—32
Racine St. Catherine’s 0 7 7 7—21
Scoring summary: BJ—Joey Jordan, 2 run (Josh Dougherty kick). BJ—Jesse DeLorme, 2 run (Dougherty kick). RSC—Cary Thomas, 1 run (Shey Smith kick). BJ—Trenton Jordan, 85 kickoff return (Bauman, pass from Matt Trotter). RSC—Sean Madden, 20 run (Smith kick). BJ—DeLorme, 5 run (Dougherty kick). RSC—Madden, 3 run (Smith kick). BJ—FG, Dougherty, 35.
Statistics: First downs—BJ 17, RSC 19. Rushing—BJ 47-189, RSC 23-117. Yards passing—BJ 163, RSC 152. Passes—BJ 14-10-0, RSC 25-9-2. Fumbles—BJ 1-0, RSC 1-1. Penalties—BJ 10-70, RSC 3-12.