TGU Football: Titans Tame Wildcats in Homecoming Win
It was beautiful crisp fall night under the Friday night lights, meaning one thing and one thing only: it was time for some football. It was also Homecoming night in the town of Towner, and the Towner-Granville-Upham (TGU) Titans football team didn’t disappoint with a resounding home conference victory over the Benson County [Leeds/Maddock] Wildcats by a score of 54-14.
The Titans racked up 32 first quarter points against the Wildcats and added another eight points for a 40-0 score until the Wildcats found the endzone with 2:18 left to play in the first half, bringing the halftime score to 40-8. The Titans took their feet off the pedal somewhat in the second half, scoring just twice while holding the Wildcats to just one score that came in the fourth quarter, bringing the Titan Homecoming game to a close with a 54-14 victory and reason to celebrate.
The Titans were not discriminatory in finding ways to score. They crossed the goal line via their offense on runs and through the air. They also added scores with their special team play, returning both a kick-off and punt-return for scores.
Lane Schmitt started the scoring barrage with an 8-yard burst on the Titans first drive. After the Titans showed their strength on the defensive side by stopping the Wildcats on their first quarter drive, Kolter Schell galloped 92 yards on a punt return. Schell also showed he was proficient with his arm as well and connected with Lane Bachmeier for a 6-yard score. Shayden Luna ended the first quarter scoring barrage by punching it in from the 4-yard line. Schmitt capped the first half scoring with a 15-yard scamper.
The Titans rebounded in the second half after a Wildcat score by Spencer Follman on a one-yard blast by Schmitt, returning the pursuing kickoff 68 yards for a score. Lane Ritterman added the last six points for the Wildcats with a 6-yard run; and Caleb Cross ended the scoring for the Titans with a 3-yard run.
For the night Luna led all rushers with 84 yards, followed by Schmitt 53 yards, Cross 28 yards, Cole Bethke 20 yards and Schell 19 yards. Schell went 2 for 2 in the passing game with one touchdown, and Luna went 3 for 3 for 16 yards. The Titans spread the ball around in the air, with four receivers catching the ball. Lane Bachmeier had two catches for 9 yards and a score; Schmitt had a catch for 26 yards; James Rosencrans had a catch for 7-yards, and Evan Burckhard also had a catch adding six yards to the offensive total.
The first team defense of the Titans held up their end of the bargain by keeping the Wildcats out of the end zone all night, while the second team showed their metal and only allowed two scores. Bethke led this stingy defense of the Titans with 12 tackles. Cross, Rosencrans, Miguel Juarez and Tanner Schock each had 5 tackles; Blaine Rosencrans and Andy Linstrom had 4 tackles each; Schell, Rance Kramer, Luna, Evan Burckhard and Lane Bachmeier all had 3 tackles; Lane Schmitt, Garrett Bailey and Johnathan Parisien contributed 2 tackles apiece and Tristan Mcmahon and Zac Bryn each had 1 tackle for the night.
“I thought we played a real strong defensive game. Our starting defense didn’t give up any points, and our reserves gave up two scores. Offensively, we established the run game early, which kept Benson County on their heels,” stated Coach Scott Thorson after the game. He continued, “Our special teams had two touchdowns. We have been looking for that all year. I was very pleased with the effort and enthusiasm of our team. We had a great week of practice, which lead to playing very well.” Coach Thorson concluded, “Our reserves played the majority of the game, and we were very pleased with the things we saw from them.”
The victory propelled the Titans to a 6-1-season record, 4-1 in District play, and ranking them 12th in the state. The loss dropped the Wildcats to 2-6 for the season and 2-3 in the District.
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