By Tim Huether
The Bennett County Warriors football team’s Homecoming week ended with a 40-0 loss to class 11A Custer last Friday as the Wildcats powered their way to a big win. Custer came in with a 1-3 record, however, they lost to three very big football programs in West Central, Lennox and Scottsbluff in that schedule.
The Wildcats big running back, 6’1”, 220 lb. Daniel Sedlacek put that power on display, ripping off an 85 yard run through the defense on the first play from scrimmage. The Wildcats would have the kick after blocked to keep the score 6-0.
The Warriors were forced to punt on their possession, then forced a Wildcat punt with good defense of their own.
After another Bennett County punt, Custer put their offense to work with Sudlacek scoring on a 20 yard run with 4:32 to go in the first quarter. The pass for conversion was good to make it 14-0.
After another Warrior punt, Custer struck quick on a 43 yard touchdown pass from Sterling Sword to Jace Kelley. The pass for conversion was incomplete for a 20-0 score with 1:32 to go in the first.
The Warriors would again be forced to punt and the short punt was taken back to the Warriors 12 yard line, setting up the Wildcats with excellent field position.
With 9:12 to go in the first half, Sword hit Kaleb Wragge from two yards out for another touchdown. Sword then passed to Wragge for the conversion, making it 28-0.
The Warrior offense moved the ball on their next possession, but a fumble on a sack turned it over to Custer and from there they would score on a 9 yard run by Sudlacek to make it 34-0 with 5:44 to go in the half. The pass for conversion was no good.
After another Warrior punt, Alonzo Lamont intercepted the Wildcats, setting up Bennett County at the 42 yard line of Custer with 1:19 to play in the half. Penalties killed the drive and the half would end with the Wildcats on top 34-0.
Bennett County had the ball to start the third quarter and started to make some noise with Ace Hahn passing to Alonzo Lamont for 24 yards, to the 38 of Custer. Hahn and Lamont hooked up again, this time for 17 yards. Penalties and a sack pushed the Warriors back from there, putting them in a 4th and 50, resulting in a punt.
Custer kept their offense rolling and marched 79 yards, scoring on a 4 yard run by Sterling Sword for what would be the game’s final points with 2:47 to play in the third quarter.
Bennett County didn’t give up without a fight as they moved to the Wildcats 10 on a nice pass from Hahn to Lamont. The Warriors scored a touchdown, but a penalty nullified that and the stiff Custer defense held them out of the endzone.
From there, Custer was able to control the ball and the clock, ending the game at 40-0.
Ace Hahn stepped up at quarterback for the Warriors, after the number one and two quarterbacks were out with injuries, and had a very good game, going 13 of 19 for 153 yards. His main target was Alonzo Lamont who had 5 big receptions for 93 yards on the night.
Lamont had an excellent overall game with an interception and 5 tackles on defense, earning Player of the Week honors.
“In football, there is always a lot of buzz or talk before the game and you are never sure what will happen,” said head coach Michael Barnaud. “Guys say the right things, they might “RA-RA” before the game but I have never believed in any of that because the real talk is done on the field with your helmet and your shoulder pads but my question all week was ‘Can we tackle #5?’ (Custer’s tailback) and that question was answered on the first play of the game when he broke three tackles and outrun our entire team for an 80 yard touchdown gallop. I knew right then that it was going to be a long night.”
“Obviously, this was a very disappointing result for us,” added Barnaud. “Custer is a solid team with skilled players that can really run. “There is no question they can play and they deserve credit for showing up and playing with the kind of intensity and confidence that the situation required. That being said, it was more of a story of our inability to compete or desire to fight that was the story of the night than it was how good of a team Custer is (they held a 1-3 record coming into the game, albeit against very stiff competition). We wanted no part of that dogfight and that was the biggest reason it got so bad, so fast. Custer punched us in the mouth and we folded. I think our guys believed it was going to be easy, but we ran into a motivated football team and we had no clue how to respond when they hit us.”
“Defensively, this was our worst game of the year by a country mile,” said Barnaud. “We lost on every level. Constant breakdowns in assignments, corners not staying in coverage on rollouts and playing with eyes in the backfield, linebackers who did not play physical all night, defensive line lost up front. Reviewing the film, I can’t name any one player who played well defensively and in a game where you give up 40 points despite having a running clock for a half, I am not sure anyone actually deserves this award but Ty Allen is the choice for Defensive Player of the Game for this game.”
“The schedule only gets harder from here,” suggested Barnaud. “We have Vermillion this week at home and then we follow that with a four hour bus trip to play what might be the best team in 11B, Mobridge. We will need a lot of foxhole guys over this final stretch.”
“Alonzo Lamont was our offensive player of the week,” said offensive coach Arthur Brown. “He had multiple catches and played multiple positions for us on offense. He has been big for us throughout this whole season. He makes our offense go, and when we get into injury trouble, he is always able to step in and fill that role.”
Rushing: Sam Byrne 3 carries, 9 yards; Mason Heath 4 carries, -4 yards; Haden Chase Alone 3 carries, 0 yards; Ace Hahn 14 carries -61 yards (sacks count as lost rushing yardage)
Passing: Ace Hahn 13 of 19, 153 yards
Receiving: Alonzo Lamont 5 receptions, 93 yards; Haden Chase Alone 5 receptions 30 yards; Sam Byrne 1 reception, 19 yards, Mason Heath 1 reception 11 yards
Defense: Haden Chase Alone 5 solo tackles; Kaedom Jack 1 solo, 3 assisted tackles; Trevin Vasquez 1 solo tackle; Sam Byrne 1 solo, 4 assisted tackles; Ace Hahn 2 solo, 2 assisted tackles; Alonzo Lamont 2 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles, 1 interception; Mason Heath 1 solo tackle, 3 assisted tackles; Alex Little Whiteman 1 assisted tackle; Ty Allen 1 solo, 6 assisted tackles, 1 sack; Raythen Bush 2 assisted tackles; Elijah Johnson 1 solo, 2 assisted tackles; Henry Johnson 3 assisted tackles; Brad Little Whiteman 3 assisted tackles; Stetsen Turpin 2 solo, 1 assisted tackles; Deryck Two Bulls 2 solo, 2 assisted tackles; Brandon Babby 1 solo tackle