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FS clobbers Clayton Ridge, 42-12
Sports · October 26, 2017


West Branch High School’s freshman-sophomore football team churned through Clayton Ridge Friday with three touchdowns in its first three drives on its way to a 42-12 finish.


The win included several big plays on offense and special teams and the Bears finished the season 6-3, 5-2.

Trey Eagle threw for three touchdowns and 162 yards and caught a fourth touchdown from Kelby Burger for a 76-yard score. John Yates caught a pass for a 67-yard touchdown, Jack Robertson rushed 62 yards for one score and caught another from 38 yards out. Morgan Hartz caught a pass for a 44-yard score. Cael Fiderlein returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown and kicked six extra points.

“I could not be more proud of this team, and the fashion that we closed out the JV season,” Coach Matt Hills said. “We scored early, we scored often, and despite (the Eagles) having a great running back, other than the second play of the game allowing a big TD run, the defense held Clayton Ridge scoreless until 24 seconds remaining.”

West Branch rolled up 378 yards to Clayton Ridge’s 310. The Bears covered 238 yards in the air and 140 on the ground.

Rushing: Trey Eagle 4-15; Morgan Hartz 7-10; Kristian Nalan 3-39; Jack Robertson 4-70, 1 TD; Kaleb Sexton 6-8. Receiving: Trey Eagle 1-76, 1 TD; John Yates 1-67, 1 TD; Morgan Hartz 1-44, 1 TD; Kristian Nalan 1-13; Jack Robertson 1-38, 1 TD.

“It was a complete game with both of our QB’s (Trey Eagle and Kelby Burger) throwing touchdown passes,” the coach said. “Kelby’s was to Trey Eagle, making the starting Quarterback one of six players to receive a pass and among four receiving touchdown passes. There were four running backs and our quarterback running the ball (140 yards). We also had 19 different players record a tackle (solo or assist).”

Tackling: Cael Fiderlein 3; Simon Palmer 4, 2 fumble recoveries; John Yates 4; Morgan Hartz 2; Sam Marcy 1, 1 forced fumble; Kristian Nalan 1; Jack Robertson 2; Nathan Swisher-Hintz 1; Davin Camacho 9; Kaleb Sexton 4; Joe Seydel 2; Harold Blakey 2, Jack Buol 3; Dominic Culver 9; Emery Hazelwood 5, 1 forced fumble; Dylan Butler 1; Matt Rummelhart 2; Matt Paulsen 3, 1 fumble recovery; Wade Holmes 2.

“We started the season without a kicker, and worked with several to develop a kicker for Week 1,” Hills said. “Cael Fiderlein won the job kicking PAT/Field Goals, and I don’t think he has missed but one, maybe two, the entire season. That is also a credit to kicking game coach, Drew Cornwell for being a key to developing Cael as a kicker. He led the special teams against the Eagles with 12 points, a 69-yard punt return, and was 6 for 6 on PAT kicks. For a freshman that was barely kicking off the ground in August, he has been hitting 30- to 35-yard field goals in practice, and will become a valuable asset to future Bears football teams.”

Punting: Trey Eagle 1-35. Kicking: Cael Fiderlein 7-269. PATs: Cael Fiderlein 6-6.

“The 2017 Bears JV added to the Varsity squad and their 38-12 victory and 9-0 season. Not only does the team assist the Varsity each week in practice, also sophomore Dakota Kaalberg was added to the Varsity roster several weeks ago, and half a dozen JV players participated in the 4th quarter of the Varsity game with Clayton Ridge.”

Kick returns: Kristian Nalan 2-24; Davin Camacho 1-16. Punt returns: Cael Fiderlein 1-69, 1 TD.

“Our JV games are complete, and having a 6-3 record is phenomenal considering the adversity they faced, including developing varsity players and facing opponents with varsity players, sometimes juniors/seniors,” the coach said. “Now, this group serves as a critical component to the playoff run throughout practice. This is one team, so the accolades, awards, and experience of state playoffs will be shared.”

Hills said the team got a compliment from a Clayton Ridge representative.

“The most satisfying moment of the season so far was not on the field, or even part of that 42-12 victory. Between games, the JV bus returned to the Clayton Ridge locker rooms to dress before returning to the field to support the varsity. After the team entered, Clayton Ridge Assistant AD Augie Petsche told me how we had such great young men. He commended their sportsmanship, and said they were the most polite and courteous young men he has encountered, ‘every one of them.’ We knew we won the game, had a winning record, but to hear those words ... these student-athletes had the most complete and successful season. Our coaching staff is very proud of these Bears.”

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