Tyler Haak and Bene Lemke provided a late boost, giving solace to the Deerfield football team following Friday’s 35-14 Trailways Small Conference loss to visiting Fall River/Rio on Friday night.
Less than three minutes into the game Fall River/Rio made the first blemish on the scoreboard with a Nick Larson 7-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 early.
Deerfield reached the red zone on its first drive, before Cal Fisher threw an incomplete pass on fourth down to give the ball back to the Rebels (3-4 overall, 1-3 TSC) on downs.
“We beat ourselves a lot, we get that first drive and we’re not able to get those two or three yards to punch it in,” Demons head coach Derek Sweger said. “That set a tone that we weren’t hoping for and had a big drive off of that.”
Carson Richardson and Clay Blevins added to the scoring with a 9-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0 with 51.7 seconds left in the first quarter.
After recovering a fumble, Fall River/Rio completed an eight-play drive with a Larson 23-yard TD run to make it 21-0 with 8:32 left in the second quarter. Teagan Prochnow added two touchdown runs of 3 and 7 yards as the FR/R lead grew to 35-0 at the half.
“Fumbles are a part of football, and that is what happens sometimes,” Sweger said. “Interceptions are decisions and everything like that, but you can have ball security and a guy can punch the ball out in that same spot. That is kind of what we were up against tonight.”
Haak used a big kickoff return to the 39-yard line to start the second half, but the Demons turned over on an interception. After forcing the Rebels to punt, Deerfield finally capitalized using a three-play drive to get into the end zone on an 8-yard Lemke run.
“I am so proud of Bene, he ran the ball so well and we’re finally healthy,” Sweger said. “Two weeks ago, he was playing guard and rotating in line. Only in Division 7 football do you start a guy at guard and have him run for 100 yards the next week.”
The Demons continued to hold the Rebels scoreless forcing a punt and a turnover on downs the rest of the game. Deerfield added a score in garbage time with a Haak 14-yard touchdown run with 54.3 seconds left in the game.
“Finishing drives has been an issue, and some of that you have to learn,” Sweger said. “It is a lot easier when you have a lot of grass to work with and everything looks bigger. When everything crunches, it is hard for some of these young guys to not be tight.”
The Demons (1-6, 0-4) host Randolph (5-2, 2-2) in TSC play this Friday. The Homecoming kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
Deerfield held its annual Cancer Awareness Night and raised money in a fight against breast cancer.
Samantha Zander, recently diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing chemotherapy, served as the honorary captain.
FALL RIVER/RIO 35
Fall River/Rio 14 21 0 0 — 35
Deerfield 0 0 6 8 — 14
Fall River/Rio — Larson, 7 run (conversion failed).
Fall River/Rio — Blevins, 9 pass from Richardson (conversion good).
Fall River/Rio — Larson, 23 run (kick good).
Fall River/Rio — Prochnow, 3 run (kick good).
Fall River/Rio — Prochnow, 7 run (kick good).
Deerfield — Lemke, 8 run (run failed).
Deerfield — Haak, 15 run (conversion good).
First Downs — FRR 18, DEER 9. Rushing (Att.-Yds.) — FRR 45-314, DEER 32-164. Passing Yards — FRR 95, DEER 34. Passes (Comp.-Att.-Int.) — FRR 5-14-1, DEER 4-7-0. Fumbles-lost — FRR 2-2, DEER 2-0. Penalty Yards — FRR 120, DEER 50.