The turnovers are coming in droves.
A week after forcing five of them in a win over Milton, the DeForest High School football team recovered five fumbles and intercepted two passes in the Norskies’ 42-6 victory in a Badger Large Conference thrashing of Watertown on Friday.
Playing well in all three phases of the game was the key for DeForest.
“I think really it was we got back to playing complementary football,” said Norski Head Coach Aaron Mack. “I don’t think we had a drive that didn’t start in their territory.”
Now 7-1 overall, the Norskies are 5-1 in conference play, while the Goslings drop to 2-4 in the league and 3-5 overall.
A 35-yard touchdown pass from Mason Keyes to Aydin Kelliher opened the scoring for DeForest in the first quarter, as Ty Tisch kicked the extra point.
Watertown’s lone score came on a 38-yard run by Taylor Walter, but the extra-point try failed, leaving the Norskies with a 7-6 lead.
The Kelliher-Keyes connection struck again later in the first quarter, this time on a 15-yard touchdown pass. Tisch’s extra-point kick made it 14-6.
With 2:21 left in the first half, Kase Reierson scored on a 4-yard touchdown run, extending DeForest’s advantage to 21-6. It was his only carry of the game.
In the third quarter, it was all Norskies, with Keyes hitting Nolan Hawk for a 7-yard scoring strike and then connecting with Max Weisbrod on a 17-yard touchdown pass.
Already up 35-6, Caleb Bendixen, who led DeForest in rushing with 57 yards, rumbled in from 7 yards out to cap the scoring.
But it was the defense and special teams that really stood out, holding Watertown’s Reece Kamrath to 14-for-31 passing for 117 yards. Most of the Goslings’ yards came from Walter, who rushed for 155 yards on 21 carries. It didn’t matter, though, as turnovers killed their chances.
“[DeForest’s defense] was overshadowed early on, as everyone wanted to talk about the offense,” said Mack. “We’ve been playing sound defense around here for a long time, and that’s continued this year.”
For DeForest, Keyes completed 9-of-17 passes for 112 yards and four touchdowns. Three receivers accounted for most of the catches, with Kelliher and Hawk totaling three catches apiece for a combined 78 receiving yards. Weisbrod finished with two receptions for 28 yards.
Kelliher also had a 79-yard kick return for the Norskies.
On Friday, the Norskies travel to Janesville Parker, with a postseason playoff berth already in their pocket.