Andale edges Buhler
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BUHLER Andales offense has proven potent, racking up 303 points in its first six games and utilizing one running back after another.
Give Hunter Knoblauch the ball, and hell either run it right at the line and bull over a defender, or hell make about three cuts in such quick succession that he can break away for a long run. Or give it to freshman Anthony Capul, whos capable of outrunning even the quickest defender.
Quarterback Jared Smarsh can use his speed or power, as can Hank Eck or Bo Knoblauch.
But in the third quarter Friday night at Buhler, Andale was held to minus-4 yards and three plays.
You have quarters like that, Smarsh said. It happens.
Andale had 181 rushing yards in the fourth quarter as the Indians came back to beat Buhler 28-21. Andale, ranked second in 4A, improved to 7-0 overall, 1-0 in Class 4A-District 13.
They ran right at us, thats what we couldnt get stopped, said Buhler coach Steve Warner, whose team is ranked third in 4A and is 6-1, 0-1. We couldnt stop them. Theyre getting three, four yards at a time, then a big play.
Hunter Knoblauch finished with 167 rushing yards on 28 carries with a 15-yard touchdown, while Capul had 86 yards on six carries, including a 55-yard score. Smarsh had 63 rushing yards and the games final two touchdowns of 48 and four yards.
Andale is known for smash-mouth football, Knoblauch said. Our line does a hell of a job. They blew the D-line up, and we give all the credit to them.
Smarsh was most impressed with his line when he scored on the games final touchdown, a four-yard run that put Andale up 28-21 with 6:55 to go.
That quarterback sneak, thats all the O-line. They all squeeze into about five inches on that quarterback sneak, Smarsh said. I was looking at the ground and I just felt the hole. Im getting behind all the big butts.
Andales running game, except for in the third quarter when it only had three plays because Buhler controlled the ball, was able to run it up the middle or get around the edges. And when the backs appeared to be stopped, suddenly theyd squirt threw the swarm of defenders to extend the run.
But mistakes plagued Andale early. The Indians had gotten new life after punting on the games first series when Buhler was called for running into the kicker to give Andale the first down. Andale went nine plays, but turned it over on downs at the Buhler 15.
After forcing Buhler to punt, Smarsh hit Jason Hermreck for an 8-yard gain, but he was hit hard and he fumbled into the end zone and Buhler recovered.
Buhler, which was without starting running back Riley Allen, who has a high-ankle sprain, punted again, and two plays later, Capul scored on a 55-yard run.
The Crusaders answered with a Denton Branscom 17-yard touchdown run, but Andale went into the half with the 14-7 lead after Knoblauchs 15-yard run. He converted two fourth down plays on the drive, including on a fake punt.
Buhler dominated the third quarter, using the option to stymie Andales physical defense.
We couldnt run some of our power plays right at them because of their line, thats why we went to the option, Warner said.
The Crusaders tied the score at 14-all on a 165-play drive with 4:53 to go in the period when Branscom scored on a one-yard run.
Buhlers defense held Andale to minus-4 yards on its only third-quarter series, then took the lead to start the fourth quarter on a 21-yard pass from Jace Williams to Luke Berblinger. But two plays earlier, Branscom suffered an ankle injury and didnt return.
Andale quickly answered with a three-play scoring drive, but failed on the two-point conversion.
I just knew we had to score again, Smarsh said. Thats what Im thinking about.
Andale stopped Buhler after four plays, then Smarsh scored for the lead.
They felt like they had to overcome some adversity, OHair said. They were down a few times. I was panicking a little bit. There was panic in me.
Weve had the one close game. Weve had so many games where we didnt play our starters in the second half.
Andales players werent worried.
We bounce back from everything, Hermreck said.
|Andale (7-0, 1-0)||0||14||0||14||||28|
|Buhler (6-1, 0-1)||0||7||7||7||||21|
A Capul 55 run (run failed)
B Branscom 17 run (Wolf kick)
A H. Knoblauch 15 run (Smarsh run)
B Branscom 1 run (Wolf kick)
B Berblinger 21 pass from Williams (Wolf kick)
A Smarsh 48 run (run fails)
A Smarsh 4 run (Eck run)
Rushing Andale, H. Knoblauch 28-167, Smarsh 10-63, Eck 9-51, Capul 6-86, B. Knoblauch 3-17. Buhler, Branscom 20-77, Williams 12-53, Wolf 3-5, Berblinger 1-2.
Passing Andale, Smarsh 4-7-38-0. Buhler, Williams 5-14-58-1.
Receiving Andale, Eck 2-19, H. Knoblauch 1-11, Hermreck 1-8. Buhler, Berblinger 3-37, Wolf 2-21.