NEW RICHMOND – The 49-28 defeat Western Brown’s football team suffered at the hand of the New Richmond Lions last Friday night can be broken down into three stages.
The first stage consists of the first ten minutes or so of the first quarter. New Richmond received the opening kickoff and promptly fumbled the ball away to the Broncos. Western Brown decided to go for it on fourth down in their own territory and failed to convert, giving the ball back to the Lions with 10 minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Three minutes later, the Lions were in the end zone for the first time. Lions quarterback Austin Torrens kept the ball and scampered in for one of his two touchdowns of the first half, giving New Richmond a 7-0 lead.
After Western Brown was forced to punt on their next drive, the Lions struck again. Torrens carried the ball in from inside the Bronco one-yard line to give New Richmond a 14-0 lead. Chaiten Tomlin’s pass on the Broncos’ next drive hit his receiver in the hands and was picked off, giving New Richmond excellent field position for the third time in the quarter.
They converted again, with Lions’ senior running back Michael Williamson scampering around the left side of the offensive line, giving his team a 21-0 lead.
This is where the second stage begins. The Broncos marched the ball right back down the field and score with 1:37 left in the first quarter, cutting the Lions’ lead to 21-7.
The Broncos got the ball back and struck even quicker, with Chaiten Tomlin hitting Wyatt Fischer for an 88-yard touchdown strike that pulled Western Brown within seven points.
Three minutes later, the Broncos tied the game. The Broncos thought they converted on fourth down and short, hitting Eean Hornung for the game-tying touchdown. The play was brought back due to a holding call on the Broncos, who calmly found Hornung again on the next play to tie the game at 21 with 8:32 left in the half.
New Richmond’s next drive took just five plays. Western Brown struggled with the option run, especially on the interior of the defensive line, and Lions backup running back T.J. Gelter scored to give New Richmond a seven-point lead with 7:18 left in the half.
Western Brown again failed on fourth down in their own territory and the Lions pounced, scoring their fifth touchdown of the half on a 20-yard run by Williamson.
The Broncos weren’t done either, however. Tomlin hit Hornung again with four minutes left in the half to pull Western Brown within a score at 35-28. That was the score at halftime and that was as close as the Broncos would get.
Tomlin left the game injured after his team’s first drive of the second half. Shortly thereafter, Torrens injured his knee for the Lions. Neither player would return to the game.
Thus began the third stage of the contest: a battle of the backups. Seth Becker entered the game for the Broncos and led the team down into New Richmond territory, but a pass hit one of his wide receivers in the hands, bounced up into the air and fell in the arms of Corey Bozic for the Lions’ first takeaway of the game.
It was not their last. Becker would throw three more interceptions in the fourth quarter, leaving him with four turnovers in the game. Becker was pressured on two of the three throws and the third interception came on a leaping play by Bozic near the sideline.
The Lions added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, pulling away late for the victory.
Western Brown’s defense has been a problem at times this season and Friday night was no different. Torrens only completed eight of 17 passes for 53 yards, but he carried the ball 23 times for 141 yards and a pair of touchdowns before leaving the game roughly halfway through.
Williamson tallied 166 yards on 26 carries and a pair of scores while backup quarterback Josh Anderson totaled 54 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown.
Head coach Don Sizer said his team will have to look at the game film to figure out what went wrong on defense.
“We thought we had a bead on it and obviously we didn’t,” Sizer said. “We have to go back to the drawing board and see what we need to correct and correct it for next week.”
Tomlin completed 17 of 30 passes for 275 yards and four touchdowns in the first half. He also threw an interception.
Hornung had eight catches for 50 yards and a touchdown. Fischer led the Broncos with seven grabs for 167 yards and a touchdown, while Eli Crall and Zach Stacy each added a touchdown reception as well.
Sizer said Tomlin’s injury, should it cause him to miss the team’s next game against Amelia Friday, October 16, would not change too much.
“[Becker’s] really similar [to Tomlin],” Sizer said. “We don’t have to change a lot of things. They pratice every day, and it’s the same game plan. So it’ll just be a different kid running it.”