BJ Foster, Northwestern Eagles Soars Over Crown in 21-0 Victory
The Crown College Storm opened up the 2016 UMAC schedule taking on rival Northwestern University. This was to be a real test for the new offense of Matt Bremmer and for first year quarterback Taylor Watkins, but the results were less than what was hoped for. The defense for the Storm looked solid, holding the Eagles to 21-points, but the Northwestern defense smothered Crown, holding them to just 156-yards of total offense in a 21-0 loss.
Northwestern took the opening kickoff and marched 65-yards in 17-plays to take the early 7-0 lead. Running back BJ Foster was a key to the drive, as he rushed nine times for 22-yards, including a three-yard bull rush for a touchdown that gave the Eagles the early lead. That drive took 9:53 and gave a quick preview of what the evening was going to be like.
After sitting on sideline for over 20 minutes from the start of the game, the offense held onto the ball for just 6-plays before they needed to punt. This time the Storm defense stiffened and they forced the Eagles to punt on each of their next two possessions.
With 12:07 left in the second quarter, the Storm started to move the ball. Starting from their own 10, Watkins hit Trey Peace for 10-yards and a first down out to the 21. Josh Edlund then had huge runs of 12- and 15-yards to move the ball to the UNW 45. There, Matt Michaud bull rushed for 7-yards but was stripped of the ball and the Eagles recovered at their own 33.
Buoyed by the huge defensive play, the offense mounted another big drive, moving 62-yards in 11-plays to take a 14-0 lead. Corban Halbur’s pass to Gavin Welch went for a 10-yard score to extend the lead, and that would be the score heading into the half.
In the third quarter neither team could generate any kind of offense. The Crown College defense looked most impressive. On the first drive of the half for UNW, Dasean Riley made a huge play when Halbur looked to go deep for Gavin Welch, but Riley made a great read at his own 8 to intercept the ball.
In the fourth, Northwestern added the final score of the game. After a 21-yard punt return by Daniel Stratton put the ball at the Crown 18, J. Gutierrez rushed for 14-yards on the drive’s second play for the score. That made it 21-0, which would be the final.
Halbur finished 16-25 for 198-yards and a TD. Foster rushed for 105-yards and a TD on 20-carries. Cody Carlson had 137-yards receiving on 10-catches.
Crown’s defense was led by Josh Brozek and Tyler Byrd, each of whom had 9-tackles. Brozek also broke up four passes. Christ Strange added 6-tackles.
The Crown College Storm travel to New Ulm next weekend to take on Martin Luther. Kickoff is 1:00 PM.
By Robert Pannier