BEEMER - In a Class D-1 battle of unbeaten teams, Howells-Dodge emerged on top Friday night, shutting out West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic 26-0 in Beemer.
Both teams entered the game at 5-0 and were rated in the top three in Class D by The Daily News.
Howells-Dodge used a combination of a strong kicking game to force the Bluejays to start drives at its 15-yard line, time-consuming running game to control time of possession in the second half and a menacing defense by sacking GACC quarterback Eric Wietfeld three times and defensive backs to break up or intercept Bluejay passes.
After a scoreless first quarter in which Howells-Dodge had a Ben Kuehn touchdown run called back because of a holding penalty at 7:13, but was in the red zone at the end, Kuehn scored from three yards out with just 5 seconds into the second quarter.
On one of few Guardian Angels' drives away from the 15-yard line in the second quarter, Wietfeld threw an interception to Jaguar cornerback Devin Risch at about 7:10 left.
Howells-Dodge took advantage of good field position with some short Bluejay punts kicked into the wind or out of bounds, starting its last second-quarter touchdown drive on GACC's 26-yard line. Five plays later, Kuehn ran four yards into the end zone with 1:12 left.
The Jaguars' first second-half touchdown occurred on just two plays with 9:24 left, with Kuehn breaking free on a 36-yard run down the sideline. Howells-Dodge's final score came on Jesse Faltys' 12-yard dash with 4:29 left in the third quarter on a seven-play drive.
The Jaguars' effective kicking/punting game started by putting punts into the end zone for touchback on GACC's drive with 4:40 left until halftime. During the Bluejays' last second-quarter drive, which started at the 15-yard line, Risch batted down two passes intended for tight end Jacob Bracht and wingback Kyan Hass.
Each of the Bluejays' three three-quarter drives started at its own 15-yard line because of touchbacks. Faltys and Mitchell Prusa combined to sack Wietfeld, then Seth Novak brought him down – both in the third quarter. Luke Hegemann also a had second-quarter sack.
Howells-Dodge dominated time of possession in the fourth quarter by executing its running game, allowing the Bluejays one drive lasting one minute. The Jaguars were poised to score on GACC's 10-yard line with 25 seconds left in the game, but quarterback Casey Wisnieski opted to take a knee to end it.
The Jaguars stay undefeated at 6-0, while GACC drops to 5-1.
GACC ........................... 0 0 0 0 - 0
Howells-Dodge ............. 0 12 14 0 - 26
H-D – Ben Kuehn 3 run (Kuehn run failed) 11:55
H-D – Kuehn 4 run (Jesse Faltys run failed) 1:12
H-D – Kuehn 36 run (Seth Novak pass from Casey Wisnieski failed) 9:24
H-D – Faltys 12 run (Wisnieski run) 4:29