|9/27/2019 11:23:00 AM|
Speed and size gives Westby the edge over the Dodgers
SWC newcomer Westby was looking for something to go their way Friday when they came to Dodgeville to take on the Dodgers for Homecoming.
In their four earlier games this season they had scored but it had not been enough the latest loss was in overtime the week before at Prairie du Chien.
This time, though, the Norsemen were not going let the game slip away and they put up 47 points to Dodgeville's 14 to earn their first win of the season and also their first in the SWC.
On paper it looked as if the Norsemen were bigger and faster. On the field they proved it.
The Norsemen put up 14 unanswered points in the first quarter but Dodgeville got seven of them back on a RJ Veinberg touchdown and extra point. They went back at it though, and put 13 more points on the board for a 27-7 halftime lead then finished it with a 20 point third quarter.
The Dodgers did click once again, this time in the closing minutes when Garrett Busch found fellow sophomore Grant Roh in the end zone and hit him for a seven yard score. Veinberg also kicked the conversion.
Brett Jorgenson ran for four of Westby's touchdowns and had a strong performance with 188 yards on nine carries. Jack Nelson added a pair of rushing touchdowns as the Norsemen covered the ground for 352 yards.
Dillon Ellefson added 110 more yards through the air on seven of 16 completions, one of those a scoring strike to Joe Armbruster.
Overall, the Norsemen were bigger and had a lot more speed to strike with than the Dodgers.
"We obviously do not have athletes like that on our roster so it does make it tough in practice to simulate size and speed," said Dodgeville coach Josh Busch. "Game speed is tough to match in practice regardless of the opponent, and when you run into a team that has speed like they do there are not many things that you can do. We did little things like starting the ball carriers before the snap so they are too the hole quicker, also had the wide receivers do the same in an attempt to simulate speed, but it is tough."
But even with the tough match-up the Dodgers gave the Norsemen all they had.
"Our kids always fight," said Busch "They are not going to quit. We will fight until the last snap no matter who we are playing. "
Besides the both teams seeing plenty of action the Dodgeville trainer also had plenty to do.
"Donnie was pretty busy," Busch said about the trainer. "We had about five or six kids who were banged up. Fortunately most of the injuries will not keep anyone out from Friday night's game, but it will limit the reps that those guys are able to get in practice this week. I think only one of the injured guys will be out Friday night, but how much the other guys will be able to play remains to be seen."
Busch saw some good things from the Dodgers in the loss
"There were some flashes from kids, and those flashes are what we will try to build on," the coach said. "I thought Garrett (Busch, qb) did a good job of extending out plays to get our two touchdown's, and that he threw some good balls that gave receivers a chance to make a play on them. I also thought that our receiver's did a really nice job of making plays in the second half as well. Wylie Hilst and RJ Veinberg did a good job of being physical in the run game as well. Two guys that nobody would notice are our guys rotating at right tackle, Joey Cerutti and Grant James. Those two guys have done a pretty good job the last three weeks up front for us. I am proud of the way that they have stepped up and really supported one another."
Besides getting the Dodgers ready to play another new league opponent, Arcadia, they also have to get ready for a three hour bus ride both ways.
But practice first.
"We will continue to focus on improvement," Busch said. "We will make some changes because of injury at a couple of spots, but we will keep working on fundamentals and physicality."
And the bus ride....
"It is a long trip that is for sure," busch said. "We will be leaving about 2:30 so it does throw off our usual Friday road trip routine. We will be taking a coach bus so the ride should be more comfortable for the kids and we will try to be there early so the kids can get themselves off of the bus and relax a bit before having to get ready".
"Usually with trips like this the travel distance can be seen as an excuse or reason why not to go and perform at your best," Busch said. " We are using it just the opposite way, we are excited about the trip, spending time on the bus with our teammates, watching a good movie, and then showing our ability to perform when kickoff comes. The staff is excited and so are the players so we are looking forward to it all."
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