The importance of the point after touchdown was driven home again this season in Belmond-Klemme’s homecoming win over LeMars Gehlen. Each team scored three touchdowns, but only one team made two of its PATs.
Eagle Grove was the scheduled opponent for the Sept. 25 game, but Covid-19 concerns shut down classes at the Wright County school. Gehlen had their original opponent, Lawton-Bronson, also cancel. Gehlen is a Class A school and came to Faris Field with a 2-1 record.
The Broncos got off to a slow start. The team’s first drive was marred by several penalties on the Broncos including a Tate Sander run into the endzone that was called back by a holding penalty, an early whistle on the next play that Sander could have broken for a score, and a horsecollar tackle by a Jay that wasn’t called.
B-K’s second drive ended with a fumble on an exchange that was recovered by Gehlen. The Jays scored on the next play from the Bronco nine-yard line. The PAT kick was low, and Gehlen led 6-0 with 2:38 left in the first quarter.
On the second play of the B-K drive, the Broncos fumbled again. That ball was scooped up and run back for a touchdown. The Jays led 13-0 at the 1:47 mark.
The Broncos had a long drive that extended into the second quarter, but ended up turning the ball over on downs.
The stout B-K defense stopped Gehlen, but the Broncos could not get going, and faced a fourth and one on their own 14-yard line. The ensuing punt was muffed by the Jays, and it was recovered by Kaleb Carlson on the Bronco 38. Just as Gehlen had converted a turnover into points, Clayton Pletsch blew through the defense and tight-roped his way down the sideline for a 52-yard touchdown. Eduin Gonzalez’s kick was good, and the Broncos trailed 13-7 with 5:33 left in the half.
After a three-and-out, the Broncos faced the Gehlen defense and a clock ticking down to halftime. The Broncos made it to the Gehlen 13 with 37 seconds left. Jordan Meyer’s pass was intercepted in the endzone to end the Broncos’ chances of putting up more points.
A fake punt on a fourth and two yards to go kept the Broncos’ first drive of the new half alive. But it stalled at midfield.
The Broncos got the ball back almost immediately when Carson Lane leaped in front of a Jay receiver for an interception. B-K was set up on the Gehlen 12-yard line, and three runs by Pletsch got the ball to the four-yard line. Meyer picked up the first down on a fourth and one keeper. Two plays later, the quarterback scored his first touchdown of the night. Gonzalez’s PAT kick caromed off the left upright and landed in the endzone. The score was tied 13-13 with 4:18 left in the third period.
Five plays later, Gehlen pulled back in front with a touchdown. The PAT was blocked by Nicholas Jenison, and the score was 19-13 with nearly three minutes to go in the quarter.
The Broncos put the time remaining to good use, moving the ball down to the Gehlen 8-yard line before the start of the new quarter. On the first play of the fourth, Meyer ran into the endzone virtually untouched. Gonzalez’s kick was good, and the Broncos led for the first time in the game, 20-19.
The Jays could not put together another drive, and the Broncos ran out the clock for the victory.
The Broncos host Pocahontas for the last home game of the coronavirus-shortened regular season. The Indians have a 4-1 record.