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Spartans Wallop Wildcats in Season Opener

Berthoud Tops Greeley Central 47-27

By Dan Karpiel

Sports Writer

The Berthoud High football team opened the 2011 season in impressive fashion on Friday night with a 47-27 victory over the Greeley Central Wildcats. The Spartans did the vast majority of their damage in the second quarter, scoring 27 points on four consecutive possessions.

Thanks to big plays on offense and an opportunistic defense that forced a pair of Wildcat turnovers, Berthoud found the end-zone five times in the first half and took a commanding 33-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.

After allowing Greeley Central to take an early 7-0 lead, Berthoud found their offensive rhythm and scored their first touchdown of the night after grinding out a 12-play, 76-yard drive that chewed 6 minutes, 20 seconds off the clock. Senior tailback Chase Fraser scored the first of his three touchdowns with a 5-yard run.

The Spartans’ next scoring drive would not take nearly as much work.

After taking possession at the Greeley Central 48, Brad Novell ripped off a 17-yard run and, two plays later, Cory Ellis grabbed a pass from quarterback Zach Ruebesam for 19 yards and six points.

Greeley Central took possession after the Berthoud touchdown but quickly returned the ball to the Spartans as Timothy Demming recovered a Wildcat fumble. The Spartans, sensing the momentum of the game shifting decisively in their favor, marched 26 yards on six plays to score on a 7-yard Fraser run.

Ruebesam pushed his way into the end zone from the 1 yard line for another Spartan score on their following possession. With 5:04 remaining in the second quarter, the rout was on.

Berthoud junior Alexander Kingsley intercepted Greeley Central quarterback Shawn Dixon on the Wildcats’ next possession to give the Berthoud the ball at their own 47 yard line.  The Spartans then moved the ball 53 yards on nine plays before Ellis snatched his second touchdown of the night. The Fraser-to-Ellis touchdown made the score 33-7 in the Spartans’ favor.

Ruebesam guided Berthoud on an 11-play, 61-yard drive and scored his second touchdown of the night to give the Spartans a 40-7 lead with just over nine minutes remaining in the game. The Wildcats responded, scoring for the first time since their opening drive, when Forrest Desmond retuned the ensuing Berthoud kickoff 99 yards.

Not to be out-done in the big play department, Berthoud scored their final touchdown of the game when Fraser ripped off a 51-yard run with 8:34 left to play. The long run capped off a stellar evening for the 2010 All Conference running back. Fraser finished the game with 14 carries for 125 yards and three scores.

Ruebesam had a big night passing and running. The senior signal-caller tallied 35 rushing yards with two scores and 114 yards with a touchdown passing the ball. Ellis caught eight of Ruebesam’s passes, including two for scores, and finished the night with 73 receiving yards.

Undefeated Berthoud will play their next game on Friday, September 9 when the Sterling Tigers (0-1) visit Max Marr Field. Sterling was shut-out 36-0 by Platte Valley in their opening game.

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