BEAVER DAM — It was a record-setting night for the Beaver Dam prep football team’s passing game Friday against Baraboo.
In more ways than one.
The Golden Beavers saw individual records fall for most single-game passing yards, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns and also posted the longest touchdown pass in the program’s 125-year history, more than enough fuel to power a 35-14 Badger North Conference victory.
“Everything kind of went fluent tonight and the passing game was kind of the way to go,” said Broden Boschert, who had a hand in two of the records. “It just felt good that everything was working.”
It felt good for offensive coordinator and interim head coach Brock Linde that the game plan worked as well.
“Their defense is a pressure defense — heavy, heavy blitz packages and a lot of stunting on the line of scrimmage — and we knew that if we could hold up in some of our pass protections that we’d have a good chance to free up some of our receivers,” said Linde, who was filling in for Steve Kuenzi because Kuenzi was suspended by the school for a game as a result of an unsportsmanlike incident that happened during the Golden Beavers’ loss to Waunakee last week.
The Golden Beavers (1-3, 1-1 Badger North) didn’t waste any time getting going either, as quarterback Carter Riesen hit tight end Zach Schoenberger for a 63-yard gain on their third offensive play of the game, converting on third-and-six to set up running back Ian Wendt-Utrie’s 1-yard TD dash on a direct snap on the next play to tie the game at 7.
That TD answered Baraboo’s game-opening 10-play, 62-yard scoring drive that Graham Langkamp capped with a 1-yard QB sneak.
The Golden Beavers didn’t let up, getting another long Riesen-to-Schoenberger strike — this one going for 43 yards — to help pave the way for Broden Boschert’s 5-yard TD catch on a post corner route that made it 14-7 in the early going of the second quarter.
That tune — Riesen to Boschert — would ring three more times on the night, giving Boschert the Beaver Dam single-game record for most TD catches at four.
His 83-yard TD catch on a wide receiver screen that made it 21-7 with 4 minutes, 2 seconds to go in the first half was the longest TD reception in Beaver Dam history. It eclipsed the 79-yard Jason Gonnion-to-Tony Walter strike in 1987 against Wisconsin Lutheran.
Meanwhile, Riesen’s 342 passing yards — he amassed the total on just 13 completions in 19 attempts — blew Matt Berg’s school mark of 264 vs. Waupun in 2013 out of the water. And Schoenberger finished the night with five catches for 170 yards, barely eclipsing the record 168 yards receiving that Brad Chitko had vs. Mequon Homestead in 1982.
For all the success the Golden Beavers had throwing it, though, Baraboo (0-4, 0-2) was able to hang close enough to make things interesting when Owen Nachtigal hit Jamos Rave for a 30-yard TD on a halfback option pass with 7:42 left in the game, cutting Beaver Dam’s lead to 28-14.
But Beaver Dam answered with a long drive, capped by Boschert’s 15-yard TD catch with 2:48 remaining, to salt away the victory.
“We had a chance throughout the game and we felt like we just had to put something together, but we struggled on both sides of the ball tonight,” said Baraboo coach Steve Turkington, whose team lost the turnover battle 2-0 and also got outgained 434-186. “One play would maybe kind of break it open for us, and we just didn’t do it.”
Turkington was also surprised at just how porous his team’s pass defense was.
“Generally, we’ve had success all season with our pass coverage. And then we came out and we misaligned twice and they got some big plays on it,” Turkington said. “And then later as the game went on, we were just getting beat.
“It was one of those nights where it just didn’t make any sense to me. Our kids played hard — they did everything we asked them to do — it’s just that (Beaver Dam made some big plays). They capitalized on their opportunities and we didn’t.”
It all started with that big catch and run by Schoenberger on the Golden Beavers’ first offensive series.
“That definitely took a lot of pressure off us, because the first two plays we ran two running plays and we got stuffed both times,” Boschert said. “A big play like that really gets you going and creates a lot of momentum for the rest of the game.”
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And it ended up being a game that was just what the doctor ordered, erasing Beaver Dam’s winless start to the year.
“We’re a very tight group filled with a lot of pride and we’ve been taking some things to heart as far as our performance is concerned,” Linde said, “and I think tonight the kids believed.
“I’m just really proud of the kids’ effort tonight and the way that they represented Beaver Dam football.”
BEAVER DAM 35, BARABOO 14</&hspag3>
Baraboo 7 0 0 7 — 14
Beaver Dam 7 14 7 7 — 35
Bara — Graham Langkamp 1 run (Lankgamp kick), 6:39, 1st
BD — Ian Wendt-Utrie 1 run (Kailey Walters kick), 5:04, 1st
BD — Broden Boschert 5 pass from Carter Riesen (Kailey Walters kick), 9:29, 2nd
BD — Broden Boschert 83 pass from Carter Riesen (Kailey Walters kick), 4:02, 2nd
BD — Broden Boschert 25 pass from Carter Riesen (Kailey Walters kick), 10:50, 3rd
Bara — Jamos Rave 30 pass from Owen Nachtigal (Graham Langkamp kick), 7:42, 4th
BD — Broden Boschert 15 pass from Carter Riesen (Kailey Walters kick), 2 48, 4th
First downs — Bara 8, BD 10. Rushing (Att.-Yds.) — Bara 41-110, BD 27-92. Passing yards — Bara 76, BD 342. Passing (Comp.-Att.-Int) — Bara 6-13-2, BD 13-19-0. Fumbles-lost — Bara 0-0, BD 0-0. Penalties-yards — Bara 16-127, BD 17-125.
Rushing: Bara, Owen Nachtigal 27-72, Nate McCauley 8-32. BD, Ian Wendt-Utrie 23-90.
Passing: Bara, Graham Langkamp 5-12-2-46, Owen Nachtigal 1-1-0-30. BD, Carter Riesen 13-19-0-342.
Receiving: Bara, Jamos Rave 3-66, Quinn Mueller 3-10. BD, Zach Schoenberger 5-170, Broden Boschert 5-132.