Hard-hitting ground game, staunch defense allow CG-Belgium to silence Oostburg in CLC showdown
When you’re hot, you’re hot.WIDE RECEIVER Nick Peterson hauled in a pass during Cedar Grove-Belgium’s 42-0 win over Oostburg in a Central Lakeshore Conference game last Friday. Photo by Sam Arendt
And when you’re the Cedar Grove-Belgium football team, you’re steaming.
Combining stifling defense with a pound-them-into-submission rushing attack, the Rockets hammered out a 42-0 win over Oostburg in a Central Lakeshore Conference showdown last Friday.
Although the game was billed as a dogfight between defending champion Oostburg and this year’s title favorite, a hard-fought scrap never materialized.
The Rockets methodically took control, scoring in every quarter and piling up 418 yards in total offense on the way to a convincing victory.
“The kids just came out focused and ready and took it to them,” said Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Chris Zablocki, whose team improved to 2-0 in league play and 4-0 overall.
“They never let up. I was very proud of them.”
Taking control in the trenches, the Rockets churned for 350 rushing yards on 32 carries. The one-two backfield punch of Alex Giles and Hunter Buechler did most of the damage, combining for nearly 300 yards.
Giles, a junior tailback, finished with 203 yards and three touchdowns on 17 rushes. Buechler, a senior fullback, had 92 yards and two touchdowns on just four attempts.
By contrast, Oostburg (1-1 in the CLC) managed only 68 yards rushing and 156 yards in total offense.
“It all starts with the guys up front,” Zablocki said. “When they can control the line of scrimmage on offense and defense, you can do a lot of good things.”
After Buechler got the Rockets rolling with a 36-yard scoring run, Giles broke free for a 92-yard touchdown burst that made it 15-0 by the end of the first quarter.
Giles added a 7-yard scoring run in the second period. When Josh Ruppel kicked the first of his two field goals in the game with a 38-yard effort, the Rockets took a 25-0 lead into halftime.
Cedar Grove-Belgium’s defense, which has allowed only 26 points in four games, kept the Dutchmen under wraps in the second half.
The game turned into a rout when Buechler and Giles added touchdown runs of 46 and 65 yards, respectively, in the third quarter.
For good measure, Ruppel booted a 39-yard field goal in the final period. He improved to 4-for-4 on field-goal attempts this season, all from 30 or more yards out.
“Josh is a great weapon and a good, young man,” Zablocki said.
“He has a huge leg, which gives us another scoring threat.”
Oostburg defeated Cedar Grove-Belgium, 30-0, on the way to the CLC title last year. But Friday’s rematch gave the Rockets a healthy measure of revenge, Zablocki noted.
“It’s a big rivalry between the schools, and our kids knew how important this game was,” he said.
“We looked at a lot of film from last year’s game and knew what we had to correct. It was a great win and a big confidence booster for us.”
The Rockets will take their high-flying show on the road this Friday when they play a 7 p.m. CLC game against Sheboygan Lutheran/Kohler/Christian.