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Halftime fixes pay off for Rockets PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 06 September 2017 18:59

Adjustments after slow start help CG-Belgium rally past Manitowoc Lutheran

Cedar Grove-Belgium’s football team needed a halftime adjustment, and everyone on the team and in the stands knew it.
The tall, strong and fast Manitowoc Lutheran Lancers held the Rockets to three offensive plays in the first quarter and held a 10-6 lead at the break.
Coach Dan Schreurs was battling walking pneumonia and said he felt like passing out at halftime.
“We just didn’t start off very well,” Schreurs said.
VON HEIMBURG s1090117340 4CTwenty-four minutes into the game, his team looked about the same.
“They’re good up front, big up front. We just came out soft and they won the first half,” senior quarterback Jason von Heimburg said.
A semi-truck accident in Milwaukee caused a late start as officials were stuck in traffic. Schreurs said that disrupted his team’s pre-game warm-up. But it didn’t bother the Lancers.
“They’re a good football team. We saw it on film. Very physical. That offense is hard to plan for because it’s so much misdirection,” Schreurs said.
But the Rockets, at home, would not be denied. An inspired second-half effort sent the team to a 28-10 victory and a 3-0 record in the Big East Conference.
Alterations were as much mental as they were physical.
“Definitely. In the locker room, we talked about it. There was a huge adjustment (mentally),” junior linebacker Ben Anzia said.

“It was a little rough in the first half. I think we really just woke up,” wide receiver Michael Navis said.
“They kind of slammed us in the mouth so we had to change our mindset,” von Heimburg said.
A fired-up Rockets football team exited the locker room for the second half, and linebacker and occasional tight end Cameron Kirst returned the third-quarter kickoff 50 yards to the Lancers’ 25, further igniting fans and his sideline.
The Lancers sacked von Heimburg and forced and recovered a fumble at the 5-yard line, but the Rockets defense forced a three and out. Anzia, whose name was mentioned several times on tackles by athletic director and public address announce Scott Parsons, keyed the stop with a tackle for a four-yard loss on first down.
The Rockets drove from their 14 to the Lancers’ 35, where they faced a fourth-and-seven.
Von Heimburg dropped back and looked around. Navis got by the defense in the deep middle, and von Heimburg threw up a wobbly spiral as a Lancer closed on the receiver.
“I was a little scared,” Navis said of watching the ball travel through the air.
“He tipped it, I moved my hands up and it fell right in my hands.”
Navis’ touchdown with 3 minutes, 26 seconds left in the third quarter gave the Rockets their first lead of the night, one they wouldn’t relinquish.
“I was looking at Wade (Navis) the whole time. I found Michael, I guess. I just always tell Michael, just find the open area. He just went behind the safety, I guess, and was open,” von Heimburg said.
He had his own thoughts on seeing the flight of the ball in the night sky.
“It’s always cringy, I guess, because I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s fun,” he said.
The Rockets were having so much fun scoring they did it on the next two drives to pull away.
Early in the fourth quarter, Navis sprinted 65 yards on a counter play for a touchdown, and caught the two-point conversion for a 22-10 lead.
A Lancers’ drive then stalled after eight plays, as the Rockets forced incompletions on third and fourth downs.
Six plays later, von Heimburg launched another bomb to Navis, who made a finger-tip catch in stride for a 72-yard touchdown.
“We saw an opportunity and took it,” Navis said.
With 3:41 to play, linebacker Bryce Morgan intercepted a ball on the Lancers’ next drive to seal the victory.
Junior Chris Jentges ran 26 times for 140 tough yards and one touchdown, getting to the outside but not breaking big runs against the season’s first two opponents.
Navis caught three balls for 109 yards and two scores. Wade Navis caught seven for 63 yards, including key first downs.
“Wade got us some very critical catches and yards. He and Jason are always scheming,” Schreurs said.
Von Heimburg went 10-for-17 passing for 172 yards and two scores.
The Rockets’ defense held the Lancers to 97 yards in the second half.
“Defensively, it was more of just a pep talk. It’s time to step up and start playing the Rocket defense that we’re known for,” Schreurs said.
It was a stark contrast to the first half. The Lancers started by taking the kickoff and driving 60 yards in five minutes for a touchdown. On the next drive, the Lancers chewed up 56 yards in seven and a half minutes, and Cory Henschel made a 24-yard field goal for Lutheran to go up, 10-0.
“They controlled the ball in the first half. I can’t remember the last time I only ran three total plays in one quarter,” Schreurs said.
Jentges got the Rockets on the board with 1:16 left in the half on a two-yard touchdown run, capping a 71-yard, 16-play drive.
The Lancers answered by driving to the Rockets’ 22. Henschel’s field goal attempt hit the cross bar as time expired in the half.
Brock Staudt led the Lancers with 89 yards rushing on 17 carries before leaving in the fourth quarter with an injury. Colin Hillmer had eight carries for 52 yards and quarterback Aaron Hillmer had nine for 55 yards. He went 8-for-21 passing for 66 yards and an interception.
The Rockets next face legendary nonconference opponent St. Mary Springs, which is 5-1 in state title games since 2009.
“We’ll have to be clicking on all cylinders on Friday. Excited to play them,” Schreurs said.
“Next week we’ve got with five times more intensity,” von Heimburg said.

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