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Rockets: Shot at outright league title comes Friday PDF Print E-mail
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Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Thursday, 12 October 2017 16:55

Last Friday was homecoming and senior night, with a share of the conference title on the line against the two-time defending Big East champions, and it rained.
The Cedar Grove-Belgium football team rose to the occasion, posting its second shutout in three weeks with a 21-0 win over Hilbert/Stockbridge.
Although the Rockets were elated with the victory immediately afterward, coach Dan Schreurs didn’t have to tell his team what it meant.
“The team was trying to tell me they’re not done,” he said.
The Rockets, who improved to 7-0 in the Big East, can win the conference crown outright with a victory this Friday at Random Lake, 2-5 in the Big East.
“It was our goal coming in to win the conference. We’ve just got to finish business next week,” senior quarterback Jason von Heimburg said.
The Rockets’ defense held the conference’s leading rusher, Bennett Lau, to 78 yards on 20 carries — his second worst output of the season — and preserved the goose egg CR Morgan run 10 12 17with two stands deep in their own territory late in the game.
“That was huge,” senior linebacker Cameron Kirst said of the shutout.
“Homecoming and senior night. Twenty-one to zero never felt so good.”
Junior Chris Jentges broke up a pass in the end zone to help stop one scoring chance, and the Wolves missed a field goal on another. Jentges rushed for more than 100 yards a few times this season, but after injuring his thumb switched positions and starred on defense. Once Jentges gets his cast off, he may split time at running back again, Schreurs said.
“Right now, we really love the way he’s playing cornerback,” he said.
Senior Bryce Morgan stepped into the tailback role and put up huge numbers. He again led the team in rushing with 109 yards on 20 carries and made big stops at linebacker.
“The defense stepped up many times. We made sure that we stopped their run. We knew the plays that they were going to do,” he said.

“Bryce is Bryce, and he does what we ask him to do,” Scheurs said.
Their run was nearly all the Rockets had to stop. Hilbert averages five passes per game. They hit that number on the dot on Friday, but didn’t complete any.
Kirst made a few bone-jarring hits that cracked above the pitter-patter of the rain, and fellow linebackers Griffin Prinsen and Ben Anzia were in on their share of tackles.
“We just all played hard. We’re a good team. We flow to the ball together,” Prinsen said.
Defensive end Chris Daniels helped keep things in check with his 6 foot, 5-inch frame.
“It was really fun. Just a childhood dream of playing in the rain,” he said.
“It was a team effort, just flying to the ball.”
Senior lineman Ryan Wonser said this game will last in his memory forever.
“It was amazing. Only my first year playing football and I had just an absolute blast. It’s one I’m always going to remember,” he said.
The Rockets got on the board on their second drive. After von Heimburg and speedy wideout Michael Navis just missed on a deep pass on third and 11 from Hilbert’s 25, the quarterback found plenty of room on the right side for a 25-yard touchdown run on fourth down.
That capped an eight-play, 70-yard drive, and the Rockets moved 90 in the second quarter for another score.
Von Heimburg converted a third and three with a 43-yard jaunt, and from the Wolves’ 16 this time he connected with a wide-open Navis for the touchdown.
After two tackles for losses and forcing a punt on the Wolves’ first possession of the third quarter, the Rockets went back to work again from their own 37. Morgan ran three times for 22 yards, and two plays later von Heimburg rolled left and found an open Wade Navis standing in the middle of the field.
The usual possession receiver who converts big third downs turned and sprinted for a 45-yard touchdown. Jentges’ extra point made it 21-0.
Schreurs praised senior offensive lineman Tyler Kraus, who handled all-conference defensive lineman Kyle Krueger.
“For Tyler to step up and really keep him off of Jason and keep him neutralized at the line of scrimmage is a tremendous job for him,” Schreurs said.
As the Wolves threatened twice late in the game, Schreurs left his starters in, trying to stymie any possible momentum.
“With a good team like Hilbert, you just never know,” Schreurs said, adding the Wolves have had success with onsides kicks.
“I can’t say more about coach (Jason) Klein’s scheme and his plan. To really shut them down and keep them in check was a big statement.”
The next statement the Rockets can make is sitting atop the Big East all alone. They’ve already got their first conference title since 2014.
“It’s been a long time – I know three years doesn’t seem like a long time. For us, it does,” Schreurs said.
Hilbert actually helped the Rockets have a chance to win the crown outright. The Wolves gave the only other contender, 7-1 Howards Grove, its only blemish of the season in a 24-13 victory on Sept. 15. The Rockets don’t play the Tigers this year since the Big East has too many teams for each to face one another.
With the solo title and a higher playoff seed on the line on the road against a conference rival, Schreurs said his team has to be prepared for Random Lake.
“We definitely have got to go into Friday with the attitude and motivation that we need to come out with a good convincing win,” he said.
His team already knows.
“It’s our goal coming in to win the conference. We’ve just got to finish business next week,” Kirst said.
Remember these officials?
Friday’s game did provide some sour nostalgia for Cedar Grove-Belgium fans.
The officiating crew was the same one that worked last year’s state title game, when a controversial fumble call against the Rockets led to an Amherst victory, 38-35.
“They’re a great crew, they really are. Mistakes do happen, and we need to move on from that,” Schreurs said.
“It was a little awkward in the beginning when I met with them. (Last year) wasn’t brought up in any fashion.”
The Rockets must have impressed the crew.
“I got an email from the crew 90 minutes after the game complimenting us on our team and sportsmanship and attitude,” Schreurs said.
“It’s a reflection of the program.”

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