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Spartans let one slip away against Royals: C-M falls at Colo, 34-30

Joe Randleman
Tri-County Times
Collins-Maxwell's Brayden Bartleson brings down Colo-NESCO's Andrew Grover during the first quarter of the Spartans' 34-30 loss to the Royals Friday in Colo.

COLO - The Collins-Maxwell football team let one get away against Colo-NESCO in a 34-30 loss to the Royals Friday in Colo.

The Spartans built a 30-13 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by A.J. Smith just over four minutes into the third quarter. But Colo-NESCO struck right back with a big pass play for a touchdown and the Collins-Maxwell offense went cold down the stretch, enabling the Royals to put two more touchdown drives together and hand the Spartans their first loss of the season.

“We became complacent,” Collins-Maxwell head coach Cory Crnkovich said. “We thought we had the win right after we scored the first part of the (second) half and they pretty much thought they had it. We didn’t want it as much as they did.”

Playing in rainy conditions, the usually potent Spartan passing attack wasn’t up to par Friday. But the ground game was outstanding, with Smith running for 213 yards and Collins-Maxwell finishing with 308 yards rushing as a team.

A.J. Smith ran for 213 yards and three touchdowns for Collins-Maxwell during the Royals' 34-30 loss at Colo-NESCO Friday.

Collins-Maxwell trailed 13-8 after the first quarter then scored 22 straight points on three Smith touchdown runs. Smith busted loose on a 65-yard scoring scamper three minutes into the second quarter and added a 5-yard touchdown run with 5:22 left to help Collins-Maxwell take a 24-13 lead into the locker room at halftime.

But after the Spartans’ scoring drive in the third quarter nothing went right. They only had 18 yards the rest of the night.

 The Spartan defense also struggled down the stretch.

Colo-NESCO’s Andrew Grover hauled in a 66-yard touchdown pass from Kenny Cutler when he was wide open out of the backfield just 22 seconds after the final Collins-Maxwell touchdown. Royal quarterback Kenny Cutler capped two more scoring drives with short touchdown runs, the second coming from three yards out with 9:17 left in the fourth quarter for the go-ahead score.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re doing our job on defense,” Crnkovich said. “They had like seven plays and they ran it down our throats. We didn’t communicate on defense and the offense didn’t want to do their part.”

A blocked punt by Tanner Ingle set up the eventual winning touchdown after giving the Royals the ball at the Spartan 21.

Collins-Maxwell had one last chance after taking over on its own 30 with 4:19 left. 

A pass interference call on fourth down kept the drive alive and got the ball down to the Royal 32. But a bad snap put the Spartans in a third-and-17 situation and after an incomplete pass Jace Huntrods was stopped by Colo-NESCO’s Andrew Tschantz short of the first-down marker to give the ball back to the Royals with 1:37 left.

Colo-NESCO was able to run out the clock after Grover picked up a first down on a run to ice the game. Collins-Maxwell fell to 2-1 both overall and in 8-man District 5 and Colo-NESCO improved to 2-0 in the district and 2-1 overall.

Huntrods complemented Smith’s big night with 86 yards rushing and he also made one reception for 13  yards and completed one pass for 10. Rylee Scott carried the ball three times for nine yards and a touchdown, Luke Huntrods had a 10-yard reception and Mason Markley was 1 of 5 passing for 13 yards with an interception.

Collins-Maxwell's Jace Huntrods tries to power through a tackle by Colo-NESCO's Andrew Tschantz during the Spartans' 34-30 loss to the Royals Friday in Colo. Huntrods ran for 86 yards on the night.

Luke Huntrods had eight tackles, Kayden McKinney 7.5 plus a fumble recovery and Caleb Dvorak 3.5 plus a sack for Collins-Maxwell on defense. Brayden Bartleson made seven tackles, Smith, Weston Kahler and Mitchell Bienfang 5.5 apiece and Scott five.

Grover ran for 151 yards, Cutler threw for 110, Brandon Roberts had 41 yards rushing, Kaleb Gray ran for 31  yards and a touchdown and Tschantz caught two balls for 44 yards for Colo-NESCO. Parker Ryan made 13 tackles and Cutler had six stops with an interception for the Royals on defense.

Up next for Collins-Maxwell is another tough 8-man District 5 game with Gladbrook-Reinbeck (3-0). The game takes place next Friday in Reinbeck at 7 p.m

 

Colo-NESCO 34, Collins-Maxwell 30

CM    8   16    6    0 - 30

CN   13    0    8   13 - 34

 

Scoring

 

First quarter

CN - Kelly Gray 3 run (Ephram Muntz kick), 8:21.

CM - Rylee Scott 1 run (Jace Huntrods run), 3:13.

CN - Andrew Grover 33 run (run failed), 2:14.

Second quarter

CM - A.J. Smith 65 run (Mason Markley run), 9:00.

CM - Smith 5 run (Caleb Dvorak pass from Markley), 5:22.

Third quarter

CM - Smith 1 run (run failed), 7:55.

CN -  Grover 66 pass from Kenny Cutler (Grover run), 7:33.

Fourth quarter

CN - Cutler 1 run (Muntz kick), 11:57.

CN - Cutler 3 run (run failed), 9:17.

 

Team statistics C-M C-N

Rushes-yards 46-308 45-230

Passing 2-6-1 3-5-0

Passing yards 23 110

Total yards 331 340

Fumbles lost 0 1

Punts-average 2-41.5 2-30.0

 

Individual statistics

Rushing: CM - A.J. Smith 22-213, Jace Huntrods 22-86, Rylee Scott 3-9. CN - Andrew Grover 21-151, Brandon Roberts 8-41, Kaleb Gray 11-31, Kenny Cutler 5-7.

Passing: CM - Mason Markley 1-5-1-13, Huntrods 1-1-0-10. CN - Cutler 3-5-0-110.

Receiving: CM - Huntrods 1-13, Luke Huntrods 1-10. CN - Grover 1-66, Andrew Tschantz 2-44.

Tackles: CM - L. Huntrods 8, Kayden McKinney 7.5, Brayden Bartleson 7, Smith 5.5, Weston Kahler 5.5, Mitchell Bienfang 5.5. CN - Parker Ryan 13, Grover 7.5, Tschantz 7.5, Roberts 6.5, Cutler 6.

Sacks: CM - Caleb Dvorak.

Fumble recoveries: CM - McKinney.

Interceptions: CN - Cutler.