Blayre Lundgren scored the only touchdown of the game with just 1:34 remaining on the clock when he broke fee for a 16 yard run to the end zone. Soren Floden added the extra-point kick and the Rockets secured a 7-0 home field victory over Ashby-Brandon-Evansville on Friday night.
Lundgren ran for 74 yards on 11 carries to lead the Rockets who finished with 240 yards of total offense. Quarterback Evan Lundgren, replacing injured Drew Evavold as the signal caller, completed 11-of-14 passes for 130 yards. Owen Harig hauled in six of his completions for 83 yards.
Evan Lundgren also had an interception to lead a strong defensive effort that held the Bolts to 173 yards. The Rockets stopped the Bolts on a 4th and goal from the 5 yard line late in the first half.
Ashby-Brandon-Evansville was led by Micah Fuller (7 completions, 13 attempts, 95 passing yards, 6 carries, 31 rushing yards), Logan Haburn (2 receptions, 40 yards, 15 carries, 29 yards) and Carter White (2 catches, 21 yards). Solomon Wales had two interceptions, two solo tackles, eleven assisted tackles and a pass deflection to lead the defense. Jake Norby had 2 solo tackles and 9 assists. Stephen Hamilton was in on 7 tackles and had a fumble recovery. Haburn also led the defense with 3 solo tackles and 14 assisted tackles.
“Even though we came up short in this game, I am proud of how this team faced a lot of adversity this week and still battled for 48 minutes against Underwood,” said ABE Head Coach Dan Johnson. “We had been battling illness and injury throughout the practice week which greatly disrupted our preparation. Some of these issues resulted in the shuffling of starting lineup and our rotations against the Rockets. Unfortunately, it’s part of the sport and you still need to find a way to compete. I thought we did. We gave ourselves a chance in the fist half with first-and-goal at the 3-yard line but were unable to find the end zone. The second half found us losing the field position battle and it caught up with us at the end. We were able to get two interceptions in the second half, but it eventually catches up with you if you are not able to get a couple of three-and-outs or be able to sustain drives.”
With ten minutes left in the fourth quarter Underwood forced a punt and then went on a 9-play drive, eating more than 8 minutes off the clock in the process. Captain Kale Rich says, “We knew we had a great opportunity to drive the field and if we could finish with a score that would put us in a great spot. The Rockets delivered. The drive started with a 1st and 15, 6 yard reception by Gaiden Hoeper, followed by a 6 yard carry from Collin Lukken. On 3rd and 5 Blayre Lundgren caught a pass from his brother, Evan Lundgren, and was able to pick up a first down. Another 5 yard carry by Lukken moved the ball to 2nd and 5. Blayre was able to pick up that first down on the next play. The Rockets found themselves in a little trouble at 3rd and 8 on the ABE side of the field, but Evan Lundgren was able to follow his linemen to the 23 yard line for the first down. With 1:39 left on the clock Underwood finished the 75 yard drive with the only touchdown of the night, a 16 yard run by Blayre Lundgren. Evan Lundgren sealed the win with an interception on the Bolts possession.
“This was a hard fought game by both sides,” said Underwood Head Coach Ryan Hendrickson. “I really felt confident in our game plan, both offensively and defensively. There’s a ton of credit to give when you pull off a 7-0 win. It took all 30 of our guys to pull that one out and I’m incredibly proud of them. There were many plays and moments in the game that our guys came up clutch and also battled through some adversity. For example, we lost 3 turnovers, but also stuffed ABE 1st and goal from the 5 and our defense was able to get 2 takeaways.”
Leading tackler and another Underwood Captain, Noah Link said, “This was a fun game. We are playing well and improving every week. Now we prep for Hillcrest.”
Both teams are now 1-2 on the season. Underwood will play at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy next Friday, while Ashby-Brandon-Evansville will host Hancock.