BELLE FOURCHE – The shape of a football may lend itself well to throwing a bullet pass but it also creates unpredictability in the way it bounces. The Belle Fourche Broncs saw that early on in their game with St. Thomas More last Friday night as they came up short on Lou Grasslie Field and fell 46-0 to the Cavaliers.
The two Black Hills Conference rivals exchanged possessions early on in the first quarter and when STM got it back for the second time they drove 47 yards down to the Bronc six-yard line. That’s when the Cavaliers were hit with a rare offensive pass interference penalty in the end zone, setting them back to the 21-yard line. Penalties inside the 10 plagued More all night long.
The Bronc defense buckled down, forcing a 4th and goal from the 23. Trevor Erwinson attempted a 40-yard field goal, hoping to put STM on the board but the kick was blocked by the Bronc defense. The ball when straight up and came back down into the hands of Cavalier RB/LB Aaron Roach. He was surrounded by Bronc tacklers but managed somehow to pitch the ball pack to teammate Reeve Ross who gathered it in and scampered 20 yards for the first score of the night. It was 7-0 with 4:22 left in the first.
Belle Fourche was it’s own worst enemy at times during the night, suffering four interceptions and two fumbles. On the Broncs next possession QB Nolan Wahlfeldt was intercepted by Chase Donnelly.
As the second quarter opened, the Broncs got the ball back and looked to have some momentum but on the first play Roach tipped Wahlfeldt’s pass and it ended up in the hands of STM’s Josh Elder who took it to the six. On the next play Roach scored off the left side to make it 13-0 with 11:44 to go in the half.
The Broncs lost a fumble on their next possession and STM drove to a 4th and goal form the three but the Bronc defense rose to the occasion, pressuring STM quarterback Lee Neugebauer who threw it incomplete at the feet of Max Speed in the end zone.
STM couldn’t get mush going through the air in the first half but had some success on the ground. The Broncs also enjoyed a stout running game with several counter plays netting 10 to 20 yards.
But with 4:53 left in the half lightning caused a one-hour delay. When play resumed lightning of another form struck again. The Cav’s added a short Roach TD to make it 20-0 and on the next play Wahlfeldt was picked off by Roach who returned it 22-yards for a score. The two touchdowns in the final :50 of the half made it 27-0 at the break.
After the Belle Fourche Rodeo Team was honored at halftime the Broncs came out with new life. Sophomore Gavin Pearson took the ball on an inside counter play and broke free for 22 yards as Belle Fourche penetrated Cavalier territory. But that drive ended a short while later with a turnover after a fumble.
STM added a score in the third and fourth quarter to make the final score 46-0. The Bronc special teams blocked two Cavalier extra points and a field goal to highlight their effort on the night.
After losing their opener to Douglas 34-16 and a tough road loss to powerful Dell Rapids 39-13, the Broncs are now 0-3. They will celebrate homecoming this week against a team that they’ve had some success against, Chamberlain. Kickoff on Friday night Sept. 15 will be at 6:00pm.