Saranac at Fowler – – Football – – The Bleacher Denizen – – August 31, 2023 – – by Chuck Krafft
As most of us get ready for Labor Day Weekend, football fans of the Fowler Eagles and the Saranac Red Hawks are getting ready to watch a game at the Fowler Stadium. Each of these teams comes into the game with a 1-0 record. It’s the first CMAC game for both teams.
While we wait for the game to start, I hope we can enjoy a classic religious tune that I just posted to my You Tube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NQ3j4QJPxE
I was able to get to Fowler with great weather after dealing with some cold weather on an Upper Peninsula vacation (complete with a trip to Escanaba to blog an Eskymo football game against Calumet. For those of you who are curious – – – https://thebleacherdenizen.com/2023/08/26/calumet-at-escanaba-football-the-bleacher-denizen-august-25-2023-by-chuck-krafft/
It was Parent’s Night in Fowler, so the evening started with introductions of all the Eagle players along with their parents. The Fowler Band then played a strong rendition of the Eagle Fight song. After a short break, the Band played the National Anthem and it was time for the game to begin.
We will now look at the events of this game through the eyes of a Bleacher Denizen who backed away from football when he learned that unlike in the movies, football players actually have to have people run into them and tackle them. (YEOWWW!!!) (I was hoping they had stunt men for that.)
Fowler Kicker Carter Lance booted the ball to the Saranac 6 yard line. Chase Stephens returned the ball seventeen yards before Aaron Simon and Nate Spicer knocked him out of bounds. Saranac started its opening series on its own 23 yard line.
On Saranac’s first play, Fowler recovered a fumble and started their first series of the game on the Saranac 14 yard line. Your aging Bleacher Denizen did not see who recovered the fumble and apologizes to the Eagle who made that fine play.
On Fowler’s first offensive play of the game, Eagle Quarterback Jacob Halfmann tossed a screen pass to Carter Lance on the right side for an eight yard gain. Jacob Halfmann ran a quarterback keeper on the next play to earn the two yards Fowler needed to get a first down.
On the next play, Nolan Stump ground his way through the defense for a four yard touchdown run. Nate Spicer hiked the ball, Jacob Halfmann held the ball and Carter Lance kicked the successful extra point to give Fowler a 7-0 lead with 10:29 remaining in the first quarter.
Carter Lance kicked the ball off to the Saranac 14 yard line where Chase Stephens fielded it and gained four yards before he was tackled by Aaron Simon. Saranac began its series on its own 18 yard line.
Ben Kohagen covered for the Eagles on Saranac’s incomplete first down pass. James Garn gained eight yards on a second down run up the middle; Tristan Smith made the Fowler tackle. Zach Halfmann stopped the Red Hawk third down run for a three yard loss. On fourth down, Warren Hill faked a punt and then completed a pass to Colten Goff, who gained twenty-four yards before he was finally tackled by Conner Katich. Saranac had a first down on their own 46 yard line.
Cole Hufnagel stopped Saranac’s first down run for a two yard loss. Tristan Smith covered on Saranac’s incomplete screen pass; a penalty on the play pushed Saranac back five yards. On the second down replay, Alex Halfmann stopped the Red Hawk runner for a five yard loss. Hudson Schlak stopped the Red Hawk third down run for a four yard loss. Alex Halfmann blocked the Saranac fourth down punt, grabbed the ball and returned it about twenty yards to the Red Hawk five yard line where Fowler started its next series.
The Red Hawk line stopped the first down run by Nolan Stump for a one yard gain. On the next play, Jacob Halfmann tossed a four yard touchdown pass on the right side to Carter Lance. Nate Spicer centered the ball, Jacob Halfmann held the ball and Carter Lance kicked it through the goal post to give Fowler a 14-0 lead with 4:48 remaining in the first quarter.
Carter Lance kicked the ball off to the Saranac 3 yard line; Chase Stephens scooped it up and returned it twenty yards before Jon Ruiz took him down. Saranac started its series on its own 23 yard line.
The Fowler line stopped Saranac’s first down run up the middle for a one yard loss. Maddox Foster powered his way up the middle for a three yard second down gain; Trevor Spicer made the tackle for Fowler. Saranac’s long third down pass up the left side fell incomplete. A bad snap caused Red Hawk Punter Warren Hill to try to run; by the time Hudson Schlak tackled him, Saranac turned over the ball on downs on its own three yard line.
On the next play, Ford Phillips took a pitch to the right for a three yard touchdown. On the extra point kick, the snap was mishandled, so the play failed. With 2:55 to go in quarter number one, Fowler’s lead was at 20-0.
Carter Lance’s kickoff was fielded by Chase Stephens at the Saranac 20 yard line; he gained five yards before Jon Ruiz stopped him. Saranac had a first down on its own 25 yard line.
Maddox Foster went up the middle and gained a yard on first down before Nolan Stump took him down. Alex Halfmann stopped the Red Hawk second down run for no gain. On third down, Sam Sterzick placed a pass between two Eagle defensive backs and Chase Stephens snatched it away from the two defenders; he ran all the way to the end zone for a seventy-four yard touchdown.
Saranac attempted a two point conversion run, but Evan Curtiss and Trevor Spicer stopped the play for no points. With 1:24 left on the clock for quarter number one, Saranac trimmed the Fowler lead to 20-6.
Saranac’s Maddox Foster tried an onside kick, but Nolan Stump dove on the ball at Fowler’s 49 yard line to secure the ball for the Eagles.
Jacob Halfmann passed the ball to Carter Lance for a twenty-one yard gain on the left side. Colten Goff and Seth Purchase made the Red Hawk tackle.
Fowler looked like they had made a huge first down gain and possibly a touchdown, but it was ruled that the receiver caught the ball out of bounds. On second down, Chase Stephens stopped the Eagle pitch play for no gain. On the final play of the first quarter, Jacob Halfmann’s third down pass to Carter Lance gained nine yards and was barely short of a first down when Chase Stephens tackled him.
At the end of the first quarter, Fowler held a 20-6 lead.
The first play of the second quarter resulted in Jacob Halfmann twisting, turning and spinning through the Saranac defense for a twenty yard touchdown run. Nate Spicer hiked the ball, Jacob Halfmann held the ball and Carter Lance kicked the successful extra point. With 11:53 to play in the second quarter, Fowler had a 27-6 lead.
Carter Lance sent his kickoff to the Saranac 10 yard line where Jack Hopkins caught it and gained five yards to the right before he was tackled by Tristan Smith and Nate Spicer. Saranac had a first down on its own 15 yard line.
Sam Sterzick ran to the right end and gained three yards on the Saranac first down play. Fowler’s line stopped the second down run for a one yard gain and the third down run for no gain. A fourth down penalty pushed the Red Hawks back another five yards. Saranac elected not to punt on fourth down. Fowler’s defense had to chase Sam Sterzick all over the backfield before Evan Curtiss finally took him down for a four yard loss on the Red Hawk 10 yard line where the Eagles started their next possession.
Saranac’s Colten Goff knocked Fowler’s first down pass out of the air. On second down, Jacob Halfmann connected with Ben Kohagen for a ten yard touchdown. Fowler’s extra point kick was unsuccessful. With 9:38 to play in the second quarter, the Fowler lead was at 33-6.
Carter Lance kicked the ball off to the Saranac 25 yard line where Chase Stephens caught the ball and gained six yards before Ben Kohagen, Jon Ruiz and Nate Spicer stopped him. Saranac had a first down on its own 31 yard line.
Maddox Foster gained seven yards on a first down run to the right side. On second down, Chase Stephens gained the three yards the Red Hawks needed for a first down before he was knocked out of bounds.
Fowler’s Ben Kohagen knocked down the Saranac first down pass. Sam Sterzick completed a four yard pass to Jordan Dodge on the right side for a second down gain. Nolan Stump and Trevor Spicer teamed up to sack the Red Hawk quarterback for a one yard third down loss. A Fowler fourth down penalty gave Saranac a first down on the Fowler 29 yard line.
Conner Katich stopped Saranac’s first down run for no gain. On the next play, Cody Whipple completed a pass to Chase Stephens on the right side for a twenty-nine yard touchdown. Saranac completed its extra point pass, but Tristan Smith and Carter Lance stopped the receiver before he could pick up the two extra points. With 5:22 to go in the first half, Fowler’s lead was a 33-12.
Maddox Foster sent his kickoff to the Fowler 25 yard line; Zach Halfmann fielded the ball and gained five yards. Fowler opened its series on its own 25 yard line.
On first down, Asher Koenigsknecht ran a quarterback keeper for an eight yard gain. Nolan Stump’s second down run up the middle earned the two yards Fowler needed for a first down.
Nolan Stump gained three yards on a first down run up the middle; Gabe Courtnay made the tackle for Saranac. Chase Stephens covered for Saranac on the long, incomplete second down Fowler pass. Jacob Halfmann completed a third down pass to Carter Lance to gain the eight yards the Eagles needed for a first down. Colten Goff made the tackle for Saranac.
Nolan Stump burst through the middle for a sixteen yard gain. Cody Whipple managed to trip him up to prevent a touchdown. Fowler had a first down on the Saranac 28 yard line.
Jacob Halfmann went to the left for a five yard first down gain. Ford Phillips to the ball to the middle for a seven yard gain and another Eagle first down.
Jacob Halfmann gained five yards on a first down run. Sam Purchase covered on Fowler’s incomplete second down pass. Jacob Halfmann found Asher Koenigsknecht for an eleven yard touchdown pass over the middle. Carter Lance’s point after kick was good to give Fowler a 40-12 lead with 19.8 seconds remaining in the opening half.
Fowler’s kickoff went out of bounds, so Saranac started its final series of the first half on its own 35 yard line.
Offsetting penalties on first down resulted in a five yard loss for Saranac. (However, this voided an interception by On the final play of the first half, Nolan Stump led the Fowler pressure in forcing an incomplete pass.
Fowler took a 40-12 lead into the locker room at halftime. If normal football procedures are upheld, the Eagles will still have their 40-12 lead at the start of the third quarter.
At halftime, Fowler honored its senior Cross Country athletes, Rebecca Smith, Grace O’Hare and Trevor Feldpausch.
It was time for the Fowler Band to perform. They performed two parts of its “Blockbusters” show. There will be movie themes from the days of the grandparents (in other words people in the Bleacher Denizen’s age bracket), films from the young generation and iconic songs from 1980s movies. The band is led by Drum Major Rebecca Smith.
Kudos to the Fowler Band, who did a fine job with both their music and their marching!
For those of you who were not able to see the show, here is a patriotic song from my You Tube Channel for your entertainment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h03U4bj79fs (Battle Hymn of the Republic).
Saranac’s Maddox Foster sent the opening kick of the third quarter to Fowler’s 25 yard line where Zach Halfmann caught the ball and returned it 27 yards to the Saranac 48 yard line where Fowler started its first series of the second half.
On first down, Seth Purchase and Maddox Foster teamed up to sack the Eagle quarterback for a seven yard loss. Ford Phillips went up left tackle on second down for a nine yard gain. Carson Hardy pressured Fowler into throwing an incomplete third down pass. Jacob Halfmann punted on fourth down and Nate Spicer recovered a Red Hawk fumble at the 20 yard line to give Fowler a first down deep in Saranac territory.
Nolan Stump went up the middle for an eleven yard gain. Carson Hardy made the tackle for the Red Hawks.
Nolan Stump earned three yards with a first down run up the middle. On second down, Jacob Halfmann passed to Carter Lance over the middle for a six yard touchdown.
Nate Spicer centered the ball, Jacob Halfmann held the ball and Carter Lance kicked the successful extra point and Fowler had a 47-12 lead with 8:48 remaining in the third quarter; this started the running clock.
Carter Lance kicked the ball to the Saranac 10 yard line where Jack Hopkins fielded it and gained twelve yards before Nolan Stump and Tristan Smith brought him to the ground. Saranac started its next series on its own 22 yard line.
Warren Hill went to the right for a four yard first down gain; Hudson Schlak made the Fowler tackle. Maddox Foster went up the middle for three yards on second down before Nate Spicer, Hudson Schlak and Alex Halfmann took him down. Maddox Foster appeared to gain the yards needed for a first down, but a penalty pushed Saranac back. Saranac threw a long incomplete pass on third down. Warren Hill punted on fourth down; his punt went out of bounds on the Red Hawk 35 yard line where the Eagles started their next series.
Nolan Stump stormed through the middle for an eight yard first down gain before Cody Whipple stopped him. Jacob Halfmann threw a shovel pass to Zach Halfmann, who gained five yards to give the Eagles a first down.
Zach Halfmann gained six yards with a first down run to the left. An apparent Fowler second down touchdown was called back because of a penalty. Nolan Stump gained four yards on a second down run up the middle. Asher Koenigsknecht went to the right for a six yard third down gain. On fourth down, with Nate Spicer snapping and Jacob Halfmann holding, Carter Lance booted a thirty-three yard field goal to give Fowler a 50-12 lead with 29.8 seconds to play in the third quarter.
Carter Lance kicked the ball off to the Saranac 15 yard line where Chase Stephens grabbed it and gained sixteen yards before running into Asher Koenigsknecht and Brady Feldpausch.
Saranac had a first down on its own 31 yard line. The third quarter ended with Fowler holding a 50-12 lead.
Conner Katich and Tristan Smith covered on Saranac’s incomplete first down pass. Tristan Smith stopped Saranac’s second down run for a four yard loss. Offsetting penalties on third down gave Saranac a first down on their own 29 yard line.
It appeared that Saranac completed a long first down pass to Chase Stephens, but it was ruled that the quarterback was past the line of scrimmage when he threw the ball so the play was called back. Carson Hardy’s second down run to the left gained three yards. Alex Halfmann stopped Saranac’s third down run up the middle for a one yard gain. Saranac passed on fourth down, but Alex Halfmann and Joe Epkey pressured the quarterback into an incomplete pass.
Fowler took over the ball on downs on the Saranac 28 yard line.
A first down penalty cost Fowler five yards. On second down, Ford Phillips went around the right side for a twenty-eight yard touchdown. Seth Armbruster kicked this extra point and was successful to give his Eagles a 57-12 lead with 6:57 left on the game clock.
Carter Lance boomed his kickoff into the Saranac end zone. The Red Hawks started their next series on their own 20 yard line.
Carson Hardy went to the left for a seven yard gain before Brady Feldpausch and Conner Katich tackled him. James Garn went up the middle for three yards and a first down on the next play. Trevor Spicer and Jerome Thelen teamed up for the Fowler tackle.
Seth Purchase went to the left for a four yard first down gain; Brady Feldpausch got the tackle for Fowler. Maddox Foster gained four second down yards on a pitch to the right. Trevor Spicer and Nate Spicer teamed up to make Fowler’s tackle. Maddox Foster gained seven yards on a run to the right before Jerome Thelen forced him out of bounds. Saranac had a first down on its own 45 yard line.
Seth Purchase went to the left for a two yard first down gain. Trevor Spicer made the tackle for Fowler. Mitchell Wirth’s timely hit forced a dropped second down pass for the Red Hawks. Carson Hardy went to the left for a five yard gain. James Garn went up the middle for a five yard fourth down gain to earn another first down for the Red Hawks. Peter Simon made the tackle for Fowler.
On the next play, there were a number of flags as Sam Sterzick scrambled for quite a bit of time. A fifteen yard penalty pushed Saranac back fifteen yards. On the final play of the game, Sam Sterzick scrambled for awhile before heaving a pass downfield that was intercepted by Brady Feldpausch. There was a flag thrown on the play, but the penalty was declined.
Fowler won this game by a 57-12 score to stay undefeated.