VICTOR — Colo-NESCO hung tough in two phases of play against H-L-V Friday, but special teams hurt the Royals in a 63-14 loss at Victor.
Colo-NESCO ended up with nearly the same total yardage as H-L-V in a battle between two unbeaten teams in 8-man District 5 play. But the Warriors (6-2, 5-0) returned both a punt and a kickoff back for a touchdown and also picked up a defensive score to hand the Royals (5-2, 4-1) their first loss since the opening week against AGWSR.
“The biggest difference-maker was that the Warriors had a phenomenal night on special teams and a tough defense,” Colo-NESCO head football coach Josh Nessa said. “Punt, kick and fumble returns added 18 points (for H-L-V). A blocked punt, and safety as a result of a snap over the punter’s head and other similar situations gave HLV excellent field position much of the night. You can’t make mistakes like that against a team with that kind of tradition, players and coaches.”
Colo-NESCO scored the game’s first points on a 1-yard Garrett Packer touchdown run midway through the first quarter. But HLV went on a tear the rest of the night.
The Warriors led 25-6 at the half after Brandon Schafbuch found the end zone on two 1-yard runs, Chase Sternhagen had an 18-yard scoring scamper and Dean Shaull returned a punt 45 yards to pay dirt.
In the third quarter H-L-V broke the game open.
Philip Bower scored on a 34-yard run in the third quarter for Colo-NESCO. But Shaull returned a kick 70 yards for a score and ran for a touchdown, Sternhagen and Schafbuch had long scoring runs and the Warriors also picked up a safety in the quarter.
Kody Timm capped the scoring for H-L-V with a 67-yard fumble return for six in the fourth quarter.
Colo-NESCO amassed 241 yards to H-L-V’s 283. Both teams did most of their damage on the ground as the Royals ran for 221 yards and the Warriors 264.
“We have to stay focused on the positives,” Nessa said. “Statistically, we actually had nearly the same rushing and passing yards that the Warriors had. I am proud that our Royals never gave up and had great sportsmanship throughout the entire game.”
Bower ran for 127 yards and threw for 17 and Packer picked up 47 yards on the ground and added eight tackles on defense. Kelly Gray ran for 28 yards, Connor Clark recovered a fumble and Bryce Niemeyer had 6.5 tackles and a sack.
Schafbuch ran for 119 yards and three touchdowns and Sternhagen picked up 103 yards and two scores on the ground for H-L-V. Shaull ended up with 11 tackles for the Warriors on defense.
Colo-NESCO will try and rebound from the loss this Friday in its final home game. The Royals will face Moravia (7-1, 4-1) in a battle for second place and the final playoff spot.
“This week we will have make a big bounce back as we are playing for the district runner-up spot with Moravia,” Nessa said. “It will also be senior night, so our guys should be motivated for a great game. This loss hurts, but it is always a great day to be a Royal.”
The Royals’ game against Moravia will take place at 7 p.m. in Colo.
H-L-V 63, Colo-NESCO 14
CN 6 0 8 0 - 14
HLV 13 12 30 8 - 63
CN - Garrett Packer 1 run (run failed), 5:21.
HLV - Chase Sternhagen 18 run (Mitch Thys kick), 3:29.
HLV - Dean Shaull 45 punt return (kick failed), 1:21.
HLV - Brandon Schafbuch 1 run (run failed), 9:15.
HLV - Schafbuch 1 run (run failed), 2:20.
HLV - Sternhagen 51 run (pass failed), 11:10.
CN - Philip Bower 34 run (Sean Cutler pass from Bower), 9:47.
HLV - Shaull 70 kick return (Schafbuch run), 9:35.
HLV - Safety, 7:27.
HLV - Shaull 1 run (Schafbuch run), 4:30.
HLV - Schafbuch 23 run (kick failed), 1:48.
HLV - Kody Timm 67 fumble return (Ben Toyne pass from Thys), 5:13.
Team statistics C-N H-L-V
Rushes-yards 43-221 38-264
Passing 3-6-1 1-2-0
Passing yards 20 19
Total yards 241 283
Fumbles lost 2 1
Punts-average 2-39.5 NA
Rushing: CN - Philip Bower 21-127, Garrett Packer 13-47, Kelly Gray 2-28, Bryce Niemeyer 1-10, Mason Lytle 3-5, Francis Bower 1-4, Sean Cutler 1-1, Brighton Clatt 1-(-1). HLV - Brandon Schafbuch 13-119, Chase Sternhagen 15-103, Dean Shaull 5-25, Marcus Kolesar 1-11, Cody Frahm 3-3, Caden Fontinel 1-3.
Passing: CN - P. Bower 2-3-1-17, Cutler 1-2-0-3, Clatt 0-1-0-0. HLV - Frahm 1-2-0-19.
Receiving: CN - Packer 1-11, Lytle 1-6, P. Bower 1-3. HLV - Schafbuch 1-19.
Tackles: CN - Packer 8, Niemeyer 6.5, P. Bower 5, Lytle 4. HLV - Shaull 11, Schafbuch 8, Brenden Wood 6.
Sacks: CN - Niemeyer.
Fumble recoveries: CN - Connor Clark. HLV - Timm, Toyne.
Interceptions: HLV - Thys.