Jays stopped late by Squirrels
It seemed like wherever the football was Friday night at Ernie Gates Field, Central Cass' Braeden Knutson was in the area.
So when the Squirrels needed the difference-making stop in the fourth quarter, the senior delivered the biggest play of the game.
With Jamestown only needing 17 yards for a touchdown on fourth-and-5, Knutson jumped on a halfback wheel route to turn the ball over on downs with 2 minutes, 12 seconds left in the contest.
Knutson finished out the game with an 8-yard run for Central Cass as it defeated the Blue Jays 20-13. Jamestown is now 1-2 on the year, while Central Cass is 3-0.
"I didn't really know what to expect but once the play started I saw the running back leak out and I just made a play when it mattered," Knutson said about the game-winning swat. "I just barely tipped the ball and it was enough."
Knutson finished with two touchdowns, including the game-winner, with 45 rushing yards, 48 yards in the air and many tackles on the defensive side.
"Braeden might've played the best game of the year so far for himself," said Squirrels coach Nate Lutkemeier. "He was a little bit of everywhere for us on some screen plays, some swing routes and did a really nice job defensively of being in on a lot of plays."
"The knockdown play at the end was one we haven't seen yet," Lutkemeier said of the fourth-down stop. "He made a great play on one we haven't repped a ton during the week because we haven't seen it much."
Jamestown took a 13-12 lead with 9:44 left in the fourth quarter after taking advantage of a poorly snapped punt by Central Cass that Brandon Dallman ran in from 5 yards two plays later.
The Squirrels responded with a four-minute, 10-play drive that finished with a 15-yard pass from quarterback Jonah Lentz to Knutson.
"That's a darn good football team," said Blue Jay coach Bill Nelson. "We did a lot of good things tonight but Central Cass made one more play than we did in the end."
There was many missed opportunities left on the football field for Jamestown, including a 21-play, 68-yard drive that ate up most of the time in the third quarter. The drive ended on fourth-and-goal after quarterback Tommy Falk was sacked at the 20-yard line.
"We have to find a way to make plays," Nelson said. "It's never going to be on one person but will be a team effort top to bottom."
In both of the Blue Jays' losses, late plays by the opposing team have cost them late. During Week 1's contest against Shanley, a big play set up the go-ahead touchdown. Jamestown fell six yards short on the final drive of the game to lose 27-26.
Dallman, the running back, rushed for 58 yards on 15 attempts after missing Aug. 31's game against Watford City with an injury. Aaron Mack also ran 13 times for 75 yards.
"Brandon did a nice job and had a nice week at practice," Nelson said. "He stepped up and ran the ball pretty solid."
Top reciever Jeremy Williams left the game and didn't return after sustaining a neck injury in the second quarter. Marcus Hochhalter led the Jays with 21 yards on a trio of catches.
Jamestown will travel to Turtle Mountain on Thursday night for a 7 p.m. contest on a short week of practice. The Braves are 2-1 after losing to 27-8 on Friday.
"We don't look too far ahead," Nelson said. "We'll break this game down and get some film on them."
Central Cass 20, Jamestown 13
CC 0 12 0 6 -- 20
JHS 0 7 0 8 -- 13
CC, Brenden Knutson 1 yard run (kick no good), 9:48.
J, Falk 4 yard run (Chris Sayler kick good), 1:17.
CC, Lentz 13 yard pass to JJ Albrecht (2-pt no good) 0:02
J, Brandon Dallman 5 yard run (Sayler kick no good), 9:44.
CC, Lentz 15 yard pass to Knutson (2-pt good), 5:51.
Passing: J, Falk 6-18, 50 yards. CC, Jonah Lentz 16-30, 178.
Rushing: J, Dallman 15-58; Aaron Mack 13-75. CC, Knutson 10-45.
Receiving: J, Marcus Hochhalter 3-21; Jared Kallenbach 2-13. CC, Knutson 5-48; Jacob Halverson 2-46; JJ Albrecht 2-34.
Records: Jamestown 1-1. Central Cass 2-0.