DYERSVILLE - Through more than three and a half quarters, it appeared the Anamosa football team had done enough to pick up their first win of the season at Beckman Friday, Sept. 20, and spoil the Blazers’ Homecoming party.
But even while holding a 13-2 advantage through three quarters of play, the Raiders couldn’t quite hang on at the end dropping a heartbreaking 16-13 decision.
“It just comes down to us learning how to put teams away,” said Anamosa football coach Lucas Stanton, as Beckman scored two fourth quarter touchdowns, the final coming with a mere 44-seconds remaining in the game.
“We had opportunities to add to our lead earlier in the game and didn’t do it, and in the end, it cost us. That’s all part of the process that we’re all working through together as a team right now. We played a very good game against a good Beckman team and deserved to win, but just couldn’t quite finish it off. Once we figure out how to do that and put teams away when we have the opportunity to, we’ll start to get ours.”
Anamosa (0-4) scored the game’s first touchdown on their second possession of the game when quarterback Grahm Humpal completed a nine-yard pass to Trae Klatt to get the visitors on the board in the first quarter.
The only points of the second stanza came when Beckman was awarded a safety when Humpal was flagged for intentional grounding while he was in the end zone.
The Raiders led 7-2 at the half and then extended the advantage after the break when Nolan McLean hauled in a 12-yard scoring pass from Humpal in the third quarter putting the visitors up 13-2 entering the final frame.
“With the way our defense was playing, I was confident in our ability to win this game,” Stanton said. “Our guys were getting the job done and we had Beckman completely stumped offensively. They didn’t know what to do.”
The Anamosa defense had stopped the Blazer offense on each of their first nine drives, seven ending with punts while one ended in downs. and another with a Raider interception.
“This performance on defense was probably the best I’ve seen since I’ve been coaching here,” Stanton said. “With the exception of that that Beckman drive however, our kids executed the game plan to perfection and gave our team a chance to win.”
The Blazers tallied their first touchdown with 5:02 remaining in the game when Evan Wulfekuhle crossed the goal line to pull the hosts to within 13-8 before a Nick Offerman 23-yard pass to Trent Koelker with 44-seconds left proved to be the game winner.
The game wasn’t without controversy as well, as Anamosa had to overcome a couple of costly fourth quarter calls.
Raider Colton Borst thought he’d picked off a Blazer pass, but referees ruled Borst was out of bounds while Alex Casey thought he’s forced a Beckman fumble, but again officials awards the Blazers the ball, which led to the game-winning drive.
“We get either of those calls and we probably win the game,” Stanton said. “But we had chances to win the game even with those calls going against us, and didn’t get the job done. This is something we’ll definitely learn from. The effort was there tonight, from everyone. We played well enough to beat a good team on their own home field. This loss hurts, but I think we’ll be a better and strong team down the road because of it. We made a lot of progress on both sides of the football, especially the defensive side. I’m proud of my guys. I don’t think too many people thought we’d come here and give Beckman the game we did, and I don’t think we’re done surprising teams yet this year, too.”
Casey led a solid Anamosa ground game that pounded out 149 rushing yards on the night by gaining 75 of his own while Humpal completed 15-of-25 passes for 126 yards through the air.