Not exactly a blowout, but close enough as Norwood Young America proved to be the superior team winning 28-0 against Watertown Mayer, Friday night.
Number one in the Minnesota River Conference and number four in class 2A, Norwood Young America has a been a standout this year, beating opponents by more than twenty points in almost every game.
NYA was looking to keep they’re unblemished record intact against a Watertown Mayer team that has suffered some rough losses this season. In 3 of their 4 losses they were defeated within one score. The Royals are having a relatively good season at 2-4, after their winless 2009 and 2010 seasons.
The undefeated Norwood Young America was dominant in the first quarter scoring 2 touchdowns in the first five minutes. Thanks to rushers VanDien and Rondeau. The Royals then had difficulties gaining yardage and were forced to punt in their possessions in the first quarter.
Within the first couple of minutes of the second quarter the Raiders were able to capitalize on a drive started in the first after a 40 yard pass to senior wide receiver Kevin Geis, after a short jaunt into the end zone, the score was 21-0.
In the Royals first drive in the second quarter they were able to slowly but surely make their way down the field, running 8 minutes off the clock, after runs from Reinert and Stein, and a few catches for short gains by the tight ends Mark and Luke Sandquist. While in Raiders territory Watertown Mayer attempted a fake punt run and Andrew Nichols was able to covert on a fourth down. Penalties then became an issue for the Royals halting any momentum that was establishing; a facemask and delay of game brought them back to the 50 yard line. After a turnover on downs the Raiders made their way down the field. The drive was fueled by go-to running back Allen VanDien, a short pass to tight end Joe Borak then led to another Norwood Young America touchdown.
Before the half, Watertown Mayer’s quarterback Adrian Eliason was sacked and the Raiders linebacker Smith was able to recover the forced fumble. A knee would end the first half.
There was no scoring in the second half.
The Royals started with the ball, making their way down the field, with the help of senior running back Brandon Stein, making their way into Norwood Young America territory, but they lost their luster the after an illegal procedure, three consecutive incomplete passes, and finally a fumble that the Raiders would recover.
The Raiders played it safe for most of the second half, focusing on their running game, perhaps influenced by the constant pressure applied by the Royals. Neither team was able to make anything happen in the third quarter, even though in two out of their three drives, Watertown Mayer started in Raiders territory.
The Royals struggled offensively most of the game and could not capitalize on any of their trips to Raiders territory or even the red zone, mostly due to penalties and the failure to establish a passing game. The Raiders win it 28-0.
There was no shortage of Raiders fans on Friday night. The crowd filled the stands, wrapped around the field, and even spilling into the field near the end zones, where blankets and folding chairs were more present than any of the Royals players.
Congratulations to the Norwood Young America Central Raiders as they were able to win the Minnesota River conference for the third time in 51 years and brought their undefeated record to 7-0. They take on Sibley East this Wednesday.
Watertown Mayer falls to 2-5. They host the 2-5 Montgomery Lonsdale Redbirds on Wednesday.
By Nate Swenson