Superlarks crush Lyle/Pacelli

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 21, 1999

LYLE – They grow running backs in Grand Meadow.

Thursday, October 21, 1999

LYLE – They grow running backs in Grand Meadow. This year’s fall harvest includes the Breitbarth brothers, senior Randy and freshman Kyle. They ran rough shod over Lyle/Pacelli Wednesday night ending the Lions 1999 football season.

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The Superlarks went home with a 35-0 win and a date with Alden-Conger in the first round of the Section 1 nine-man playoffs next Saturday afternoon.

Lyle/Pacelli ends the year with a 1-7 mark. It is the worst record for head coach Mark Buntje since his first year at the helm in 1992. Buntje lost 15 straight games before he got his first victory finishing 1993 with a 1-7 record. His teams had made the playoffs every year since until this year.

The Grand Meadow wishbone option was in full gear on the opening drive of the game. The Superlarks went 60 yards on nine plays – seven rushes and two passes – for the opening score.

Superlarks quarterback Ben Thorsen rushed four times for 44 yards on the drive, for the game he ran for a total of 72 yards. He then found Randy Breitbarth in the right corner of the end zone from 15 yards out for the score.

"We had a good opening drive," Grand Meadow coach Gary Sloan said. "For the last month we have relied on the option with Thorsen and Breitbarth. We then had some trouble moving the ball because Thorsen had some back spasms after that opening drive."

L/P on its first drive of the game moved the ball down to the Grand Meadow 30 aided by a Superlarks holding penalty on a punt. Josh Kunze set the Lions up at the 30 with a 20-yard ramble. Kunze ran for 86 of L/P’s 138 total yards in the game. A clipping penalty and a 9-yard sack for a loss by Randy Breitbarth put L/P back on its own 46 facing second and 34.

Junior quarterback Dan Greibrok then hooked up with Jason Helgeson with a 17-yard pass to cut the distance for a first down in half. An incompletion and another sack and L/P had to turn the ball over on downs.

Grand Meadow went three and out. Kunze then set L/P up in good field position with a 37-yard punt return. Starting at the Grand Meadow 43, L/P moved down to the 23, their deepest penetration of the game, before the Grand Meadow defense stiffened. On a fourth down play Kunze threw a half-back pass. It was intercepted by Austin Kumm who returned the ball 24 yards, out to the Grand Meadow 37.

The two teams then exchanged punts before Grand Meadow went on its next scoring drive. It was 73 yards in 11 plays. The big play was a 28-yard run by Kyle Breitbarth. He broke a tackle 8 yards down the field and went 20 more yards to the L/P 31. Kyle ran for 64 yards on six carries and caught a screen pass for 20 yards in the game.

"He is quick and has good football instincts," Sloan said. "This is the second week in a row he has averaged over 10 yards per carry."

On fourth and 1 at the 6, Randy Breitbarth scored his second touchdown of the game. He would score his third with one second left in the half from 2 yards out.

Breitbarth’s third TD came after a Brandon Stier interception that stopped a nice drive by L/P. He made the pick at the Grand Meadow 26 with 2:05 left on the clock. The Superlarks then used 12 plays to cover the 74 yards. Thorsen had a 13-yard scramble and threw to Russ Schaalma for a 16-yard gain down to the L/P two. L/P never recovered from the late score.

"This year we gave up four last second scores at the end of the first half," Buntje said.

Grand Meadow had 217 total yards in the first half with 177 coming on the ground. DJ Morrow was the fourth member of the Superlarks big ground attack. He picked up 42 yards in the game. L/P held the Superlarks to only 66 rushing yards in the second half and 20 passing.

Grand Meadow scored on its first drive of the third quarter. They went 56 yards on nine plays with the screen pass to Kyle Breitbarth, mentioned earlier, the big play. Morrow scored the touchdown from 3 yards out on an option pitch from Thorsen.

Schaalma scored the final touchdown of the game on a 42-yard interception return. It was Grand Meadow’s fourth interception of the game.

"I was sitting back on defense," Schaalma said. "The coach said to look for the screen. I saw Kunze come out of the backfield. I broke for the ball and took her down for the score."

"Mistakes killed us again," Buntje said. "Grand Meadow came out and played hard. They are a good, solid team."