Bears Crash Bulldog Homecoming Party
It truly was a tale of two halves in Elgin, as the Plainview-Elgin-Millville Bulldogs took on the Byron Bears in the Bulldog Homecoming game.
Byron struck first, in the first possession of the game. Sophomore Jakob Braaten began what would be a breakout game, as the Bears were without one of their leading rushers. Braaten hauled in a 5-yard touchdown from Quarterback Caleb Christenson for the first lead of the game.
Undaunted, PEM would take their first possession of the game to the house, but would also take an advantage. Riley Wingert rushed in from 4-yards out, then finished the drive by completing a 2-point conversion, giving the Bulldogs an 8-7 lead with 7:39 to go in the first quarter.
Posessions would be at a premium for the rest of the game, as both teams kept the ball on the ground, limiting the times the clock would stop.
Byron took their next drive methodically downfield, then trusted their Senior Kicker, Nick Luther, with a 25-yard field goal attempt. The kick might have been good from 45-yards out, and Byron took another lead to the end of the first quarter, 10-8.
The Bulldogs held the ball on their next drive for most of the second quarter. They took a lead on a QB keeper – Joe Irish ran in from 6 yards out, then found Derek Lockwood for a 2-pointerto take a 16-10 lead with 6:16 to go before the half.
The lead would last until there were 22 seconds to go before halftime, when Byron’s Christenson connected with Ben Stienessen for a 29-yard TD, and took a 17-16 lead into the break.
During the Homecoming halftime festivities, PEM inducted their second class of Hall Of Fame recipients, but the returning heroes would not be able to inspire the current team.
The second half was all Byron. There was just one score in the 3rd Quarter, Christenson finding Braaten for an 18-yard score.
The Bears would then lock down on defense, and put two more scores on the board to complete the win. Braaten would get his 3rd TD of the game on a 15-yard catch with 7:13 to go in the game, and Christenson would get in on the scoring himself, with a 1-yard sneak to make the final 37-16.
Byron (4-3) will end the year at home against a Stewartville (5-2) team reeling from a loss to State Class 3A #2 team Rochester Lourdes. PEM (2-5), will look to get some momentum heading into the playoffs, as they travel to LaCrescent/Hokah (0-7), who is searching for their first win since Week 7 of last year.
Football Night on HBC will be in Lewiston to round out the regular season on Wednesday, October 17, as the Lewiston-Altura Cardinals (2-5) look to break a 5-game losing streak against Cannon Falls (2-5).