Trojans ice it with 22-pt fourth quarter
• Robert Wanek Jr.
A fantastic start faded to a painful second half for the Breckenridge football team on Friday night — literally. Already without lead running back Christian Nieto, the Cowboys lost Jared Aamold, Collin Roberts, and Bryant Hasse to injury, as they saw a 14-6 halftime lead wash away in a 44-22 loss. The game was tied 22-22 after three quarters — Breckenridge falls to 4-1 with the result.
Breckenridge broke through on 3rd-and-15 late in the first quarter when Cooper Yaggie avoided a sack and delivered a zinger down field to tight end Connor Twidwell. The senior quarterback followed that up with a nine-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Dylan Bernotas which put Breckenridge in front 6-0 with 2:21 remaining in the opening quarter. All three of Bernotas’ catches in the game went for first downs, totaling 46 yards, the highlight of which was a diving catch at the one-yard line that set up a Daniel Erlandson rushing touchdown to put Breckenridge up 14-6.
Barnesville threatened to tie things up before the break, but Adam Tonsfeldt’s dash for the endzone came to a halt when he was lit up by Erlandson inside the 10-yard line and fumbled into the waiting arms of Aamold. Tonsfeldt responded with wizardry to start the second half. He fumbled a snap, but quickly scooped the ball and dumped it off to Cameron Heng who ran 67 yards for a touchdown and tied the game at 14-14. Aaron Schiefert added a six-yard rushing score to give Barnesville it’s first lead with 2:37 left in the third.
Capping off the third quarter, Yaggie led Breckenridge down the field courtesy of passes to Bernotas and Sebastian Anderson, before finding the endzone with his legs. He passed to James Mertes in the back corner for a two-point conversion that tied the game at 22-22. Yaggie had a turbulent outing, showing poise under pressure on some difficult throws, but also losing two fumbles. He finished with 153 total yards and two touchdowns.
By the fourth quarter, Breckenridge’s missing pieces on defense had opened up some holes for Tonsfeldt to reach the century mark on the ground. The senior quarterback ran for 115 yards and threw for 146 yards and three touchdowns. The Cowboys couldn’t keep up with the dynamic run game of Barnesville by plugging in reserves in a heated rivalry game, which ultimately opened up the passing game for some key first downs that would ice the outcome.
Jayce Werner was a bright spot for Breckenridge. The senior had multiple stops in long yardage situations on second and third down, where he upended Trojan rushers trying to turn the edge for big gains. Werner also finished the game with 37 rushing yards on the final drive. Jacob Vizenor had three carries for 62 yards, highlighted by a 57-yard end-around that set Breckenridge up for an early score.
Breckenridge (4-1) will host Staples-Motley (1-4) on Friday in advance of this year’s Section 6A tournament, which they are expected to enter as the consensus no. 1 seed.