To be a consistent success in the Big Rivers Conference, the New Richmond football squad will have to show up with a complete game every week.
That’s exactly what the Tigers did in their reintroduction into the BRC on Friday. The Tigers were dynamic in every offensive and special teams area and the defense improved throughout the game. That combination resulted in the Tigers overwhelming Eau Claire Memorial 42-16 at Carson Park.
The Tigers will make their 2021 home debut next Friday against a rested Superior team. Superior received a forfeit in this Friday’s scheduled game because Eau Claire North had a COVID-19 outbreak on its team.
Memorial took the opening kickoff and drove the length of the field to lead 7-0. The Tigers answered right back with a drive of their own, with Andrew Trandahl scoring from five yards out to tie the score.
The Old Abes then went on another drive, but this was where the Tiger defense began to get its bearings. Memorial had to settle for a field goal. The Tigers would then score the next 35 points of the game before Memorial scored against the Tiger reserves in the fourth quarter.
The mix on offense for the Tigers was impressive. Trandahl again led the ground attack by scoring four touchdowns and gaining 177 yards. Ethan Turbeville also supplied 83 yards. But for the Tiger offense to be complete, it needs to pass effectively and quarterback Seamus Scanlan looked smooth and confident passing the ball. He completed 10 of 14 attempts for 100 yards, connecting with four different receivers.
Tiger coach Reggie Larson said Scanlan’s passing and running will be pivotal for the rest of the season as opponents look to shut down Trandahl’s running. Scanlan kept the ball five times Friday, gaining 26 yards and scoring the Tigers’ final touchdown.
Larson was particularly pleased with the play of the offensive line. The line was missing one starter due to injury, so Carson Emmerich slid from tight end to guard to fill that need. Emmerich had also been starting on defense, but they had him concentrate on offense in this game. That left an opening at defensive end and Kadyn Campeau stepped in there. He supplied a key third down quarterback sack to stop an Eau Claire possession after the Tigers took a 14-10 lead.
The Tiger defense also supplied two interceptions, with Trandahl and Kennan Stowers making those plays.
Larson said the Tiger coaches harped all week on the importance of getting a win in the BRC opener because of the strength of the opposition each week.
“It’s a one-week war,” Larson said on the team’s approach to the BRC season. “It’s a full new experience. We talked about the importance of going 1-0 this week.”