Amateur football: Broncos take out Granite City for 2nd straight win
WILLMAR — Behind 316 rushing yards — 133 from former KMS star Joel Bauman — and a defense that surrendered just 121 yards, the West Central Broncos upset the Midwest Premier Football League’s West Division-leading Granite City Renegades 20-7 Saturday afternoon at Hodapp Field.
The second straight win for the Broncos (3-2, 3-4) puts them in position for the playoffs. A win this Saturday at the New London-Spicer High School in New London against the Twin City Rhinos (1-4, 2-5) puts the Broncos into the postseason. The game starts at 6 p.m.
The Broncos scored in every quarter following a scoreless first period. Former New London-Spicer standout Ben Sletta threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Brian Burwell in the second quarter and a couple 10-yard rushing TDs followed, one from Bauman in the third quarter and another from Jarrett McAllister in the fourth quarter.
Tarrell McDuffie didn’t find the end zone, but the recent Ridgewater College graduate did pile up 81 yards on just 12 carries for the Broncos. McAllister finished with 52 yards on five carries and Sletta gained 50 yards on seven carries. Sletta also completed three passes that produced another 60 yards of offense for the Broncos.
The Broncos lost the shutout late in the game as the Renegades (4-1, 4-3) scored with just 58 seconds remaining.
“I have worked hard to teach our men to play with pride, discipline and passion. These men have come together as a team,” said Broncos coach Willie Holmes. “That’s two big wins in a row against teams with winning records. There is a lot of local talent in the west central area and I believe our men have shown that to the entire league and state.”
The Broncos beat the second-place Brainerd Lumberjacks 7-6 last Saturday to get to .500 in the division.
Despite giving up the late score the Broncos’ defense gave Granite City fits all game. The Renegades committed five turnovers and were held to 96 rushing yards and just 25 yards through the air. The Renegades came into the game unbeaten in the division and owning a 21-12 win over the Broncos from May 11.
Pacing the Broncos’ defense were a pair of former prep standouts, Jon Lankenau of BOLD and Kyle Weinandt of NLS. Both had nine tackles, while Brandan Torry piled up eight tackles and Braden Peterson another five. Peterson and Torry, along with Chaz Powell, were credited with making an interception.