High School Football: Litchfield Dragons clicking on all gears

Litchfield looks sharp in all phases of a 49-7 win at Watertown-Mayer

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Litchfield quarterback Ben Alsleben fires off a pass in the pocket during Thursday's game against Watertown-Mayer in Watertown. Alsleben threw for 329 yards and six touchdowns in the Dragons' 49-7 victory. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune
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WATERTOWN — Ben Alsleben had to think hard about the most touchdowns he’s thrown in a game.

“I honestly think it was three,” Alsleben said, still racking his brain. “I think it’s three.”

On Thursday afternoon, the Litchfield senior signal-caller doubled that mark as part of an impressive offensive showcase against Watertown-Mayer.

The Dragons cruised to a 49-7 road victory over its East Central South district foe, moving to 2-0.


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Litchfield's Bennett Lecher puts his arm out to keep a Watertown-Mayer defender away for a 10-yard run in the first quarter of Thursday's game in Watertown. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

“Any time you got a quarterback returning, and with the weapons we have right now, it’s a good thing,” said Litchfield head coach Jim Jackman. “As a unit offensively, we got a lot of kids who have put in time. Whether it’s the weight room, whether it’s summer prep on their own or together in groups … it’s a smart group of kids that work hard and they want to be good.”

On the first drive of the game, it took just five plays for Litchfield to move the ball 69 yards for a score. Michels made a 28-yard, over-the-shoulder catch for his first of three touchdown receptions. Fellow wideout Bennett Lecher had a pair of scores in the first 12 minutes, with one on the ground with a 10-yard jet sweep. Late in the first quarter, Lecher reached the end zone again after he took a bubble screen into the end zone from 11 yards out.

“That’s what our guys are taught: Get yards after the catch,” Alsleben said. “And they’re good at it, too.”

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Litchfield linebacker Drew Kotzer chases down Watertown-Mayer running back Wyatt McCabe (6) behind the line of scrimmage during Thursday's game in Watertown. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

While the offense moved the ball effortlessly, the Dragons’ defense held the Royals to zero yards in the first quarter. There were two minutes left in the first half before Watertown-Mayer got its first first down. Wyatt Larson led Litchfield with 10 tackles, followed by nine from Mason Olson. Michels came up with a pair of interceptions to go with six tackles.

“These kids have done a good job of prepping for the week,” Jackman said of the defense. “They’re getting lined up, getting set and then just attacking the ball.”


Michels added, “Knowing that we got a good defense takes the pressure off our offense. We have a good offense, but having a good defense always helps.”

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Litchfield wide receiver Tyson Michels makes a diving catch in front of Watertown-Mayer defender Dayvin Schroeder (1) during Thursday's game in Watertown. Michels had five catches for 150 yards in the victory. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

The combined efforts of the Royals’ defense and a stiff wind weren’t enough to slow the Dragons’ passing game as Alsleben was 13 of 18 for 329 yards and no interceptions.

“We saw they had a few younger guys in (the secondary),” Alsleben said. “We knew we could attack that.”

Michels had five catches for 150 yards, followed by five catches, 135 yards and two receiving touchdowns from Lecher. Lecher also had 48 rushing yards on four carries.

“This past summer, we were all putting in work and running routes on the field,” Michels said. “It’s paying off for everyone.”

Drew Kotzer led the Litchfield ground game with 104 yards on eight carries.


The Dragons outgained the Royals 543-162. Over their first two games, they have outscored their opponents 83-21.

“Coming off of last season, we knew we could be special,” Alsleben said. “We didn’t lose too many guys and the juniors have a really good class, too. We just wanted to build off of last year, especially towards the end of the year where we won five of our last seven and our offense was clicking.”

Litchfield is host to Holy Family Catholic at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23.

Litchfield 49,
W-M 7

Litchfield (2-0) 21 14 14 0 — 49
Watertown-Mayer (0-2) 0 7 0 0 — 7
Scoring Plays
L – Tyson Michels 28 pass from Ben Alsleben (Garrison Jackman kick)
L – Bennett Lecher 10 run (Jackman kick)
L – Lecher 11 pass from Alsleben (Jackman kick)
L – Lecher 79 pass from Alsleben (Jackman kick)
L – Michels 26 pass from Alsleben (Jackman kick)
W-M – Cole Lange 8 pass from Albert Rundell (Ashton Hecksel kick)
L – Michels 49 pass from Alsleben (Jackman kick)
L – Lecher 22 pass from Alsleben (Jackman kick)


First downs: 14 … Penalties: 8-70 … Rushing (Individual and team): Drew Kotzer 8-104, Bennett Lecher 4-48, Tyler Jansky 5-21, Ryan Schutz 2-17, Ben Alsleben 5-16, Hayden Metcalfe 2-2, Victor Franco 1-0, Logan King 2-(-1). 29-207 … Passing (Individual and team): Alsleben 13-18-329-6-0, King 1-1-7-0-0, Kotzer 0-1-0-0-1. 14-20-336-6-1 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Tyson Michels 5-150, Lecher 5-135, King 2-26, Kotzer 1-15, Jeremy Greer 1-7 … Interceptions: Michels 2 … Fumble recoveries: Metcalfe 1 … Tackles: Wyatt Larson 10, Mason Olson 9, King 7, Cole Bartlett 6, Michels 6 … QB sacks: None


First downs: 9 … Penalties: 4-49 … Rushing (Individual and team): Wyatt McCabe 19-61, Albert Rundell 3-13. 29-81 … Passing (Individual and team): Rundell 11-26-81-1-2 ... Receiving (Individual and team): Steven Duske 5-32, John Mueller 2-48, Lange 1-8 … Interceptions: Wyatt McCabe 1 … Fumble recoveries: Dayvin Schroeder, Hunter Stein, Andrew Quast … Tackles (solo-assist): N/A … QB sacks: N/A

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Litchfield wide receiver Bennett Lecher runs between a pair of Watertown-Mayer defenders for an 11-yard touchdown reception during Thursday's game in Watertown. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

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