The Somerset football team found out, rather painfully, that a rebuild isn’t completed in one game.
Somerset played a brutal first quarter, falling behind Superior in the 2019 season opener at Somerset’s Seibel Field. Somerset played progressively better as the game stretched on, but still suffered a 42-6 loss.
Somerset plays its second non-conference game next Friday, making the three-hour journey to Nekoosa.
Somerset is an extremely young team with less than a handful of returning starters. Somerset’s first quarter floundering took away any chances of the Spartans winning. The Spartans struggled in all aspects of the game. The tackling was especially suspect, with Superior able to break several big plays that should have been stopped in the backfield. Somerset fumbled the ball away twice, threw an interception, and had a bad snap on a punt, all which led directly to Superior scores.
Superior needed just three plays to score on the opening drive of the game. Somerset’s first play of the season resulted in a fumble, and Superior needed two plays to score again, on a 35-yard run where four Spartans had chances to make the tackle in the backfield. Ninety-two seconds into the game, and Somerset was trailing 14-0.
Somerset’s next possession ended in another fumble. Superior again scored quickly, this time in three plays to lead 21-0 midway through the first quarter. Somerset tried for a first down on a fourth-and-one on its next possession, but was stopped. Superior scored on the ensuing play, a 46-yard pass, and Somerset was trailing 28-0 with 3:19 left in the first quarter.
From there, Somerset slowly, gradually began to show improvement. Somerset was able to grind out 14 first downs, though the Spartans couldn’t complete a drive until the first minute of the fourth quarter. That’s when senior fullback Beaudee Smith scored his first varsity touchdown on a 2-yard blast.
Smith and senior quarterback Liam Salmon entered the game in the second half and they injected some quicker play into the offense.
“Beaudee brought it pretty well and Liam made some nice plays,” said Somerset coach Bruce Larson.
Larson said the progress in the second half was nice, but it doesn’t cover up the numerous mistakes in all facets of the game made by the Spartans.
Larson did express surprise at how well Superior played.
“That’s the best Big Rivers Conference team we played since Nate Stanley and (Mason) Stokke were at Menomonie,” Larson said. Stanley is now the starting quarterback at the University of Iowa and Stokke is a fullback for the Wisconsin Badgers.
Fullback Jack Gazdik led the Spartans with 54 yards rushing on Friday and halfback Tate Pitcher rushed for 38 yards.