GENOA – The annual Big Northern Conference brawl between Genoa-Kingston and Byron didn’t have the drama of last year’s contest.
The Tigers handed G-K its first loss of the season, 35-15, behind an offensive line that controlled the game.
The Tigers (3-1, 3-1 BNC) took the opening kickoff and grinded out a 13-play, 60-yard drive that took 7:30 off the clock. The drive ended with a Caden Considine rush from 4 yards out.
“I’m just proud of these kids,” Tigers coach Jeff Boyer said. “I thought they came out and played hard and competed. It was our best game of the year.”
Considine, a freshman, was the biggest recipient of the offensive line play as he rushed for two more scores and 125 yards on 11 carries.
“The offensive line had a great push,” Considine said. “All my success goes to them every game. It’s the best feeling in the world. When you go into that film room on Monday knowing that you did good.”
The Cogs (3-1, 3-1) couldn’t get much going on offense. They only had three possessions in the first half and went three-and-out with two false start penalties on their first possession.
Byron quarterback Braden Smith then ran off tackle and sprinted for a 51-yard touchdown to put the Tigers up 14-0 with a minute left in the first quarter.
“Byron fired off low and they were physical up front,” Cogs coach Cameron Davekos said. “Everyone did their job on defense, but we just didn’t have enough to get it done tonight.”
Smith finished the game with five rushes for 103 yards and TD. He also threw a TD pass in the second half to put the Tigers up 28-3 midway through the third quarter.
The Cogs had chances to get back in the game, but couldn’t find the end zone. On the Cogs’ second possession of the game, they drove the ball inside the 10 yard line. Again they had a false start and then Ethan Wildnau was hit in the backfield for a 4-yard loss. G-K ended up settling for a field goal for its only points in the half.
“I feel like their defensive line got a really good push and we weren’t clicking on some plays,” Wildau said. “Some false starts really killed us, killed the momentum.”
Wildnau scored a touchdown on a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter, but the game was already out of reach.
The Cogs scored their first touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter on a 20-yard pass from quarterback Nathan Kleba to Traven Atterberry. Kleba hurled the ball into a crowd in the end zone on a fourth-down play and Atterberry came down with the ball and the Cogs trailed 28-9.
The Tigers shot down any chance of a comeback on the very next play from scrimmage as Considine ripped a 70-yard touchdown run, breaking tackles and outracing the Cogs to the end zone for a 35-9 lead with 7:00 left in the game.