Grove snaps five-game skid behind Spranger’s run game
By Tim Wester
Union Grove made sure Beloit Memorial’s 120-mile round-trip trek to the play the Broncos was as unpleasant as possible.
The Broncos took out five games of frustration on the Purple Knights and rolled to their first victory of the season 35-0 on Homecoming Friday, Sept 23.
Kasey Spranger rolled up 215 yards on 20 carries and 3 touchdowns and added a 28-yard touchdown catch to propel Union Grove (1-5, 1-3) to victory.
“Its nice to get the first win of the year and especially on Homecoming,” Union Grove coach Craig McClelland said. “To go as long as we did without a win this season, it sure was nice to get the boulder off our backs.”
The proverbial boulder grew larger through the first five weeks in part from inconsistent play that saw opponents break games open with an outburst of scores in short period of time.
Union Grove proved to be much more consistent against the Purple Knights.
Nathan Williams, who has been the Broncos’ most consistent offensive threat this season, fired a pair of first quarter touchdown passes of 17 and 28 yards to Sean Hartzhiem and Spranger respectively.
“Nathan is steady and knows how to operate within the offense and gets the ball where it needs to be,” McClelland said. “He’s been running less due to an ankle injury, but he’s starting to come around and be the dual threat and be more mobile for us.”
Spranger, meanwhile, took over from there and scored his first of three rushing touchdowns with a 21-yard scamper to make it 21-0 Union Grove at halftime.
Spranger later added touchdown runs of 6 and 12 yards to blow the game open in the second half. Spranger has now scored six touchdowns in his last three games.
“Kasey has started to his stride,” McClelland said. “Watching him run now is who we expected him to be and can continue to be. One he gets started he’s hard to bring down.”
The Bronco defense certainly hit its stride as well earning its first shutout of the season.
Noah Morris led the way for the Broncos, who won the battle in the trenches on both sides of the ball.
“Noah led the way for us up front,” said McClelland, whose defense had given up an average of 45 points per game prior to their contest with Beloit Memorial. “Both our defensive and offensive lines stepped up and played very consistently for a full four quarters.”
McClelland and the Broncos look to build on their strong performance tonight at Wilmot.
“After a win, you immediately want to win more,” McClelland said. “Our first two practices on Monday and Tuesday this past week ahead of the Wilmot game were strong. Wilmot is going to be a tough test because they do a lot of good things and it’s their Homecoming.”
The Broncos will certainly do all they can to spoil the Panthers’ Homecoming celebration.