Lancers hold off Cougars 30-22
Kayvion James-Ragland spoiled Adam Bunderson's coaching debut Friday night.
The Madison La Follette junior tailback rushed for 132 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead the Lancers to a 30-22 win over Janesville Craig in the Big Eight and season-opener at Monterey Stadium.
Craig took an early 7-0 lead but saw La Follette dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball after that in rallying for the win.
Bunderson said his team learned a valuable lesson.
"I told out guys coming in that they were going to be physical on the line and that their backers were going to come after us," the first-year coach said. "And that's what they did.
"But we had a couple of nice drives. But penalties killed us, and we had a couple of untimely turnovers."
Craig scored first thanks to a 21 play, 72-yard drive capped off by JJ Brennan's 1-yard run.
La Follette cut the lead to one early in the second quarter, but Craig's Seth Glissendorf responded with highlight of the game for the Cougars. The senior linebacker stepped in front of Ben Probst's pass at the Craig 1-yard line and returned it 99-yards for a touchdown with 2:05 to play in the first half.
The Lancers tied the game just before half on Ray Broughton's touchdown pass and a two-point conversion.
"The score before half hurt because we had the momentum with Seth's big play," Bunderson said.
La Follette took the lead for good with 5:49 left in the third on James-Ragland's 3-yard run. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound James Ragland made it 30-14 early in the fourth on his third TD of the game, a 15-yard scamper.
Craig made it interesting late as junior quarterback Ben Coulter hit Sam Kelly on a 27-yard scoring play with 1:57 left. A two-point conversion run by Logan Ramsdell made it 30-22.
With no timeouts left, Craig tried an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff but the ball did not go 10 yards. La Follette ran out the clock for the victory.
"We'll see where we're at tonight when we watch film," Bunderson said. "I thought defensively we played well in the first half. It just came down to they made a couple of big plays to keep drives alive."
Craig hosts Madison East (0-1) next Friday.
LA FOLLETTE 30, CRAIG 22
Madison La Follette 0 14 8 8-30
Janesville Craig 0 14 0 8-22
Scoring summary: JC-JJ Brennan 1 run (Michael Feirn kick). ML-Kayvion James-Ragland (pass failed). JC-Seth Glissendorf 99 interception return (Feirn kick). ML-Anthony West 18 pass from Ray Broughton (Case McCutchin pass from Broughton). ML-James Ragland 3 run (Michael Franklin pass from Broughton). ML-James-Ragland 15 run (Jacob Hendrix run). JC-Sam Kelly 27 pass from Ben Coulter (Logan Ramsdell run).
Statistics: First downs-ML 19, JC 14. Rushes-ML 47-199, JC 48-163. Yards passing-ML 143, JC 90. Passes-ML 17-8-1, JC 17-4-3. Fumbles-ML 3-1, JC 4-0. Penalties-ML 8-40, JC 10-69.