Turnovers plague Craig in loss at Sun Prairie
SUN PRAIRIE--Turnovers cost Janesville Craig any chance of putting a scare into third-ranked Sun Prairie on Thursday night.
The Cougars turned the ball over seven times, including four in the first half, in a 41-7 Big Eight Conference loss at Ashley Field.
Craig (1-2) played well defensively, but the offense kept turning the ball over and leaving Sun Prairie a short field with which to work.
“I told the guys afterward that I was disappointed because I didn't feel like we gave ourselves a chance to really see where we are at,” Craig coach Adam Bunderson said. “I really felt like, coming in, our game plan was good, but we just didn't execute like we needed to.
“You're not going to beat anybody with seven turnovers, let alone a team like Sun Prairie on the road.”
Alex Oakley's 39-yard field goal was the only score of the first quarter, but Sun Prairie broke the game open in the second. The Cardinals took advantage of three Craig turnovers in scoring 21 points and opening up a 24-0 halftime lead.
Quarterback Jack Zander had a big first half for the Cardinals. The senior threw for three touchdown passes before halftime, including an 18-yard strike to Caden White with 28 seconds left. Craig got the ball on its own 15 late in the half following a punt, but rather than run out the clock the Cougars ran a play and fumbled.
Zander finished 17-for-26 with four touchdown passes and an interception.
Craig managed only seven yards rushing on 25 carries, as Sun Prairie's front four put constant pressure on Craig quarterback Ben Coulter.
Craig's defense played decent but couldn't stay off the field thanks to the seven turnovers.
“They're so good defensively,” Bunderson said of the Cardinals. “And we saw that on film coming into the game.
“I thought we had a couple of good plays schemed to start the second half, but even though Ben read the plays perfectly, he was stopped behind the line for losses.”
Craig got on the board in the fourth when backup quarterback Skylar Mashek hit Talique Clayton on a perfectly thrown 31-yard touchdown pass.
The Cougars stay on the road in Week 4, traveling to face Middleton.
SUN PRAIRIE 41, CRAIG 7
Janesville Craig 0 0 0 7—7
Sun Prairie 3 21 3 14—41
Scoring: SP—Alex Oakley 39 field goal. SP—Orlando Fenderson 9 pass from Jack Zander (Oakley kick). SP—Cooper Nelson 6 pass from Zander (Oakley kick). SP—Caden White 18 pass from Zander (Oakley kick). SP—Oakley 29 field goal. C—Talique Clayton 31 pass from Skylar Mashek (Michael Feirn kick). SP—Nelson 68 pass from Zander kick (Oakley kick).
Statistics: First downs—Craig 11, Sun Prairie 18. Rushes—Craig 25-7, Sun Prairie 43-112. Yards passing—Craig 128, Sun Prairie 195. Passes—Craig 31-10-4, Sun Prairie 26-17-1. Fumbles—Craig 4-3, Sun Prairie 2-2. Penalties—Craig 5-30, Sun Prairie 9-70.