Craig's offense mows down Madison East
Maybe the real crowd-pleaser—if you’re a Craig High supporter, that is—was how the Cougars rendered East’s passing attack to the point of uselessness.
Quarterback Zach Bayreuther threw four second-quarter touchdowns as the Cougars eased to a 47-7 Big Eight Conference win, but Craig coach Bill O’Leary was more impressed with his defense’s effort on a chilly Friday night at Lussier Stadium.
“We had a good scheme that we were well-prepared to cover,” O’Leary said after his team improved to 5-2 in the conference and overall. “We do a lot of different stuff on defense, and that put the pressure on them.”
East’s offense was limited by the loss of wide receiver Marquis Mason, who left in the first quarter with an undisclosed injury.
But that shouldn’t take away from the Craig defense, which held East (1-6) to just 13 passing yards.
During a dominating first half, while Craig’s offense was putting on a clinic, East quarterback Drew McAdams—who has thrown for over 1,300 yards this season—completed just two of 10 passes for four yards.
By the fourth quarter, East had given up passing and just kept the ball on the ground, as Craig had shut off all throwing options.
“We knew he was an outstanding quarterback,” said O’Leary, whose eyes bugged when he saw the stat sheet and noticed McAdams’ passing line. “We did not want to give him an open (look).
“If there’s a good rush and everybody’s coming through their lanes, it’s hard for them to set their feet and throw the ball. I was very happy with how our defense got after it.”
McAdams put to rest any hopes of a shutout with a 63-yard rushing touchdown to open the second half, but the damage was already done.
“We wanted to shut them out, and we couldn’t accomplish that today,” said Craig defensive back Darnell Sims, who had a sack and forced fumble in that thrashing of a 34-0 second quarter. “The goal was to win, (a shutout) just would have been a good little thing that would have helped out.”
Craig held just a 7-0 lead through one quarter, but tailback Keegan Kelly scored on a 2-yard run on the first play of the second quarter.
Bayreuther took care of the rest, throwing four touchdowns that quarter—two each to wide receiver Joey Kennedy and fullback Patrick Veloskey.
In a span of 2:32, Bayreuther found Kennedy wide open down the right sideline for a 47-yard touchdown, then again on the left side as Kennedy broke a few tackles on the way to a 58-yard score.
“(Kennedy) is just so fast that nobody can really cover him,” Bayreuther said. “When he’s in the slot, they put a linebacker on him, and no linebacker’s faster than Joey.”
Bayreuther finished his night at 14-of-25 for 295 yards and four touchdowns, before taking the fourth quarter off.
Veloskey’s touchdowns were his first two of the season.
Craig was clicking on all cylinders for its second straight win. The Cougars will need to continue that high level of play next week in a home test against Madison West (4-3).
Not only will Craig be looking to earn a playoff assignment in that game at Monterrey Stadium, but the Cougars also will be looking to erase bad memories of last year’s 28-0 homecoming loss to Madison La Follette.
“We’re all going to be fired up,” Kennedy said. “Hopefully, it should be a lot better than last homecoming.”
CRAIG 47, EAST 7
Janesville Craig 7 34 6 0—47
Madison East 0 0 7 0—7
Scoring summary: JC—Bentley Geldard, 17 run (Mike Valentine kick). JC—Keegan Kelly, 2 run (Valentine kick). JC—Joey Kennedy, 47 pass from Zach Bayreuther (Valentine kick). JC—Kennedy, 58 pass from Bayreuther (kick failed). JC—Patrick Veloskey, 4 pass from Bayreuther (Valentine kick). JC—Veloskey, 6 pass from Bayreuther (Valentine kick). ME – Drew McAdams, 63 run (Tyler Kubicek kick). JC—Kelly, 3 run (kick failed).
Statistics: First downs—JC 20, ME 7. Rushing—JC 33-189, ME 32-186. Yards passing—JC 309, ME 13. Passes—JC 25-14-0, ME 16-4-0. Fumbles—JC 3-1, ME 1-1. Penalties—JC 5-50, ME 5-41.