Parker shuts out Beloit
BELOIT Adam Vesterfelt was hit, pounded, punished and generally keyed on in every way possible during Friday night’s Big Eight Conference game at Beloit Memorial.
So the Janesville Parker High School football team simply proved that it’s about much more than its star tailback.
On a steamy night at Jacobson Field, Parker improved to 3-0 on the season and in the conference with a 28-0 blanking of Beloit, thanks to a relentless defense and an awesome performance from its resident “Slash,” senior receiver/defensive back/kick returner/punter Erik Albeck.
Albeck scored the lone touchdown of the first half on a 75-yard punt return and hauled in four passes for 142 yards from senior quarterback Decker Thompson, including a 73-yarder in the fourth quarter that accounted for the game’s final score.
“Our tailback’s gonna get a lot of attention in our program,” Parker coach Joe Dye said of Vesterfelt, who did manage a tough 112 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. “But we have some other kids that are playmakers.”
Beloit’s defense was impressive in the first half, holding Vesterfelt—who ran for 589 yards and 11 touchdowns in the Vikings’ first two games—to just 26 yards on nine carries. The teams combined for just 117 total yards in the first half.
With just over a minute remaining before halftime in a scoreless game, Albeck caught a 30-yard punt at his own 25-yard line, escaped a couple tacklers up the left sideline, caught a block, and cut it back to race untouched for a momentum-building score.
“I didn’t do anything,” shrugged a humble Albeck after the game. “I got back there, caught the ball, and my teammates did the rest. That’s pretty much what it was. It was just all blocking, all the way.”
Despite doing almost nothing offensively, Parker found itself with a 7-0 halftime lead.
“Sometimes if you do enough things right in all phases of the game, eventually one takes over,” Dye said. “And the (special teams) really gave a little bit of momentum, and we built on that.”
Indeed the Vikings did, launching back-to-back third-quarter scoring drives of 78 and 71 yards to take a 21-0 lead.
Vesterfelt kicked off the first drive with runs of 19 and 39 yards before plunging in from three yards out behind the crashing blocks of Albeck, Michael Rainiero, Max Monson and Trever Steinke. Thompson then hit Albeck on a 16-yard strike up the seam on fourth-and-11 from the Memorial 30 to set up the next score, a two-yard plunge by fullback Keven Bell.
Thompson later found a wide-open Albeck on the left sideline, and Albeck ran into the end zone untouched for a 28-0 lead in the fourth quarter.
Parker’s defense, meanwhile, held the Purple Knights (0-3) to a meager 85 total yards and four first downs for the game. It was Beloit Memorial’s 13th straight loss to Parker and 19th straight overall.
PARKER 28, BELOIT 0
Janesville Parker 0 7 14 7—28
Beloit Memorial 0 0 0 0—0
Scoring summary: JP—Erik Albeck, 75 punt return (Cullin Simonson kick). JP—Adam Vesterfelt, 3 run (Simonson kick). JP—Keven Bell, 2 run (Simonson kick). JP—Albeck, 73 pass from Decker Thompson (Simonson kick).
Statistics: First downs—JP 12, BM 4. Rushing—JP 39-155, BM 30-70. Yards passing—JP 146, BM 15. Passes—JP 5-8-0, BM 4-9-0. Fumbles—JP 2-1, BM 1-0. Penalties—JP 6-50, BM 5-35.