Any chance Janesville Parker’s football team had to avoid a winless season was done in by turnovers and Beloit Memorial’s defensive line Friday night.
The Vikings suffered from five turnovers, and the Purple Knights held them to minus-1 rushing yards as host Beloit won 34-0 in a Big Eight Conference season finale.
Parker finished 0-9, while the Knights went 2-7.
“We just got beat up front,” said Parker coach Clayton Kreger, whose team was forced into using its third center due to injuries and was simply undermanned in the trenches. “We knew we were going to be undersized (this season).
“It just shows that it’s important to get in the weight room. You can’t have 60 percent of your guys in the weight room, it’s got to be 90, 95 if we’re going to compete in this league.
“Everybody is stronger than us. We’ve got to practice better, got to prepare better. We’ve just got to get better everywhere.”
The Vikings put themselves in a hole in the first minute of the game.
On the first play from scrimmage, a backward pass eluded its intended target, and Beloit Memorial senior Matthew Wedig alertly scooped up the ball. Two plays later, Wedig blasted into the end zone to give the Purple Knights the lead. He rushed for 97 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries and also caught a two-point conversion.
Parker suffered its second of three first-half lost fumbles on the ensuing kickoff, though the Purple Knights could not take advantage.
Parker held Beloit to just the lone touchdown until the final minute of the first half. The Vikings defense limited Beloit to 4.7 yards per carry but was put in precarious positions all night. Seven of the Purple Knights’ first nine possessions began in Parker territory.
“I credit guys like Brandon West and Brody Lippens and Dalton Trewyn, because they’re giving everything they have, and it doesn’t matter what the score is,” Kreger said. “I’m just proud of our seniors.”
But the Vikings struggled to get anything going offensively. They netted just two yards of total offense in the first two quarters and 31 for the game.
Just before halftime, Beloit scored two touchdowns in the span of 20 seconds to take control.
Jaron Collins capped off an eight-play, 67-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run with 53 seconds left. Parker fumbled again on the ensuing kickoff, and following a Vikings offside penalty, the Knights scored on the first play of the drive on a 36-yard pass from Gannon Rand to Shelvin Garrett.
The Vikings couldn’t take advantage of a couple fumble recoveries early in the second half, and the Purple Knights pulled way with a touchdown in each of the third and fourth quarters.
BELOIT 34, PARKER 0
Janesville Parker 0 0 0 0—0
Beloit Memorial 7 12 8 7—34
Scoring: B—Matthew Wedig 5 run (Brayan Valenzuela kick). B—Jaron Coleman 4 run (try failed). B—Shelvin Garrett 36 pass from Gannon Rand (run failed). B—Brandon Perry 9 run (Wedig pass from Rand). B—Wedig 21 run (Valenzuela kick).
Statistics: First downs—Parker 5, Beloit 14. Rushing—Parker 26-(minus-1), Beloit 55-260. Passing yards—Parker 32, Beloit 36. Passes—Parker 12-3-1, Beloit 4-1-1. Fumbles—Parker 6-4, Beloit 4-3. Penalties—Parker 3-33, Beloit 8-60.