Shorthanded going into Friday’s final Big Eight Conference meeting with Sun Prairie, Janesville Craig found itself behind the 8-ball.
That led to some early confusion and an eventual 39-0 loss to the Cardinals at Ashley Field.
Senior starting quarterback Eric Hughes, the team’s leading passer and rusher, missed the game with an injury suffered in last week’s loss to Verona, forcing head coach Adam Bunderson to go with junior back-up Dan Deltgen.
“He was banged up all week, so we knew it was a possibility, and Dan had been taking most of the reps in practice,” Bunderson said.
The Cardinals (3-1) held the Cougars (1-3) to 79 yards of total offense, including just 35 yards on the ground.
Craig had the early momentum as Parker Glissendorf recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff at Sun Prairie’s 29-yard line. But facing a third-and-6, Deltgen was intercepted by Mekhi Gullens.
On the very next play, Cardinals quarterback Brady Stevens hit Dominick Landphier in stride for a 78-yard touchdown.
“That was a big play for them,” said Bunderson. “We had good coverage but 19 (Landphier) made a nice play on the ball and just ran away from us.”
The Cougars burned all three of their timeouts in the first quarter.
“There was some obvious confusion,” Bunderson said. “We didn’t want to use them all, but we also didn’t want to get a dumb penalty and put ourselves in a situation where we’d take a big loss.”
A 6-yard Nathan Schauer run gave Sun Prairie a 14-0 lead after one quarter, before Stevens hit Colin Schaefer for 12 yards before the junior quarterback called his own number on a 4-yard run.
Owen Konopacki’s 27-yard field goal as time expired gave the Cardinals a 32-0 halftime advantage, and Schaefer’s 4-yard run in the third quarter made it a running clock.
Stevens threw two touchdowns while running for another and completed 9-of-18 passes for 213 yards.
Deltgen was 3-of-16 for 44 yards while throwing three interceptions.
“I do like coming here. It’s a neat environment, but I just wish the results would have been better,” Bunderson said of his team’s final Big Eight Conference game at Ashley Field.
Craig hosts Madison La Follette in a 7 p.m. kickoff at Monterey Stadium on Friday.
SUN PRAIRIE 39, JANESVILLE CRAIG 0
Janesville Craig 0 0 0 0—0
Sun Prairie 14 15 7 0—39
Scoring: SP—Dominick Landphier 78 pass from Brady Stevens (Owen Konopacki kick). SP—Nathan Schauer 6 run (Konopacki kick). SP—Colin Schaefer 12 pass from Stevens (kick failed). SP—Safety, ball snapped out of end zone. SP—Stevens, 4 run (Konopacki kick). SP—FG, Konopacki, 27. SP—Schaefer, 4 run (Konopacki kick).
Statistics: First Downs—JC 5, SP 17. Rushing—JC 29-35, SP 31-125. Passing Yards—JC 44, SP 213. Passes—JC 3-16-3, SP 9-18-1. Fumbles—JC 5-4, SP 2-2. Penalties—JC 4-20, SP 11-75.