The Mayer Lutheran football team picked up its second conference victory of the season in a 37-7 win over NYA Sept. 20.
The Crusaders put up just three points in the first quarter on a 40-yard field goal by senior Chad Anenson. The LHS offense took off in the second, scoring 24 points to just seven points by NYA.
“Our running game and run (defense} was solid this week and we slowed NYA,” Mayer Lutheran head coach Dean Aurich said.
Perhaps most exciting for the quarter was a 48-yard field goal by Anenson. Anenson set a new school record with the successful kick, besting the 1985 record of 45 yards set by Todd Bentz.
The 2-minute offense worked to perfection for the Crusaders as senior quarterback Cole Buttenhoff led the team down the field, completing 4-of-5 passes for 68 yards in just 53 seconds.
Starting from their own 32-yard line, Buttenhoff found senior Anthony Gruenhagen for completions of seven and 25 yards, hit senior Matt Huinker for a 21-yard completion and then capped off the drive with a touchdown pass to Gruenhagen from 15 yards out.
Aurich said practice for the 2-minute drill paid off as his team’s passing game continues to develop with their solid running game.
“We’d like to balance it now with our passing attack and that was a little off early,” he said.
The drive was a deviation from much of LHS’ offense the rest of the game as they pounded the ball, gaining 267 yards on 42 carries.
Senior Joel Burfeind took on much of the load, rushing for two scores, a two-yard run in the second quarter and a 21-yarder in the fourth quarter.
“He’s not real fast, but he’s really shifty and he sees the field really well,” said Aurich. “He turns plays in to big plays and he’s been good all year.”
Senior Nathan Weber also rushed for a five-yard score in the second quarter.
Norwood Young America was able to sneak a touchdown passed the Crusader defense to mid-second quarter.
Anenson completed his third field goal of the game in the third quarter, a 36-yarder. Anenson finished the day 4-4 in extra point attempts and 3-3 in field goals.
On offense, Burfeind led the team in rushing yardage, totalling 165 yards on 19 carries for two touchdowns. Weber had 11 carries for 46 yards and a touchdown, while Buttenhoff (4 carries, 31 yards), freshman Brandon Jilek (4 carries, 18 yards), and Huinker (2 carries, 16 yards), also contributed to the success of the Crusader offense.
Gruenhagen caught three of Buttenhoff’s four completed passes for 53 yards and one touchdown. Huinker caught the other, a 16-yarder.
On defense, Weber, junior Taylor Otterstatter, senior Mason Diedrick, and senior Mitch Krause led the team in tackles, while the Crusader defense also picked off three interceptions. Anenson snagged two interceptions and Buttenhoff grabbed the other. Krause also had a fumble conversion.
LHS will celebrate homecoming this Friday by hosting Belle Plaine. The Tigers are one of two remaining undefeated teams in the conference, after a 12-6 victory against Jordan last week.
“We’ll do the best we can,” said Aurich. “That can be a distraction or it can be a pump up so we’ll see.”
Adam Gruenewald and Melissa Marohl contributed to this story.