Thursday, November 3, 2016

Exeter-Milligan-Friend Jr High Football

Front Row (L to R): Kole Svec, Jesse Duba, Parker Lofing, Owen Schluter, Alec Schlueter, Wesley Ronne

Middle Row: Clint Oldehoeft, Ben Bartu, Braden Capek, Casey Underwood, Peyton Pribyl, Cooper Girmus, Christian Weber, J.B. Drake, Colton Benjamin, Jackson Beethe

Back Row:  Dylan Bonds, Sean Gibson, Keegan Newsome, Deven Collier, Conor Dempsey, Brock Steuben, Casey Jindra

Exeter-Milligan-Friend Junior High Football team had a tough time with Diller-Odell in Friend during the season.  #80 Christian Weber tries to sneak to the outside with the ball with #10 Parker Lofing following.
Below – E-M-F’s Jackson Beethe shakes off a Dill-Odell defender.


Parker Lofing carriers the football for E-M-F at Meridian with fullback #9 Kole Svec.

Exeter-Milligan-Friend Junior High Football

The Exeter-Milligan-Friend junior high football team recently completed the 2016 season with a 3-3 record. The team improved each week and played their best ball at the end of the season.

EMF opened the season hosting Diller-Odell in Friend on September 6. In the first half, D-O opened up a 22-0 lead. In the second half, EMF played better, but fell 36-8 on the scoreboard. Jackson Beethe hit Jesse Duba on a 30 yard touchdown pass and Christian Weber ran in the conversion. On defense, EMF recovered three D-O fumbles. Recoveries were by Conor Dempsey, Brock Steuben, and Owen Schluter.

On September 13, EMF traveled to Dwight to play East Butler on the damp, cool Tuesday afternoon. EMF put up 14 points on the scoreboard in the first quarter, but did not score again until the fourth. East Butler managed only a TD right before the end of the first half. In the end, EMF won the game 22-6. Beethe scored on a 45 yard run and a 46 yard reception from Weber. Casey Jindra ran 51 yards for EMF’s other TD. Weber and Colton Benjamin added conversion runs. Recovering fumbles for the EMF defense were: Weber, Dempsey, and Keegan Newsome.

McCool Junction hosted EMF on September 19. McCool had a good team with size. EMF had opportunities on offense, but were unable to capitalize. In the end, McCool won handily 54-6. EMF’s lone TD came on a 69 yard Beethe run in the third quarter.

EMF traveled to Meridian on September 26. EMF opened up a 42-0 halftime lead, en route to a 54-22 victory. TD runs for EMF were by: Beethe 35 yards, Weber 10, 49, and 6 yards, Benjamin 15 yards, and Parker Lofing 2 yards. In addition, Lofing hit Duba for a 35 yard TD pass. Jindra added a conversion run and Cooper Girmus was on the receiving end of two conversion passes, from Weber and Beethe respectively. A punt return by Weber of 37 yards rounded out the scoring for EMF. On defense, EMF was led by Beethe with two blocked punts and a fumble recovery. Steuben also recovered a fumble.

Milligan was the site of a double overtime thriller on October 3 between EMF and Heartland. EMF did all their scoring in the first half. On the first play from scrimmage for EMF, Steuben ran 51 yards for a TD on an end around. Beethe added a 24 yard TD run later in the quarter, then catching the 2-point conversion from Weber. In the second quarter, Benjamin ran in to the end zone from 13 yards out. At half EMF was on top 20-14. In the second half, both defenses were solid. Heartland scored the only points of the half with a third quarter TD. Late in regulation, the EMF offense drove down the field, but was turned away near the end zone. Neither team was able to score in the first overtime. Heartland was able to run the ball into the end zone in the second overtime, to win the game 26-20. On defense for EMF, Jindra had a fumble recovery and Weber added an interception.

In a high-scoring final game of the season, EMF traveled to Deshler on October 10. When EMF had the ball, they 8-man offense and when Deshler had the ball 6-man rules were used. EMF defeated Deshler 64-54 in the contest. Jindra had TD runs of 3, 5, and 9 yards. He also caught a 42 yard TD pass from Weber. One yard touchdown runs were added by Beethe and Benjamin. Weber connected with Beethe on a 35 yard TD pass. Conversion runs were added by Girmus, Beethe, and Lofing. Weber hit Steuben and Beethe for conversions after TDs. In addition, Weber returned a kick-off 55 yards for another TD. On defense, Newsome returned a fumble 37 yards for a TD. Beethe had two fumble recoveries for the EMF defense as well.

This was the third year for the two schools to team up at the junior high level on the gridiron. Over the three seasons, EMF junior high football has compiled a 10-7 record. Brian Murphy and Scott Kraus coached this season’s team of 22 players.

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