to begin title defense
The Prairie High School football team begins defense of their White Pine League and State 1-A Division I championships this Friday, Sept. 4 at 3 p.m. against Lewis County at Craigmont.
The Pirates lost their starting running back and several lineman to graduation but feel they have players ready to fill those spots.
Junior Devin Schmidt will probably get most of the carries at running back replacing Kyle Daly with Conner Rieman also getting some backfield time.
In limited playing time last year Schmidt showed a knack for long TD runs both as a kick returner and out of the backfield. While he may not carry the ball 20-30 times a game like Daly did, with his speed, he may not need to.
Senior Kyle Holthaus returns at quarterback as does senior wideout David Sigler and senior fullback Branden Waller.
Senior Kyler Shumway returns to anchor the line. Joe Schumacher and J.C. Enriquez will likely be the other two offensive starters in the line giving the Pirates three starters weighing in at 220 lbs. or more.
On defense Shumway and Rieman return on the defensive line with Derek Schaeffer to take up the other defensive end spot. Waller and Devin Schmidt return at linebacker with Holthaus also expected to see playing time there. Sigler returns in the secondary with Tyrell Langston, who started in the state championship game last year also returning.
There are 39 players turned out this year, 12 seniors, 8 juniors, 10 sophomores and 9 freshmen.
Seniors are Sigler, Rieman, Waller, Holthaus, Tyrell Langston, Andrew Gabica, Chris Schmidt, Joe Schumacher, Rafael Eziaga, Nick Ackerman, Derek Schaeffer and Shumway.
Juniors are Devin Schmidt, Seth Guyer (who is currently out with a hip injury), Beau Schlader, Brock Heath, Enriquez, Ryan Dalgliesh, Colton Nuxoll and exchange student Robin Krol.
Sophomores are Troy Lorentz, Tim Frei, Justin Schmidt, Torin Dalgliesh, Cody Schumacher, Josh Roeper, Josh Zigler, Robert Nau, Kyle Marker and Garrett Roush.
Freshmen are Marcus Higgins, Levi Lustig, Derek VanderPas, Garrett Schmidt, Cody Tillinghast, Tyler Latimer, Seth Chaffee, Frank Spencer and Kaden Perrin.
The JV team opened the season this past Monday with the varsity taking the field this Friday, Sept. 4 at Highland against the Lewis County Eagles at 3 p.m.
JV's open season with win
Cody Schumacher and Justin Schmidt each had a big game offensively as the Prairie JV football team opened their season with a 42-12 win over Kendrick at Cottonwood Monday, August 31.
Schumacher rushed 22 times for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns while Schmidt caught 3 passes for 110 yards and rushed 3 times for 81 yards and also scored 2 touchdowns.
Prairie scored first following a Kendrick fumble that Schmidt recovered at the Kendrick 30. 3 plays later Schumacher went over from the 4 yard line to make it 6-0.
Prairie got the ball right back when Schmidt knocked the ball loose in the backfield and Josh Zigler recovered at the Kendrick 32.
Schmidt then caught a pass from Troy Lorentz for 31 yards to set up Garrett Schmidtís 1 yard dive for a score that made it 12-0.
After forcing a punt Prairie got the ball back on their own 22. Schumacher went around right end for 21 yards and on the next play Schmidt ran a wingback reverse in the other direction and went 57 yards for the score to make it 18-0 with 2:18 left in the first quarter.
The Pirates struggled in the second quarter and Kendrick was able to put a touchdown on the board to make it 18-6 at the half.
Prairie took the opening kickoff of the second half and put together a 13 play, 65 yard scoring drive, with all but one play being a running play. Schumacher went in from the 1 for his second touchdown of the game. Beau Schlader then passed to Garrett Schmidt for the 2-pointer to make it 26-6.
Prairie forced a Kendrick punt and took over at the Kendrick 49 after a 23 yard return by Justin Schmidt.
An offensive penalty set the Pirates back 15 yards but on the next play Schlader completed a pass to Justin Schmidt, who caught the ball at about the 45 and outraced the defenders to the end zone for a 64 yard scoring play. Schumacher ran in the 2-pointer to make it 34-6.
Kendrick answered with a scoring drive of their own against the freshman defense to cut the lead to 34-12 early in the 4th quarter.
Prairie answered right back though with another scoring drive. Schumacher had a 35 yard gain on a reverse that set up a first and goal at the 4. Two plays later Schlader went in from the 1. On the 2-point try Schladerís passed was tipped but Garrett Schmidt still managed to make a juggling catch for the 2-pointer to make it 42-12.
Kendrick appeared to have a third touchdown on their next possession but it was called back as one of their players didnít have his mouthpiece in. Two plays later Kendrick fumbled with Seth Chaffee making the recovery.
Prairie then ran out the clock.
Prairie had 277 yards rushing on 43 attempts and another 110 yards on 3 completions for 387 total yards.
Defensively Prairie held Kendrick to Ė4 yards rushing on 27 attempts. The Tigers though picked up 185 yards passing on 17 completions for a net 181 total yards.
Justin Schmidt led the defense with 12 tackles and 1 fumble recovery from his linebacker position. Nick Ackerman had 7 tackles plus a sack and Schumacher had 4½ tackles plus a sack. Also collecting a sack each were Chris Schmidt, Josh Roeper and Robin Krol while Zigler and Chaffee each had a fumble recovery and Schlader had an interception.
Kendrick JV 0 6 0 6 -12
Prairie JV 18 0 16 8 -42
P-Schumacher 4 run (pass failed)
P-G. Schmidt 1 run (pass failed)
P-J. Schmidt 57 run (pass failed)
K-13 yard pass (run failed)
P-Schumacher 1 run (G. Schmidt pass from Schlader)
P-J. Schmidt 64 pass from Schlader (Schumacher run)
K-20 yard pass play (run failed)
P-Schlader 1 run (G. Schmidt pass from Schlader)
PIRATES BOYS FOOTBALL SCHEDULE FOR 2009
20-Championship, ISU/BSU, TBA
Note: JV schedule subject to change as some schools may not have enough turn out to support a JV team.