WATERTOWN – After a defensive battle with the New London-Spicer Wildcats in Week 1, the Watertown-Mayer football ran into an explosive Litchfield Dragons team that came out firing. Fueled by a quick start and big plays, the Dragons cruised to a 49-7 win over the Royals Thursday afternoon.
“I’m proud of our guys,” W-M coach Andrew Phillips said. “We played a tough New London-Spicer team last week. These guys are a good team. We kept battling. A lot of guys got a lot of reps today which is good. We’re making strides. We’re moving in the right direction.”
It took Litchfield just four plays to get on the board. A 28-yard pass play from Ben Alsleben to Tyson Michels put Litchfield up 7-0 less than two minutes into the game.
After a three-and-out by the Royals, a 10-yard run from Bennett Lecher extended Litchfiel’s lead to 14-0 with just over eight minutes left in the first quarter.
“We just have to bring the intensity,” Phillips said. “We weren’t quite ready there in the first quarter and they punched us in the mouth. We got to be ready to go.”
Down two scores in a hurry, the Royals went three-and-out for the second time in a row. After the punt from W-M, Litchfield gave the Royals some life with a fumble recovered by Hunter Stein.
Following the turnover, W-M went on the attack immediately. A 38-yard complete from Albert Rundell to John Mueller gave the Royals a first down deep in Litchfield territory, but the big play was brought back on a holding penalty. The Royals couldn’t overcome the holding penalty, forcing them to punt for a third-straight drive.
“That’s what the biggest thing was the first half,” Phillips said. “We were hurting ourselves. We make a big play and then make a holding penalty. We were out of position a few plays. Just little things that we got to clean up and get better at.”
The Dragons would add on to their lead with three passing touchdowns from Asleben, putting them up 35-0 with just over six minutes left to play.
Needing to get the offense going before halftime, the Royals did just that. After picking up their first first down of the game, Rundell and the Royals got the offense going.
A 28-yard connection from Rundell to Mueller brought the Royals into the Litchfield territory. With under a minute to go, Wyatt McCabe found some running room thanks to his offensive line.
“I like the way our offensive line has come together,” Phillips said about the final drive in the first half. “When we get those going and they are in the right spots, they move bodies and make holes for our guys. That’s positive to see. We are a young team. For them to have some success against older kids, that’s a positive for us.”
The Royals were battling the clock late in the half. W-M had first and goal from the eight-yard line with just 5.6 seconds left. After a quick fade to Mueller in the end zone didn’t work, Rundell found Cole Lange who used a strong stiff arm to get into the end zone for the Royals as time expired. Ashton Hecksel added the extra point, and W-M went into the half with some momentum down 35-7.
That momentum didn’t carry over into the second half for the Royals. Litchfield would extend their lead to 49-7 with a pair of passing touchdowns from Asleben, sealing the win for Litchfield.
With the win, Litchfield improved to 2-0. With the loss, W-M fell to 0-2 on the season.
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