MANLIUS —Austin Regenwether and the Fulton Steamers didn’t play like a two-win team on Friday night.
With the Bureau Valley Storm (4-3) needing one win to become playoff eligible, the Steamers put that on hold for another week with a 38-13 upset victory in Manlius.
Fulton set the tone early, taking less than two and a halfminutes to score on their opening drive and building a 22-0 lead by halftime. Regenwether ran for 126 of his season-high 160 yards in the first half to lead a Steamers' offense that averaged 5.8 yards per carry on the night.
Fulton’s Josh Ballard added 87 yards on just six carries and quarterback Ethan Jones ran for 60 yards and two first half scores. The Steamers racked up 16 first downs in the game with 12 coming on the ground.
“Defensively we just didn’t do a very good job of stopping the run,” said Storm coach Jeff Ohlson. “I’m not 100 percent sure why. I don’t know if it is technique, fundamentals or scheme. But I will give Fulton credit, they executed and did the things they needed to do tonight.”
Fulton was just as strong on the defensive side of the ball, limiting the Storm offense to 81 yards rushing in the game. Following a 35-yard touchdown run from Jones on the opening drive, Austin Manon forced Storm quarterback Tyler Barnas into his first interception of the entire season, which stalled a BV drive at their own 30-yard line.
The Steamers also had a big defensive stand to end the firs thalf. After the Storm drove 52 yards in only 25 seconds, setting up a first down and three with eight ticks left in the half, Barnas had time for two plays and threw consecutive incomplete passes to Tommy Johnston and Jordan Monier.
“That was huge,” said Fulton coach Patrick Lower. “Not only was that big but we knew they had the ball to start the second half. When we got that stop that was big momentum for us and a sigh of relief before the end of the first half. It was nice to keep them out because you knew what kind of firepower they have.”
Following Manon’s second intereception of Barnas on the night, the Steamers increased their lead to 30-0 when Josh Ballard took his first carry of the game 59 yards to paydirt. The 205-pound fullback found a hole in the middle of the defense and raced to the endzone untouched.
Turnovers were a problem for the Storm in the contest as they gave away the ball on their first two possessions of the second half. They committed an uncharacteristic four turnovers for the game.
“Turnovers were really hurtful for us tonight,” said Ohlson.“That killed some of our drives and set up nice field position for them.”
“We just played fundamentally sound,” said Lower of his team’s defense. “We talked about how many different weapons they have and how fast they were at every position. We talked about slowing our feet down and keeping them in front of us and just doing our job and not trying to do everyone else's job. When you do that good things happen.”
The Storm were able to get on the scoreboard in the third quarter with a three-yard touchdown run by Parker Neuhalfen. A 41-yard catch by Monier set up the score.
Trevin Kennedy scored his first touchdown of the year late in the fourth quarter with a two-yard run. Jake Smith kept the drive alive with a 35-yard catch from Barnas on 4th-and-9.
The Storm have two games left in the season against Amboy and Morrison. Ohlson said the Storm simply need to get better on both sides of the ball if a trip to the playoffs are in their future.
• Fulton also won the sophomore game by a score of 26-0.