October 16, 2008

Postseason secured for Beulah


Last season Loy Ham and the entire Beulah football coaching staff could look back through the weeks and find the game that lost the chance at the playoffs. Last year it was a Week 2 loss but this year the decisive week is arguably Week 5 and the comeback victory over Dickinson Trinity that gave a struggling Miner squad the boost it needed. After a 32-6 win against Bishop Ryan last Friday, Beulah has clinched a playoff spot going into the final week of regular season.

It’s a feeling coach Ham is very familiar with, as last year was the only season in his extensive history at Beulah, where the Miners didn’t finish in the top four in the conference.

"There’s some football to be played yet in our region so it will be an interesting last few games. Good stuff, exciting stuff and really good for our school and our kids," he said.

Barely five minutes into the action at Friday’s game, it appeared that it might be a long night of hard earned yardage. That was until Andrew Just pulled a 68-yard cut for the touchdown on Beulah’s second possession. Quarterback Tyler Schmidt ran in the two-point conversion.

"Our kids up front really, really blocked well. And then we just played a fantastic game defensively, I thought," Ham said. "Without a doubt our best effort on the offensive and defensive lines. That was an area coming in we thought that might be our strength. All night we really controlled the line of scrimmage. It allowed us to make a lot of plays and put them in a lot of situations in which they’re unfamiliar and uncomfortable with."

After the Miners earned the three-and-out stop to keep the momentum, Jesse Grad was brought down for a loss on the initial offensive down. Then a false-start penalty hurt Beulah even more. But on third down, a shaky pass to Josh Schank saw the senior plucking the ball out of the air. He spun to be released from defender, stiff armed another one and jumped over the third to find the end zone 61 yards away and get the Miners on the board for the second time in less than three minutes at 14-0. Schank had four receptions for 130 yards. Schmidt went 7-for-12 with one interception and 167 yards passing.

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