Braves shut out Gaylord

Justin St. Ours | Daily Press Gladstone’s Eli Berthaume (center) hauls in a pass at the Gaylord six-yard line on his way to a touchdown with Gaylord’s Riley Hush (34) in pursuit Saturday in Gladstone.

GLADSTONE — The Gladstone Braves were downright stingy on defense here Saturday afternoon in a 14-0 football triumph over the Gaylord Blue Devils.

Gladstone, which limited the Blue Devils to 36 yards in total offense, kept its playoff hopes alive by improving to 4-4 with the non-conference victory.

“Our defense really locked down,” said Braves coach Jeff Hansen. “We knew they were a run-oriented team and wanted to put them into long yardage and passing situations. We managed the field position well. To beat a Class A school when you’re a Class C school is a big win.”

The Braves end their regular season by hosting Sault Ste. Marie is in an important non-conference match-up Friday night.

“Sault has a very good team,” said Hansen. “They’re a lot like Gaylord. They’re a run-oriented, Wing-T team. They run a lot of misdirection. We need to stay home on defense.”

The Braves started the third quarter by marching 53 yards on nine plays and consuming more than 5 1/2 minutes for their second score.

Sophomore quarterback Nate Young tossed a touchdown pass of 11 yards to sophomore running back Eli Berthaume, then completed the conversion pass to senior split end John Hansen to put the Braves up by 14 points.

“Nate was spectacular today,” said coach Hansen. “He did an excellent job within our schemes. We wanted to attack the middle of their secondary. They weren’t going to give us anything up the middle. We had to take our business elsewhere. Our passing and perimeter running game was real good.”

Gaylord (2-5) started the contest by going three and out.

Gladstone responded with a six-minute scoring drive, taking a 6-0 lead on Young’s 24-yard aerial to Berthaume.

The Braves appeared to be on the move on their second possession before Gaylord freshman Keaton Abraham recovered a fumble on the 50-yard line.

Gaylord, however, was unable to move the ball inside Gladstone’s 20.

The Blue Devils used two quarterbacks (sophomores Brady Pretzlaff and Caleb Aungst) who were sacked a combined five times.

Young finished 11-of-14 passing for 136 yards, with seven of those going to Berthaume for 110. Young also ran 16 times for 40.

Senior QB Cam Kelly also entered the game when the Braves lined up in victory formation, marking his first appearance since breaking his collarbone Sept. 17 in a 30-15 victory at Escanaba.

The Braves wore special pink jerseys in honor of breast cancer awareness and auctioned them off after the game to raise money for Delta County Cancer Awareness.

Gaylord won the JV game 36-28. The Braves trailed 20-0 before taking a 28-20 lead on an 80-yard pass from Gavin Frossard to Luke Bracket early in the fourth quarter.

The Blue Devils responded with two touchdowns before the Braves moved inside the Gaylord 20 on their final possession.

Gaylord’s Jace Teague, however, secured the decision with an interception.


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