PIPESTONE - Don't get out-hit, and don't get out-hustled.
Those was the words Russell-Tyler-Ruthton head football coach Brian Boomgaarden had for his team on Saturday when the Knights opened the 2012 season with a Zero Week game against Pipestone.
But, after being on the wrong end of a 32-0 shutout, it was easy for Boomgaarden to break down what went wrong for his team.
Photo by Joe Brown
Russell-Tyler-Ruthton running back Ty Thooft (33) fights for an extra yard as a Pipestone defender brings him down during Saturday’s Zero Week game in Pipestone.
"Don't get out-hit, don't get out-hustled. We got outdone on both of those accounts," Boomgaarden said, "and the scoreboard showed it."
After going winless in 2011, the Arrows capitalized on five first-half turnovers by the Knights for their first victory since Oct. 21, 2010.
"It's great to start off with a win," said Pipestone senior running back Alex Ossefoort. "And with a win like this, it makes it that much better and helps us get going."
Things looked promising for RTR when Brandon Kerr recovered a fumble at the Arrows' 41-yard-line on Pipestone's first drive. But the Arrows got the ball back just a few plays later after Ossefoort intercepted a pass from the Knights' Kole Vogt.
Ossefoort continued to swing the momentum firmly in Pipestone's favor, scoring on a 19-yard sweep run for the game's first points. On the ensuing kickoff, the Arrows forced a fumble, with Ossefoort recovering the ball at the Knights' 25-yard-line. Ossefoort followed the fumble recovery up with a 24-yard reception, setting up another Pipestone score on a QB sneak by Derby for the 14-0 first-quarter advantage.
"Alex had a great game for us," said Arrows head coach Troy Bouman. "He's very shifty and he was very tough for them to tackle tonight."
RTR's next three drives ended in turnovers, with two botched snaps and an interception by Pipestone senior Josh Mabon deep in Arrows territory. Ossenfoort, who finished with seven catches for 107 yards, got his second of three touchdowns with 36 seconds left in the half on an 18-yard pass from Derby.
"Our defense played exceptionally well. The turnovers were huge," Bouman said. "The nice thing for us is we were able to get points on the board after those turnovers. That's something we struggled with in years past."
Combined with a power run game anchored by Brady Bos (20 carries for 93 yards), the Arrows' offensive balance left the Knights guessing all game.
"It all starts with our run game up the middle," Ossefoort said. "Our line blocked great, got Brady big holes so (RTR) had to bunch in a little bit and that opened things for us.
"(The win) is a huge relief, especially since our offense struggled last year. I don't know if we put up this many points total last year."
With Pipestone up by 32, the Knights had one more shot to avoid the shutout, getting the ball at the 14-yard-line after recovering a fumble on a botched punt return. But RTR fell backwards in a hurry when a false start penalty, a failed triple-reverse and a pair of botched shotgun snaps made it 4th-and-64.
"(Pipestone) came out and played, and played well," Boomgaarden said. "We did not."
"They had 13 first downs and they had 32 points," Boomgaarden added. "That means too many big plays and too many short fields."
Pipestone's win on Saturday came at the expense of Bouman's alma mater, with Troy being an 1989 grad at RTR. Arrows assistant coach Todd Bouman, who played for six different teams in a 15-year NFL career, graduated from RTR in 1991.
Pipestone takes a week off before opening Southwest Conference play on Sept. 7 against Windom. The Knights look to rebound on Friday in their Little Sioux Conference opener at Canby.
RTR 0 0 0 0-0
Pipestone 14 12 0 6-32
P-Alex Ossefoort 19 run (Jacob Derby kick), 3:21
P-Derby 1 run (Derby kick), 2:07
P-Eric Buffington 9 pass from Derby (kick blocked), 7:37
P-Ossefoort 18 pass from Derby (kick failed), 0:36.
P-Ossefoort 25 pass from Derby (kick failed), 10:07.
Rushing: RTR-Shay Wabeke 17-15, Ty Thooft 6-19; P-Brady Bos 20-93.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): RTR-Kole Vogt 2-7-19-2; P-Jacob Derby 10-14-149-0.
Receiving: RTR-Wabeke 1-12, Luke Wiering 1-7; P-Alex Ossefoort 7-109, Bos 2-34.
Sacks: RTR-Brandon Kerr, Brett Vercruysse, Jarryd Good, Justin Hively; P-Zach Boucher.
INT: P-Ossefoort, Josh Mabon.