Spartans send the miners back to the cave

By Dan Karpiel

The Surveyor

57-0

That had to put a smile on Coach Max Marr’s face.

Before they kicked off on what was a sunny-but-chilly Saturday afternoon in northern Westminster, the Berthoud High School (BHS) football team got word that Coach Max Marr – a former BHS coach, educator and a Berthoud Sports Hall of Famer – had passed away.

While his passing was unbeknownst to many of the players, their performance against Prospect Ridge Academy had to have Marr looking down and smiling with the distinctive ear-to-ear grin known so well by so many. “I bet it did, it did,” said an emotional Head Coach Troy Diffendaffer when asked about that after the game.

Berthoud did it in all phases; running, passing, defense, special teams. In addition to posting 57 points the Spartans accumulated 493 all-purpose yards, forced five turnovers, and held the Miners to under 50 yards of total offense in a game that went to the running-clock mercy rule well before halftime.

“I think we executed well, we ran our offense well, we ran the ball well again,” Diffendaffer said. When asked if much could be learned from such a resounding victory, the coach replied, “We’ll have to go back and look at the film, but I don’t think there was too much. Maybe there were a few things, a few angles on our blocks, breaking down on tackles, those types of things, but overall very pleased with the effort.”

Berthoud made a significant change to their offense during the week, shifting senior and team captain Jake Lozinski from quarterback to a wide-receiver role and installed Brennen Garvin and Sam Baird under center. The change allows the Spartans to deploy Lozinski, a standout athlete who led the team with 1,098 yards as a junior and is a threat to score anytime the ball in his hands, all over the formation and create matchup problems for other teams.

“Moving J.T. out, we can play all 54 yards across the field now. It’s great to just get him the ball in space and let him be the athlete he is,” Diffendaffer explained of the change. Diffendaffer also noted that facing Prospect Ridge and then The Academy in back-to-back weeks, both teams with relatively new football programs, the time was right to mix things up. “We felt that this week was a great time to make that change. We figured this would be a good time to clean things up and get ready for the stretch run.”

Lozinski performed exactly as one would expect; the senior hauled in a team-high seven receptions for 71 yards, scoring a touchdown, a two-point conversion, and even going a perfect three-for-three on extra-point attempts when put in as an emergency place-kicker.

Berthoud took a quick lead, scoring twice before even two minutes of game time had elapsed, the opening scoring coming on a 49-yard run from tailback Austyn Binkly, the first of the senior’s two scores on the afternoon. Junior Cooper Stratmeyer, recently back after missing the opening four games of the season, also found the end zone twice for Berthoud. Baird also scored for Berthoud and got more work as a passer, finishing nine-of-13 for 87 yards while also contributing 43 yards on the ground on five carries.

Senior Danny Pelphrey hauled in three interceptions, one of which he returned for a score, and now leads the 2A Patriot-West league with six picks on the season. Berthoud totaled five tackles for loss in the game, three coming from standout defensive end Ty Beaman and one each from Caleb Kelly and Robert Purman. Donovan Garvin and Cooper Hidalgo each recovered fumbles for the Spartans.

Berthoud (4-2, 1-1 conf.) will travel down to the north Denver metro area on Friday when they take on Westminster’s The Academy (3-3, 1-1 conf.) this Friday night.  

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