BELOIT — Scoring through the air, scoring on the ground, scoring on special teams and scoring on defense, the Beloit Trojans rolled to a 48-0 victory over the Concordia Panthers Friday night.
Quarterback Payton Vetter threw for two touchdowns and rushed for two more.
Bowe Behymer had a 54-rushing touchdown, and scored on a 75-yard kickoff return, and Beloit’s defense recorded a safety in the season opener for both teams.
“You have to give Beloit credit, they do a great job,” Concordia coach Tim Lambert said.
Beloit rolled up 476 yards of total offense, and limited Concordia to just 91 total yards.
The Panthers had 42 rushing plays for just 46 yards.
“Defensively, they might be better than they were last year. They are faster and they are quicker. They run to the football well,” Lambert said, “You can’t simulate what they do in practice with your second team. The quickness, the speed with which they play defense.”
Beloit jumped on Concordia early, putting together a seven-play, 80-yard scoring drive on its first possession.
After six running plays, Vetter hooked up with Behymer on a 33-yard touchdown pass with 9:04 to play in the first quarter.
Vetter threw to Dustin Reiter for the two-point conversion, and it was an 8-0 game.
“That first touchdown, I thought we were settling in pretty well. I thought we had good position on that pass. It was just a perfectly thrown ball. So they made a great play there,” Lambert said.
Concordia went three and out, and Beloit got the ball back on its own 38-yard line.
The Trojans went 62 yards in seven plays.
Vetter threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Tanner Niemczyk.
“That quarterback is a good football player. A great athlete,” Lambert said.
Vetter completed 5 of 10 passes for 89 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also carried eight times for 140 yards.
Concordia recovered an attempted onsides kick at the 50-yard line, but two plays later fumbled the ball away.
A 16-yard run by Vetter and a 15-yard penalty on Concordia moved the ball deep in Panther territory, but Behymer fumbled, and Gilberth Garcia recovered it at the Concordia 27-yard line.
Two runs by Drake Hake and a run by Shea Crum gave Concordia its first first down in the game.
The Panthers picked up another first down on a Beloit penalty, but then had to punt.
Beloit got the ball on its own 25-yard line. Three plays later, Behymer ripped off a 55-yard touchdown run.
Vetter threw to Niemczyk for the two-point conversion, and the Trojans led 24-0 with 10:31 to play in the first half.
Following another Concordia punt, Belolit went 54 yards in six plays, and Vetter scored on a 26-yard run.
The Trojans fumbled on the two-point conversion attempt, but Behymer picked it up and ran it in to up the lead to 32-0.
Beloit had another drive end when Ethan Bechard intercepted a Vetter pass at the Concordia 1-yard line.
Concordia punted on its first possession of the second half, and Beloit put together a five- play, 61-yard scoring drive that Vetter capped off with a 29-yard run.
Vetter threw to Isaiah Horton for the two-point conversion.
The Panthers would then put together their best offensive drive of the game, running 12 plays.
First year quarterback Zach Kyle completed passes of 14 yards to Garcia and 10 yards to Hake.
On a fourth down and two play, Hake was stopped one yard short the Beloit 20-yard line.
The Trojans ran 14 plays, but fumbled the ball away on the Concordia six.
Kyle was then tackled in the end zone for a safety to make it 42-0.
Behymer returned Concordia’s free kick 75 yards for a touchdown, and Beloit led 48-0.
“I thought our kids fought pretty hard in that second half even though they were exhausted. I was proud of that,” Lambert said.
Karter Steinle, who moved into the fullback position when senior Skyler Hittle was injured early in the game, finished with 20 yards rushing to lead Concordia.
Hake had 19 yards on 12 carries.
Kyle completed five of seven passes for 45 yards.
“There are nine guys on the offense that are new varsity football players. I think it is overwhelming with your first varsity football game against a Beloit team that plays that hard on defense,” Lambert said.
Concordia will look to bounce back when it plays at Wellington on Friday night.
“You have a bad day on the job on a Tuesday, you get back up and go back to work on Wednesday,” Lambert said.