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Prep football: Ramerth leads Fulda

Les Knutson

Daily Globe

BREWSTER —Fulda senior Josh Ramerth intercepted three passes in the second quarter and picked off a fourth Southwestern United aerial with five minutes, 51 seconds remaining in the game, helping the Raiders claim a 30-14 victory over the Wildcats in a Southern Confederacy West 9-Man high school football game Friday night.

Ramerth, a six-foot-four, 195-pound senior who is playing his first season of varsity football, also scored two touchdowns —on passes from Brian Fenske — and caught a total of eight passes for 116 yards.

“He’s been a good basketball player, but hasn’t played football since junior high,” said Fulda co-head coach Greg Erdmann about Ramerth. “But, he’s been a good leader for us this fall and sure had a great all-around game tonight.”

Ramerth’s first theft came on the first play of the second quarter —after SWU had effectively moved the ball on the ground on a pair of drives —and set up the game’s first touchdown following a 27-yard return to the Wildcats’ 13-yard line.

Three plays later, Fenske —who completed seven consecutive passes during one stretch of the game —fired an 11-yard scoring strike to Ramerth and then ran in the two-point conversion on a sweep to the right, giving Fulda an 8-0 lead with 11:05 to play in the second quarter.

Ramerth’s second interception —also in Wildcats’ territory —was returned 18 yards and set up a 7-yard TD pass from Fenske (12 completions for 149 yards) to Ryan Schumacher.

Fenske’s pass to Ramerth for the conversion made the score 16-0 at the 6:38 mark.

Ramerth’s third pick of the second quarter came late in the half, after the Wildcats had again been moving the chains with a punishing rushing attack spearheaded by senior running back Levi Taylor, who finished the game with 164 yards on 26 carries.

Taylor had ripped off gains of 21 and 17 yards, respectively, in the first half, racking up 66 yards on 11 rushes. But the three interceptions and a lost fumble prevented the Wildcats from sustaining any of their drives.

In the third quarter, Taylor broke loose on a 19-yard run as SWU again marched down the field.

But, another fumble —SWU’s fifth turnover of the night —ended the drive and the Raiders took over on their own 23-yard line.

The Wildcats, however, held on defense and —following a high snap on a fourth-down punting situation —took possession at the Fulda 33.

Behind the rushing of Taylor and Jordan Hall, along with a seven-yard pass completion from Dakotah Schmid to Marcelo Esqueda, SWU moved down to the five-yard line.

Esqueda then scored the Wildcats’ first touchdown on a diving catch of a Schmid aerial in the left corner of the end zone.

Fulda stopped SWU’s two-point try and maintained a 16-6 lead with 53 seconds left in the third quarter.

Following Ramerth’s fourth interception, the Raiders scored twice in a span of 12 seconds in the fourth quarter, as Bennett Appel (48 yards rushing) crashed through an opening in the right-side of the Fulda line for a two-yard touchdown with 2:42 remaining, capping Fulda’s longest drive of the game — covering 52 yards on nine plays and chewing 3:09 off the clock.

Fenske and Schumacher (three catches, 29 yards) connected on the two-point conversion, giving the Raiders a 24-6 advantage.

The Wildcats fumbled the kickoff and Fenske connected with Ramerth on a 35-yard touchdown play.

The Wildcats countered with a nice drive, capped by Taylor’s 33-yard touchdown run with 1:18 left.

Hall plunged in for the two-point conversion, completing the game’s scoring.

Fulda finished with 245 yards of total offense, getting 155 of them through the air.

SWU gained 214 of its 235 total yards on the ground.

There were 10 penalties called in the game’s first 15 minutes and eight turnovers in the contest —seven lost by the Wildcats, who completed just three of 12 passes.

Branden O’Connor recovered a fumble for the Wildcats and both Jordan White (six solo tackles) and Rylan Baumhoefner had fumble recoveries for the Raiders.

SWU travels to Mountain Lake Friday, while Fulda hosts Renville County West the same night.

Fulda 0 16 0 14 — 30

SWU 0 0 6 8 — 14