Blue Jays no match for top-ranked Bishop Ryan

The Bishop Ryan football team put its cheerleaders through an intense circuit training program Saturday afternoon at Herb Parker Stadium.

Each time the No. 1 Lions scored, the Ryan cheer squad celebrated with push-ups matching the new point total. After seven touchdowns, they had to switch to jumping jacks.

“I think jumping jacks are worse,” senior cheerleader Tori Ploof said. “It’s exhausting.”

Altogether, Ryan induced 195 push-ups and 184 jumping jacks as it rolled to a 68-26 Class AA West Region win over Stanley-Powers Lake.

The Lions (6-0 overall, 4-0 region) possessed the ball for only 2 minutes, 6 seconds before they held a 21-point advantage.

Ryan senior quarterback Austin Eggl scored on a 49-yard keeper on the second play from scrimmage. Forty-three seconds into the Lions’ next possession, junior running back Brendan Backes ran in from 12 yards. On the third play of their third drive, senior receiver Nick Berentson hauled in a 10-yard pass from Eggl – with 8:16 still remaining in the first quarter.

By the end of the opening half, Ryan – which played without injured starters Jared Will (shoulder) and Braden Kalamaha (ankle) – led 49-20. Senior starting wideout Brody Bosch also missed the game to attend a wedding.

“When you come out and start like you ask them to – start off like a Ferrari – all of the sudden, you get to the point where you ask, at what point do you pull out the (first string)?” Ryan coach Brad Borkhuis said.

S-PL (0-6, 0-4) fumbled on two of its first three drives, with Ryan senior lineman Mason Kramer recovering both.

Kramer, 6-foot, 274-pounds, recorded three sacks in the first half – all on one Blue Jays drive – and had another tackle for loss.

“We started a little timid,” first-year S-PL coach Kory Anderson said. “I think that Kramer kid got in our heads a little bit at the beginning.”

Said Kramer: “If your guys are setting up plays for you to make, you gotta take advantage of that and make ’em.”

The Blue Jays had trouble churning out positive yardage in the first half, aside from a 73-yard touchdown pass from senior Levi Hoiby to classmate Curtis Marden. S-PL’s other first half scores came on an 85-yard kickoff return by Marden and a 52-yard interception return by Hoiby.

A second-team all-state selection as a lineman, Hoiby has garnered interest from University of North Dakota, Bemidji State University (Minn.), University of Mary and Minot State University, among others. He rumbled in from 73 yards on the Blue Jays’ first play of the second half. He finished 9-of-19 passing for 167 yards and rushed 24 times for 101 yards.

In the third quarter, Eggl threw the last two of his five touchdowns passes, before heeding way for junior Tanner Sanders.

Eggl completed 14 of 18 passes for 227 yards and carried 11 times for 149 yards.

Berentson caught six balls for 89 yards and two scores. He also scored on a reverse and intercepted a pass.

The Lions’ gaudy numbers were even better than normal.

They outgained the Blue Jays 550-262. Their scoring output was the highest of the season, pushing a state-best average to 43.7 points per game. And they scored on 10 of 13 possessions, with those 10 scoring drives spanning just 15:01.

But it’s what S-PL expected.

“This is exactly what we prepared for,” Anderson said. “We knew this is what they were capable of doing.”

Ryan Holmgren covers high school sports and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgren.