Despite hot start, Berthoud football falls to Centaurus

By Dan Karpiel
The Surveyor

As they work through a rebuilding year, the Berthoud High School football team continues to work on assembling a full 48-minutes-worth of football.

Berthoud flashed several moments of brilliance, playing on the road in a non-conference tilt with Centaurus in Lafayette on Sept. 16, but, as they have in their previous two games, also demonstrated they remain a largely young and inexperienced football team. The Spartans jumped out to an early 24-0 lead but permitted the Warriors to score 33 in the second half to take the game by a 40-32 final.

“We finally put together a complete game in all three phases; offense, defense and special teams,” Berthoud head coach Troy Diffendaffer said of the first half, adding that in the second half, “we just lost some of our energy in some places.”

“We’re still developing talent, getting the kids game-ready, and we just ran out of steam a little bit.”

The Spartans found the end zone four times in the first half, the first coming on an 81-yard touchdown run from tailback Wyatt Woodrick. The junior found the end zone twice more in the first half and finished with a game-high 271 all-purpose yards (118 rushing, 60 receiving and 93 returning) to go with his three scores.

A pass from quarterback Brock Voth to Danny Pelphrey went for 36 yards and a score to put the Spartans up 12-0 in the first quarter and, after the second two of Woodrick’s three scores, BHS found themselves comfortably in command, 24-0, with just over five minutes remaining before halftime. Centaurus was able to score just before break, but Berthoud had assembled a solid half of football and, in Diffendaffer’s words, “felt really good,” going into the locker room.

“We controlled the line of scrimmage,” Diffendaffer explained. “Our d-line controlled the line, our guys filled the gaps, they all held their responsibilities well and we got some big plays on the outside.”

Centaurus was able to bust out in the second half, however, scoring 19 unanswered points to take their first lead of the game, 26-24, as the contest entered its final 12 minutes. Berthoud retook the lead, 32-26, on the second Voth to Pelphrey touchdown of the evening. The Spartans lead was short-lived, however, as the Warriors scored twice more in the quarter and held on for the win.

Voth finished the game with 213 passing yards and two touchdowns to go with 59 yards on the ground, while sophomore receiver Anthony Trojahn continues to flash big-play ability for the Spartans, having reeled-in a 62-yard reception. Inside linebacker Ben Douglas and Woodrick each tallied 11 total tackles, and senior Jordan Doles recorded Berthoud’s only quarterback sack of the game.

Despite the second-half comeback by the Warriors, Diffendaffer believes his team made strides in the game.

“We showed the signs that the kids are continuing to grow,” Diffendaffer said. “We’re going to try to win one play at a time, one drive at a time, one half at a time … and we’re on our way to doing that.”

Berthoud (1-2) faces their stiffest test of the young 2016 season as they travel to Fort Morgan to take on the undefeated and No. 1-ranked (3A) Mustangs for their next game on Sept. 23. Fort Morgan has out-scored their opponents by a combined 111-42 through their first three games.