MANLIUS –Austin Regenwether and the Fulton Steamers didn’t play like a two-win team on Friday night.
With the Bureau Valley Storm (4-3) needing one win to become playoff eligible, the Steamers put that on hold for another week with a 38-13 victory in Manlius.
Fulton took less than 2 1/2 minutes to score on its opening drive and built a 22-0 lead by half. Regenwether ran for 126 of his season-high 160 yards in the first half.
Fulton’s Josh Ballard added 87 yards on just six carries, and quarterback Ethan Jones ran for 60 yards and two first half scores. The Steamers racked up 16 first downs with 12 coming on the ground.
“Defensively we just didn’t do a very good job of stopping the run,” said Storm coach Jeff Ohlson. “I’m not 100 percent sure why. I don’t know if it is technique, fundamentals or scheme. But I will give Fulton credit, they executed and did the things they needed to do tonight.”
Fulton was just as strong on the defensive side of the ball, limiting the Storm offense to 81 yards rushing. Following a 35-yard touchdown run from Jones on the opening drive, Austin Manon forced Storm quarterback Tyler Barnas into his first interception of the season.
The Steamers also had a big defensive stand to end the first half. After the Storm drove 52 yards in only 25 seconds, setting up a first down with 8 seconds left in the half, Barnas had time for two plays and threw consecutive incomplete passes to Tommy Johnston and Jordan Monier.
“That was huge,” Fulton coach Patrick Lower said. “Not only was that big, but we knew they had the ball to start the second half. When we got that stop that was big momentum for us and a sigh of relief before the end of the first half. It was nice to keep them out because you knew what kind of fire power they have.”
Following Manon’s second interception of Barnas, the Steamers increased their lead to 30-0 when Josh Ballard took his first carry of the game 59 yards for a touchdown.
Turnovers were a problem for the Storm in the contest, as they gave away the ball on their first two possessions of the second half. They committed an uncharacteristic four turnovers for the game.
“Turnovers were really hurtful for us tonight,” Ohlson said.“That killed some of our drives and set up nice field position for them.”
“We just played fundamentally sound,” Lower said. “We talked about how many different weapons they have and how fast they were at every position. We talked about slowing our feet down and keeping them in front of us and just doing our job and not trying to do everyone else’s job. When you do that good things happen.”
The Storm got on the scoreboard in the third quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run by Parker Neuhalfen. A 41-yard catch by Monier set up the score.