FORRESTON – Before Alden-Hebron even had an offensive snap, the Forreston Cardinals had 13 points on the board.
It only got worse from there for the Giants, as Saturday’s Class 1A first-round game turned quickly into a 41-7 mismatch.
The Cardinals (8-2) capitalized on two Alden-Hebron fumbles on kickoff returns to take a 13-0 lead.
“It was going to be a difficult task for us anyway, but those first two fumbles killed us,” Alden-Hebron coach John Lalor said.
Alden-Hebron forced Forreston into a fourth-and-3 situation on the opening drive, but Kaleb Reining ran for 8 yards. One play later, Tylor Henneman scored from 17 yards out and the rout was on.
After the next Alden-Hebron fumble, Bryan Kraft had a 4-yard rushing touchdown after a quick 26-yard drive.
“Every week, we squib kick,” Forreston coach Denny Diduch said.
The Giants forced a Forreston punt on its next possession for a slight moral victory.
“Alden-Hebron wasn’t a pushover,” Diduch said. “They presented us with a spread, something we don’t see much.”
Midway through the second quarter, Forreston upped its lead to 27-0 on touchdowns by Henneman and Kraft.
“They just kept on bringing fresh bodies in,” said Lalor, whose team only dresses eight juniors and seniors. “Plus, they run the no-huddle. When you have everyone playing both ways, it wears you down.”
Just before halftime, quarterback Brett Carlson and backup quarterback Robert DeVries connected on a 28-touchdown pass to build a 34-0 lead.
On their longest drive of the game, the Cardinals went 82 yards in 15 plays to put the running clock in gear as the second half began. Kraft tacked on his third touchdown for the final margin of victory.
Forreston (8-2) travels to Ottawa next week to face undefeated Marquette.
“This team has more usable backs than Ottawa, but Ottawa’s linemen are bigger,” said Alden-Hebron quarterback Bryce Lalor.