Waterville-Elysian-Morristown got its ground game back on track Friday.
The WEM Buccaneers (1-1) more than tripled their rushing production from the week prior, rolling up 286 yards in a 37-12 win at Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons (0-2).
Grant McBroom added in 180 yards on 9-for-17 passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions. That made for 466 yards of total offense.
Running back Brant Melchert toted it 22 times for 182 yards and two touchdowns.
“We were able to get on the edge and get Brant running downhill, which turned out to be pretty good for us,” said WEM coach Mike Richards. “We had a couple big hits and some touchdown passes, they started cheating on the run a little bit and we got some big ones.”
The Knights were able to hang within a pair of scores into the second half before the Bucs salted the game away late in the third quarter.
Melchert rushed in for his second touchdown. He “got the wind knocked out of him” Richards said, and was able to rest in favor of some WEM reserves.
Griffin Atherton rushed seven times for 50 yards and his first varsity touchdown.
Nolan Wetzel had six rushes for 37 yards.
WEM will get more running back depth in week 4 when second leading returning rusher from 2018, Jaden Taylor, returns to the backfield.
McBroom connected with Nick LeMieux for a 77-yard touchdown run. Dylan Androli also caught a touchdown and had two catches for 71 yards. Androli’s touchdown came after a touchdown was wiped away on the previous play due to a penalty.
WEM got a lot of players in and 18 recorded at least one tackle. Theo Miska and Androli led with 5.5. Each had one of the team’s two sacks.
Richards credited Zach Sticken for hauling in two interceptions while taking on A-C/G-E’s top receiver.
The Knights had some success offensively in the first half with the use of a play action pass that burned the Bucs’ secondary.
A-C/G-E is in its first season playing an 11-man regular season schedule. The Knights have played 11-man in the playoffs but have played nine-man schedules.
WEM returns home to host Mayer Lutheran (2-0) in what could be the Bucs’ toughest game left on the schedule. The Crusaders beat Bethlehem Academy 46-12 in week 1 and Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 42-0 in week 2.
WEM 37, Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons 12
WEM offensive statistics — Passing: Grant McBroom 9-17, 180 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT … Rushing: Brant Melchert 22-182, 2 TD; Griffin Atherton 7-50, TD; Nolan Wetzel 6-37; Colten Henry 2-11; Matt Van Houdt 1-2; Ethan Greenwald 2-2; Ethan Muellerleille 1-2; McBroom 4-0 … Receiving: Nick LeMieux 1-77, TD; Dylan Androli 2-71, TD; Theo Miska 3-38; Melchert 1-0; Wetzel 2-(-6)
WEM defensive statistics — Tackles: Miska, Androli 5.5; Atherton 3.5; Wetzel 3; McBroom, Henry 2.5; LeMieux, Melchert, Aiden Snesrud 2; Domanik Paulson, Levi Bowman, Tyler Brekke 1.5; Zach Sticken, Van Houdt, Taylor Landrum; Carter Pavek, Tyler Siechta, Jason Bauer 1 … Tackles for loss: Androli 2; Miska, Atherton, Henry 1 … Sacks: Miska, Androli 1 … Interceptions: Sticken 2