By Murray Gleffe
SEYMOUR — The Bonduel Bears rushed for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns in defeating Seymour, 27-15, in a non-conference football game Oct. 9 at Seymour High School.
With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, the stands sat empty, but the parking lot was bustling with energetic parents and students honking their car horns rooting for their respective team.
“We weren’t tough enough in the second half,” said Matt Molle, Seymour head coach. “Bonduel leaned on us and kept feeding their two running backs until we wore down.”
Thunder quarterback Peyton VanDeHei threw for 114 yards and Carson Molle had 98 yards on the ground with two touchdowns.
While Seymour punted on its first two possessions of the first quarter, Bonduel moved the ball, but didn’t have anything to show for it after Javon Leisgang picked off quarterback Cole Anderson on the Bears’ first possession.
Early in the second quarter, the visitors put together a 15-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a 2-yard touchdown plunge by fullback Max Sokolski for a 6-0 lead with 8:42 left until halftime.
With only 63 yards of total offense at intermission, Seymour began throwing the football to begin the third quarter.
VanDeHei went 4-for-4 to open the quarter, connecting with Tyler Lesatz and Logan Mattson for 38 yards, moving the Thunder to the red zone.
A little later, Molle capped off the drive from six yards out to give Seymour a 7-6 lead.
“We haven’t been putting things together offensively lately,” said Matt Molle. “It was important to open it up a bit with Peyton. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to string multiple drives together.”
Seymour’s lead was short-lived.
After a big kickoff return, the Bears marched down the field with Max Marohl punching it for a 12-7 lead with three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Perhaps the momentum-changer came on Seymour’s next drive.
Facing a fourth and seven from the Bonduel 35, VanDeHei hit Lesatz for a 24-yard pass completion, but the play was nullified by a key holding penalty.
It forced the Thunder to punt, and the Bears shifted the momentum back in their favor.
“It was a one-score game at that time,” said Molle. “Those (penalties) are killers. You can’t have them when you’re in position to retake the lead.”
Whatever energy Seymour had was zapped, and Bonduel went 77 and 79 yards on its two fourth-quarter drives to grab a commanding 27-7 lead with 3:05 remaining in the game.
All the damage was done on the ground.
The Thunder added a late Molle touchdown to provide the final margin.
Seymour will travel to Plymouth Oct. 16 to take on the Panthers in a non-conference tilt.
Bonduel: 0, 6, 6, 15 — 27
Seymour: 0, 0, 7, 8 — 15