Kratzberg's 274 yards an Orion recordbreaker

Beth Welbers
Geneseo Republic
Orion’s Kameron Weaver drives the Riverdale ballcarrier to the ground early in the varsity game on Friday, Sept. 17, on the Rams’ field.

Orion coach Chip Filler needed a big night from Cole Kratzberg when the Chargers took on the Riverdale Rams on Friday, Sept. 17.

So Filler challenged Kratzberg to break the school record of 260 yards on six carries.

Kratzberg was more than up to the task. He finished with 274 yards to power Orion to a 41-0 win that spoiled Riverdale’s Homecoming celebration.

If you’re going for the record, it helps to have touchdown runs of 87 and 98 runs.

About the 98 yards. Midway through the fourth quarter, Riverdale drove to the Orion 12 only to have a pass picked off at the 2-yard line. On first down, Kratzberg broke off the big run to put Orion up 40-0. Blayden Murdock kicked the extra point.

The 87-yard TD with four minutes to go in the first quarter was set up the same way, with the Rams driving into the end zone only to give up the ball on an interception. On second down at the Charger 13, Kratzberg outran everyone on the field to give his team its first touchdown.

Filler had Drake Gunn, another speedster capable of breaking off long runs, available to sprinkle in. Gunn scored on a 55-yard run with 24 seconds to go in the third. The kick was blocked, leaving Orion with a 24-0 lead.

He predicted that next year assistant coach Pharaoh Gay, a track specialist brought in to train the Chargers for speed, would be able to put four Chargers in the backfield who could qualify for the 400-meter relay at the state track meet.

To set up Orion’s second touchdown late in the second quarter, Kyle Johnson recovered a fumble at the Riverdale 27. The Chargers moved the ball to the 14, and from there Kratzberg ran the ball into the end zone.

Orion scored the third touchdown of the night with 18 seconds to go in the half. Quarterback Jared Mohr sneaked the ball over the line for a 21-0 lead.

Quinn Hoftender scored midway through the third quarter on a six-yard pass from Mohr.

Orion will host Erie-Prophetstown for Homecoming at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25. There were not enough officials for a game on Friday night.

Erie-Prophetstown is talented, Filler said. The extra day will help the Charger prepare, if they don’t let Homecoming festivities distract them.