Krautz scores all of Bulldogs’ TDs; Indians next

Published 1:39 am Saturday, October 10, 2015

NEDERLAND — The showdown of the night, Beaumont Central running back Devwah Whaley against Nederland counterpart Austin Krautz, was going neck-and-neck through one half. Both had 10 first-half carries, Whaley’s 50 yards outgaining Krautz by 2.
With Nederland trailing 13-7 going into the second half, Krautz found his second gear.
The senior, who has yet to be offered a scholarship, rushed for 234 yards and four second-half touchdowns and caught for another in the first half, as Nederland maintained its share of first place in District 22-5A with a 35-20 win Friday night.
“Not much changed [from the first half],” Krautz said. “I’d say we came out with more will than they did. Our O-line knew that and they took advantage of their defensive line, and we left open holes that I could run through.”
Next up for Nederland — Bum Phillips Bowl II, aka Mid-County Madness, at Port Neches-Groves.
“We knew it was next all week,” Bulldogs coach Larry Neumann said. “We never danced around that. We’re on schedule, and we know Mid-County Madness is next. We also had our total focus on Beaumont Central. Had to have it.”
But the Bulldogs (4-2, 3-0 in 22-5A) had more pressing matters Friday, like trying to beat the team it shared last year’s 22-5A championship with and trying to slow down four-star recruit Whaley.
The Bulldogs did both. Whaley had 100 yards on 21 carries.
Before Krautz took off in the final 24 minutes, Central’s Jawon Mitchell injected excitement into what was otherwise a fairly quiet performance by both teams. The junior broke three tackles in his own territory and found nothing but open field on an 85-yard kickoff return with 4:54 left before halftime, giving the Jaguars (2-4, 2-1) a 13-7 lead.
Central held a 117-110 edge in total yards at halftime.
“It wouldn’t have mattered if it was 13-7 in our favor, we kind of expected it to be a second-half ballgame, and both teams played championship football the second half,” Neumann said. “Really proud of our whole football team. Our defensive side of the football played a whole lot better tonight.”
Facing third-and-3 to start the second quarter, Chris Boudreaux ran a bootleg to the right and found Delvin Bennett wide open on a 49-yard connection to open the scoring. Nederland responded with a 15-play, 78-yard drive, as Krautz pulled in a 6-yard thread by Mitchell LeBaron in the second quarter. Mitchell followed with his stunning kickoff return.
The Bulldogs melted more than 5 minutes off the clock to start the second half, and Krautz’s 12-yard carry ended a 73-yard scoring march to give them their first lead.
Tavian Mayfield intercepted Chris Boudreaux on Central’s following drive, and Krautz carried six times on an eight-play march from midfield to bump the lead to 21-13.
Central escaped serious danger just for a little while after a miscommunication between kickoff returners left the Jaguars pinned at their own 3. Facing third-and-12 from his own 1, Whaley sprinted 29 yards for the first down, but the Jaguars were stopped on downs.
Four plays later, Krautz had a 6-yard TD run to make it 28-13.
The margin was narrowed to 28-20 after Theodrick Foster carried from 9 yards out with 7:42 left in the game. But Krautz all but ended the Jaguars’ night with a 73-yard burst out of a big hole from right end at the 6:23 mark.
As the madness surrounding the Madness starts to build up, Krautz is confident the Bulldogs are playing their best brand of ball heading into the all-important rivalry game.
“There are a couple little things we can improve on, but a couple little things like that, we can go make a run at the playoffs.”

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About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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