Pine Island's Spencer Schultz is stopped by Max Zamzow. Photo by Keith Garvens
By David Richards
Jack Nelson completed 13 of 24 passes for 293 yards, threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as Byron defeated Pine Island on the road 41-0, Sept. 21.
With the victory, the Bears earned their first Hiawatha Valley League win this season and improved to 2-2 overall, 1-2 in the HVL.
"Midway through the season, we're still searching for a run identity on offense and a stop the run identity on defense," Byron head coach John Austinson said.
Thor Knutson led the team in receiving, catching six passes for 168 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The Bears led 21-0 at halftime after a 63-yard Nelson touchdown pass to Knutson, a 13-yard Nelson TD scamper, both in the first quarter, and a 27-yard touchdown pass from Nelson to Andrew Root with roughly three minutes remaining in the second quarter.
"Our offense, while we did have some drops, was kind of key," Austinson said.
In the third quarter, Brandon Janvrin scored on a seven-yard touchdown run, and Byron led 28-0 after the extra point. Janvrin finished with 10 carries for 53 yards.
In the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Bears scored two touchdowns in the span of about a minute. Knutson scored off a 30-yard Nelson pass, while Dan Fujan intercepted a Panther throw and went 48 yards for the pick six. With a missed extra point on the first TD, the two touchdowns gave Byron a 41-0 lead and sealed the win.
On defense, Dakota Swank also had an interception, while Dustin Davis led the team in tackles with 10 to go with a sack.
Next week, the Bears host Canon Falls (3-1) for Homecoming.
"They have a good quarterback and good team speed," Austinson said.