Van Vleck aims for win against Bloomington


This Friday when Van Vleck and Bloomington face off, the two teams that are winless in district play will do battle for their first districts win of the season.

It will also be senior night for Van Vleck when the teams battle at 7:30 p.m. in Van Vleck. 

The Leopards are coming off a 35-8 loss to Ganado last Friday night. 

Ganado ran out to a 28-0 lead and then cruised to an easy victory.

Ganado scored first when quarterback Kyle Bures-Guerrero connected with Ethan Guerra for a touchdown pass and a 7-0 lead.

The lead grew to 14-0 when Bures-Guerrero scored on a rushing touchdown early in the second quarter and held onto that lead at the halftime break.

Early in the third quarter, Bures-Guerrero connected with Colton Teague for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead over the Leopards. Bures-Guerrero then found Cameron Bates for a touchdown connection and a 28-0 lead.

The lead reached 35-0 when Bures-Guerrero scored on a rushing touchdown.

Van Vleck was finally able to reach the scoreboard on a passing touchdown in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to final margin of 35-8.

“You have to give them credit, they played a great ballgame,” said Van Vleck Head Football Coach Robert Blackmon. “We made a ton of mistakes that helped them.”

This week, Van Vleck will square off against Bloomington, who like the Leopards, is also winless in district play this year. 

“They are a scrappy team,” Blackmon said. “They look good on paper but just haven’t been able to put it together on the field. They lost quite a few kids but they are scrappy team.”

Blackmon said this year has been a challenge for the Leopards from the beginning of the season.

“I’m not going to make excuses for our kids because we expect them to go out there and line up and compete,” Blackmon said. “But when you go back and look at the big picture, you will see that we are going up against a lot of teams that have much more experience than we do. We will be better on down the road than we are right now.”

The year started tragically for Van Vleck with the death of defensive coordinator Paul Bienen died Aug. 30 after suffering a massive heart attack at the school.

“This has been a tough year for us starting with losing a coach before the first game of the season,” Blackmon said. “We got them back on the field the Monday afterwards and that was tough for all of us. I don’t think the kids and our coaching staff has been able to grieve his death yet. We tried to keep moving but when you sit back and look at it, we didn’t have time to grieve or take it all in and move forward.

We knew coming into this season we were going to be a youthful team with just a few seniors sprinkled in, we knew it was going to be tough. It is what it is for us this year. But down the road, I think this year will be helpful for us even though no one likes it right now. I sure hope the lumps we are taking now will help us later because they are pretty big right now.”

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