The 99th high school football meeting between Beaver Dam and Watertown may have been the most exciting matchup ever between the two longtime rivals with the Gosling holding off the Golden Beaver 49-41 on Saturday night.
The Goslings took the 7-0 lead on the game’s opening drive when Taylor Walter weaved his way through the BD defense for a 16-yard TD run. Beaver Dam answered right back as Gabe Klatt went around the right corner for a 60-yard TD run of his own. The Golden Beavers trailed 7-6 after the extra-point was missed.
With 9:12 left in the 2nd quarter, Walter scored his 2nd rushing TD, this one from 6 yards outs. Walter hit paydirt for the 3rd time on the night with a 4 yard run to push Watertown’s lead to 21-6 with just 2:50 left in the half. The Golden Beavers answered with a crucial drive of their own that ended with an nine-yard Alex Soto TD catch from Camron Mendoza with :08 seconds left in the half to send BD to the locker room trailing 21-13.
BD pulled even on the 1st drive of the 2nd half, when Soto took a screen pass from Mendoza 57 yards to the house. After a post-touchdown unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, Mendoza hit Soto on a 22 yard two-point conversion to tie the score at 21-21 with 9:41 left in the 3rd.
It didn’t take Watertown long to answer as Caleb Huff hit Christian Rhodes in stride down the left sideline for a 47-yard TD pass and put the Goslings back on top 28-21 with 7:47 remaining in the 3rd. The lead went to 35-21 when Taylor Walter scored his 4th rushing TD of the night on a 12 yard run with 3:46 left in the 3rd.
Early in the 4th quarter, Klatt inched the Beavers closer with a 10 yard TD scamper on the first play of the final 12 minutes to make it 35-27 Goslings. Watertown answered right back as Huff aired it out to Nathan Kehl on a 40-yard TD pass to push that lead over the Beavers to 42-27 with 10:21 remaining in the game. It didn’t take long for Beaver Dam to answer back as Mendoza connected with Soto for the 3rd time in the game with a 61 yard strike as the clock read 10:03 left in regulation.
Walter added his 5th rushing TD of the contest with 2:18 left in what appeared to be a game winning score. Beaver Dam thought differently as Mendoza lofted a pass up the right sideline that Soto caught and powered his way through a pair of defenders for his 4th TD catch of the night with 1:41 remaining in the game. That score moved BD back to within one score at 49-41.
In the games final seconds, BD was able drive down to the Watertown eight yard line, but Mendoza’s 4th down pass to Soto was a bit too high, ending the Golden Beavers chances to tie.
The Goslings Walter finished the night with 236 rushing yards and five touchdowns while the Golden Beavers Klatt had 186 yards and a pair of TDs.
Mendoza’s four TD passes in the game tied the program’s record with Carter Riesen (2019), Matt McDonald (2 times in 1984). his 281 yards passing was 2nd most in school history behind Carter Riesen’s 2019 against Baraboo in 2019.
Soto’s four TD catches, matches Broden Boschert’s school record set in 2019 against Baraboo. Soto caught 10 passes for 268 yards which smashes Zach Schoenberger’s single game receiving yards mark of 172 set in 2019. His ten catches tied for 2nd most in a single game in school history. Todd Deibert caught 10 passes in 1998 against Oconomowoc. Soto hauled in a school record 12 passes this past spring in a win over Monona Grove.
Beaver Dam’s 517 yards of total offense was 5th all-time in school history.
Beaver Dam (2-2, 1-1) will host DeForest next Friday night at HH Derleth Field. You can watch that game on DailyDodgeTV at DailyDodge.com. Watertown (2-2, 1-1) will travel to Waunakee next Friday.
The teams have met just two times (2017 & 2018) since the Wisconsin Little Ten Conference dissolved in 2016.
The game was played on Saturday night because there were no officials to work the game previously scheduled for Friday night.
Click the link to hear postgame comments from Watertown coach Benji Kamrath
Click the link to hear postgame comments from Beaver Dam coach Brock Linde
If you have a question about this story or have an idea for a future local sports story, please email Wade Bates at [email protected]