Tigers Football playoff hopes dashed by Hortonville
By Paul Lecker
HORTONVILLE – Big plays doomed the Marshfield football team all night long on Friday, and with it the Tigers’ playoff hopes vanished.
Hortonville racked up 565 yards of offense and recovered from a Marshfield comeback in the second quarter to down the Tigers 55-27 in a Valley Football Association South Division game Friday night at Akin Field at Hortonville High School.
With the loss, the Tigers fall to 2-5 overall and 1-4 in the VFA South, and have been eliminated from WIAA postseason contention. This will be the first season since 1995 that Marshfield will not play in the playoffs.
Hortonville clinches a playoff spot with the victory, and improves to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the VFA South.
Hortonville quarterback Jake Sommers threw for 354 yards and four touchdowns, three to Carter Beaudoin, who had seven receptions for 167 yards. Polar Bears running back Mitch Gerhartz added 159 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
Hortonville hit on four big plays on third down in the first half and converted three times on fourth down in the second half, once on a fake punt to keep a scoring drive alive and another for a long touchdown pass on fourth-and-22 that put the game away.
Hortonville quarterback Jake Sommers threw for passes of 40 and 30 yards, both on third down, to set up a 10-yard touchdown run by Mitch Gerhartz on the opening drive.
Marshfield responded and drove down inside the 5 before fumbling into the end zone and the Polar Bears recovered for a touchback.
Three plays later, Gerhartz ran 67 yards for a touchdown to put the Polar Bears up 13-0.
Marshfield fought back, scoring on its next three possessions to take a one-point lead.
Nick Hoheisel, who led the Tigers with 84 yards rushing, scored on a 2-yard run for Marshfield to begin the comeback.
Hortonville responded with another score – a 33-yard pass from Sommers to Beaudoin on a pass that was tipped by a Marshfield defender.
A 35-yard kickoff return by Kegan Fassler, a facemask penalty and a 20-yard run by Hoheisel set up a 15-yard TD run by Isaac Cline for the Tigers. After a three-and-out, Marshfield drove 50 yards in five plays and Derek Coffren tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Tanner Boson to put the Tigers up 21-20 with 4:14 to go in the first half.
Hortonville regained the lead on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Sommers to Blake Kalwitz in the final minute of the half and the Polar Bears led the rest of the way as they put up four more touchdowns in the second half.
Gerhartz and Beaudoin each had touchdowns in the third quarter, sandwiching a 1-yard TD run by Coffren for Marshfield, and Hortonville led 41-27 entering the fourth.
The Polar Bears put together a 7-minute, 13-play drive that ended with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Sommers to Beaudoin on a fourth-and-22 play, pushing their lead to 48-27.
On Marshfield’s second play following the kickoff, the Tigers fumbled for the third time in the game.
Nine plays later, after converting on another long fourth-down play, Gerhartz scored his fourth touchdown with 3:38 to go.
Marshfield hosts Stevens Point for its homecoming game next Friday, Oct. 10, at Beell Stadium beginning at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on WDLB-AM 1450 and wdlbwosq.com.
Polar Bears 55, Tigers 27
Marshfield 0 21 6 0 – 27
Hortonville 13 14 14 14 – 55
H – Mitch Gerhartz 10 run (Trevor Coenen kick), 8:31.
H – Gerhartz 67 run (kick missed), 3:16.
M – Nick Hoheisel 2 run (Zach McManus kick), 10:18.
H – Carter Beaudoin 33 pass from Jake Sommers (Coenen kick), 7:57.
M – Isaac Cline 15 run (McManus kick), 6:48.
M – Tanner Boson 25 pass from Derek Coffren (McManus kick), 4:14.
H – Blake Kalwitz 6 pass from Sommers (Coenen kick), 0:37.
H – Gerhartz 4 run (Coenen kick), 5:08.
M – Coffren 1 run (kick blocked), 4:12.
H – Beaudoin 22 pass from Sommers (Coenen kick), 3:36.
H – Beaudoin 32 pass from Sommers (Coenen kick), 8:59.
H – Gerhartz 4 run (Coenen kick), 3:38.
Rushing (att-yards): Marshfield 50-235; Hortonville 39-211.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): Marshfield 10-26-95-0; Hortonville 15-25-354-0.
Fumbles (total-lost): Marshfield 3-3; Hortonville 2-2.
Rushing: M, Nick Hoheisel 19-84, Derek Coffrren 19-68, Tyson Slade 7-40, Isaac Cline 5-31, Tanner Boson 2-12. H, Mitch Gerhartz 30-159, Jake Sommers 6-42, Brad Conger 2-8, Max Flunker 1-2.
Passing: M, Coffren 7-19-78-0, Slade 3-7-17-0. H, Sommers 15-24-354-0, Stoeger 0-1-0-0.
Receiving: M, Boson 4-46, Zach McManus 3-17, Kegan Fassler 2-28, Jon Hardinger 1-4. H, Carter Beaudoin 7-167, Stoeger 4-46, Flunker 1-55, Gerhartz 2-50, Blake Kalwitz 1-6.
Records: Marshfield 2-5, 1-4 Valley Football Association South Division; Hortonville 5-2, 4-1 VFA South.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com).
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