High school football season kicks off
Marshfield wins season opener
MARSHFIELD – The Marshfield Tigers opened up their 2018 football season with a home win over Oshkosh West Aug. 17. The Tigers beat the Wildcats 26-6 to start off their new season 1-0.
Marshfield grabbed an 8-6 halftime lead, and scored 18 unanswered points in the second half to pull away and win.
Tiger quarterback Ryan Krueger passed for 189 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions, and ran for a score. Brant Bohman rushed for 102 yards on 11 carries. But, it was the Tiger defense that shined, giving up just 195 yards and one score and allowing only 59 yards in the third and fourth quarters.
Marshfield scored first on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Krueger to Preston Wagner near the end of the first quarter. Joey Goettl ran for the two-point conversion.
Oshkosh West scored its only touchdown midway through the second quarter when running back Blake Framke broke free for a 64-yard score. The two-point conversion attempt failed, and the Tigers led by two at halftime. Marshfield put up three more scores in the second half.
The Tigers capped off their first drive of the third quarter with a 32-yard field goal by Mason Coffren. Later in the quarter, Krueger found Isaac Meverden on a 24-yard touchdown pass.
Krueger capped off the scoring in the final seconds of the game with a one-yard touchdown run. That ended a 10-play, 96-yard drive which put the game away for good. Marshfield racked up nearly 500 yards of offense.
Marshfield plays at Appleton West Aug. 24, followed by a home game with Hortonville Aug. 31.
Rockets soar past Stratford
Spencer/Columbus opened up its new football season wondering what life after Hunter Luepke would be like. The Rockets answered some of those questions Aug. 17, in a 27-7 win over the Stratford Tigers at Ted Fritsch Field in Spencer. After rushing for more than 1,800 yards and 40 touchdowns, as a senior last season, Luepke graduated leaving the Spencer/Columbus coaching staff wondering how to replace that kind of offensive production. The win was a good start.
The Rockets scored all of their points before halftime, and the game was essentially over at that point, as Stratford struggled to put up much of a fight. The Rockets took a 7-0 lead with 4:20 left in the first quarter, on a five-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jarred Mandel, capping off a 13-play, 80-yard drive.
An interception by Ethan Meece set up the Rockets’ next scoring play just a few minutes later, returning a Max Schwabe pass to the Tigers’ 22-yard line. After an incomplete pass by Mandel, Austin Bacon got to the right edge, and scampered into the end zone on a 22-yard touchdown run with 1:26 left in the first quarter. Austin was just getting started. Bacon ripped off a 37-yard TD run with 2:56 remaining in the second quarter, and :40 later, Bacon found the end zone again. A pass by Schwabe was tipped at the line of scrimmage, and Bacon came flying in, grabbed the ball out of the air, and ran it nearly 50 yards for another score – his third of the game. Bacon ran the ball nine times for 84 yards and two scores. Before leaving the game with an undisclosed injury, Carson Hildebrandt ran 14 times for 60 yards.
“I was really proud of our kids for the way that they came out and performed, and got off to a really great start in the game”, S/C Head Coach Jason Gorst said following the win. Coach Gorst credited his defense for setting the tone.
“I think it all started up front with our defensive line. Logan Zschernitz, Nate Karau, and Gavid Kilty really were quite disruptive up front, and kind of controlled the line of scrimmage and that allowed our linebackers to really flow and make plays. We had Carson Hildebrandt, Hayden Bauman, and Eden Jacobson making some tremendous plays, and I thought Tanner Kleinschmidt had a real great night on defense, too.”
Stratford’s only score came with 8:24 left in the game. Schwabe hit Vaughn Breit on a 15-yard touchdown pass, capping off a seven-play, 56-yard drive. Schwabe had a decent night, completing seven of 14 passes for 116 yards and the one touchdown. He also threw two interceptions, and both led directly to S/C touchdowns. On the ground, Stratford’s Kade Ehrike ran 12 times for 69 yards. Tiger coach Jason Tubbs is now 1-5 in season openers.
Stratford will host Antigo Aug. 24 at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers beat the Red Robins in week two last season. The Rockets will host Osseo-Fairchild in Spencer.
Panthers outlast Apaches in 2OT
Former Marawood Conference opponents Auburndale and Pittsville reminded fans why the football rivalry between the two communities will always exist. The Apaches and Panthers battled each other into double overtime Aug. 17, when Pittsville escaped with a one-point win in the non-conference matchup. When all was said and done, the two teams had combined for 73 points and nearly 650 yards.
Auburndale had jumped out to a 24-3 lead heading into the fourth quarter, when the Panthers scored 21 unanswered points to force the first of two overtimes. Pittsville tied the game on a 53-yard bomb from quarterback Sam Hardinger to Chris Snook with less than a minute left in regulation. That came after Hardinger hit Hunter Wilke on touchdown passes of 36 and five yards, and Drew Bratlie hit on all three point-after attempts following those fourth-quarter touchdowns.
In the first overtime, each team scored, but missed extra points. In the second OT, the Apaches scored when quarterback Cooper Weinfurter connected with Fletcher Raab on a 25-yard pass. The extra point attempt was again no good. Pittsville would not make that mistake twice. After Auburndale took a 36-30 lead, Hardinger ran for a 16-yard touchdown, and Bratlie connected on the PAT to win the game for the Panthers.
Bratlie had the only score of the first half for Pittsville – a 24-yard field goal right before halftime. Hardinger threw for 220 yards and three scores, including the game-winner.
“I think he settled in a little bit,” Pittsville Head Coach Mark Denniston said after the game. “He had a few rough patches early in the game, and threw a couple interceptions. But, he settled in, made some good throws, and our receivers made some nice plays, too. Chris Snook made a heck of a play to tie the game with about a minute left. He went up and caught the ball in traffic, and then managed to get in the end zone kind of dragging a guy for about ten yards. So those were some great plays down the stretch that allowed us to tie the game.
“It was kind of a rocky start for us. In the first half, we gave up a couple of big plays, and then turned the ball over a few times. Our message at halftime was ‘They’re not really dominating the game. I said if we could just stick with it we’d hit on some big plays, and that’s kind of what happened. I was really pleased that we were able to show character and heart, and even when we were down 24-3 to start the fourth quarter we didn’t give up, and we played hard and consequently were able to tie it up and get the win in overtime.”
Weinfurter threw for 233 yards and three touchdowns. Dylan Paun caught two of those scoring passes. He ended the game with four catches for 111 yards for Auburndale. Teammate Trayton Weister added five pass receptions for 92 yards. Weister also ran for 31 yards and had a pass interception on defense.
Snook ended the game with five catches for 112 yards. Wilke hauled in five balls for 78 yards.
Pittsville plays at Rib Lake-Prentice Aug. 24. Auburndale is at Manawa.