Stratford punches ticket to level three
By City Times staff
STRATFORD – The Stratford Tigers are moving on in the WIAA Division 5 football playoffs. The Tigers beat Colby 48-0 Oct. 26 at Tiger Stadium, in a level two postseason contest. The Tigers amassed 367 yards while giving up just 31 total yards to the Hornets.
The Tiger defense also scored three times for Stratford Head Coach Jason Tubbs. “Great team effort. Back-to-back shutouts in playoffs. Three touchdowns. I don’t think we’ve done that since I’ve been here. And that’s saying something with some really quality defenses that I was running back in the state championship runs.”
The Tiger defense recorded nine tackles for loss against Colby quarterback Roman Schmitt. “Dawson Moen and Jaykob (Mikelson) and Ben Barten and Dylan Schoenherr-those front four, and then we mix in Drey Drexler and Beau Gross and Vaughn Breit. And our blitz packages were working really well. Trevor Dennee and Derek Marten and Justin Schoenherr were in the backfield a lot also”, Tubbs said after the game.
Stratford’s defense forced a Colby three-and-out to start the game. The Tiger offense then got rolling, with a five-play 53-yard drive. Colby transfer Chase Flink capped off the drive on a four-yard TD run to put the Tigers up 7-0 midway through quarter one. Colby again went three-and-out, but got the ball right back when the Tigers fumbled on the third play of their next possession. But, Colby again went three-and-out.
The Tigers gave the ball right back again, when Max Schwabe was intercepted on the third play of the possession. Schmitt returned the favor three plays later when he was picked off by Eli Drexler, who took the pass interception 40 yards for a Tiger touchdown.
The Hornets again went three-and-out, but got the ball back at the Tiger 47-yard line when Stratford muffed the punt. Stratford’s defense stiffened, however, and Colby was again held to a three-and-out. The Tigers got the ball back and went on a seven-play, 76-yard drive, scoring on a 16-yard touchdown run by Kade Ehrike, who led the team with 151 rush yards on 13 carries.
After yet another Colby three-and-out, the Tigers went on a six-play scoring drive that covered 65 yards. Ehrike scored again, this time from six yards out. Stratford scored on the opening possession of the second half, covering 73 yards in five plays, scoring on an eight-yard run by Eli Drexler. Mikelson added a 20-yard fumble return for a score midway through the third quarter, and Max Vanderhoof scored on a 35-yard interception return midway through the fourth.
The Tigers improved to 9-2 overall, and face No. 1 Kewaunee on Nov. 2 in level three of the playoffs. “They have a tailback that’s pretty quick. And they have one player that was down in Iowa being looked at as well (as is Stratford’s Barten.) We think we match up well with them. They’re mostly a running team”, Tubbs added.
Stratford is headed to level three of the playoffs for the second consecutive year. The Hornets end their season 8-3.