Tigers triumph in Beell finale
By City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – The Marshfield Tigers may have saved the best for last. Marshfield defeated Pulaski 32-29 in Marshfield Nov. 2 in a WIAA Division 2 quarterfinal playoff contest, in what some have called the greatest game they’ve ever seen in the 77-year history of Beell Stadium. The level three playoff contest was the final varsity football game at Beell, as the Tigers prepare to debut a new complex adjacent to Marshfield High School next fall.
The Tigers took an early lead when quarterback Ryan Krueger connected with Brant Bohman on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 9:00 left in the first quarter. The Raiders came right back and scored on a 31-yard TD run by Pulaski’s senior quarterback Dylan Hendricks, who torched the Tiger defense for 378 rushing yards on 52 carries. The game stayed tied at 7, until Krueger scrambled for a six-yard score early in the second quarter to put Marshfield back on top. Krueger connected with Preston Wagner on a two-point conversion, and the Tigers led by 8.
But, the Raiders took just over a minute off the clock when Hendricks scored again, this time from four yards out. Hendricks also ran in the two-point conversion to tie the game once again. Marshfield scored just before halftime, when Krueger went in from a yard out, on a night when he rushed for 102 yards; that gave the Tigers a 22-15 halftime advantage.
Midway through the third quarter, Hendricks, who announced in August he would play college football at North Dakota State, tied the game again when he scored on a 68-yard run that came after the Tigers fumbled the football. The Tigers never got going offensively in what turned out to be a scoreless third period for them.
The Raiders took their only lead of the game near the midway point of the fourth quarter, when Hendricks scored a fourth touchdown, on a two-yard run; but, Marshfield covered 85 yards in five plays to tie the game at 29, when Bohman reeled off a 53-yard TD run. Pulaski got the ball back with 8:00 remaining, but Marshfield’s defense finally did something it had not done all night – stopped Hendricks.
The Tigers forced a Pulaski punt and had the ball 58 yards away from a game-winning score with 6:00 left in regulation. Fourteen plays later, Tiger placekicker Mason Coffren was in position for a game-winning field goal attempt to send Marshfield to level four of the postseason, something which had not been done in six seasons. Coffren had missed a 23-yard attempt earlier in the game. But this moment belonged to the senior, and just like Mason Crosby had done for the Packers a few weeks ago against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field, Coffren drilled a 25-yard field goal as time expired to give Marshfield a berth in the Division 2 state semifinals Nov. 9 against Homestead of Mequon in Menasha. The kick was Coffren’s second game-winner of the season; he did the same in Kaukauna Sept. 7.
The Friday night win was the 12th of the season for the Tigers, as they remain unbeaten so far this season. The Tigers new opponent – Homestead – is also 12-0. The winner of the Marshfield-Homestead match advances to the Division 2 state championship game Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, against either Waunakee or Brookfield Central.