Abbotsford holds off Coleman
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – The Abbotsford Falcons are heading back to the state semifinals, after a 44-24 win over Coleman in a Division 6 quarterfinal matchup Nov. 8 in round three of the state high school football playoffs.
“We played as good of football for a full game as we have all year,” Abbotsford Head Coach Jake Knapmiller said after the win. “We gave up a big play before halftime. We put the ball on the ground and then they scored on the next play, when we were inside the 30. And then late in the game, a couple of errors that led to two scores on their part, too, but when we executed, it was a really pretty thing to watch offensively, and our defense played tough.”
The Falcons jumped out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead, then added a third score in the second quarter to go up 20-0. But as it looked as though the Falcons were going in for another score right before halftime, they fumbled the football, and on the next play, Payton Nelson caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from Coleman quarterback Cayden Bintz to make it 20-6 at the break. Coleman kept that momentum going in the third quarter, when they returned the opening kickoff of the second half 70 yards for another score to pull to within eight.
“It was a mental reset thing for the kids,” Knapmiller said of the second half start. “I told them ‘Let’s make sure we answer this’, and we answered with a drive right away and put eight up on the board. Football is a game of momentum, and if you can snatch it back right away in close games, that’s big.”
The Falcons answered with a 10-yard touchdown run by Ty Falteisek and Cade Faber then ran in the two-point conversion to make it 28-12. But Coleman responded again, scoring another third-quarter touchdown to narrow the Abby lead to 10. Two fourth-quarter touchdowns by Faber put the game out of reach, though, and the Falcons stayed unbeaten at 12-0.
“We had pretty good balance. We’ve been riding our quarterback (Dalton Feddick) quite a bit, with 30 carries in each of the last four games,” Knapmiller added. “Cade’s a nice addition to our rushing attack. He’s a little shifty. And our line really wore them down, and the front that they gave us defensively – which was their base defense – they only stayed in it for about the first quarter, and then experimented the rest of the game trying to find something that worked. That’s when you know your offense is doing the right things.”
Feddick carried the ball 30 times for 339 yards and two first-quarter touchdowns. Faber had 14 rushes for 78 yards and two scores. Falteisek rushed for 71 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries. Abbotsford outgained Coleman 534-250 and had 15 more first downs than their opponent.
The Falcons will face a very tough opponent in the Eau Claire Regis Ramblers in a Division 6 state semifinal Nov. 15 in Chippewa Falls.