Topples Titans 56-0 For 5-0 Record; Wausaukee Qualifies For Playoffs
Chalking up their third straight shutout and fourth of the season, the Coleman Cougars remain the top team in TIMESland following a 56-0 rout of Lena-STAA Saturday. The lopsided win lifts coach Jeff Bronsons gridiron gang to 7-0 on the season and 5-0 in the M-O Conference. In the last three games, the Cougars have outscored their opponents 172-zip.
The latest win registered by the Cougars was over early, racing to a commanding 48-0 halftime lead and never looking back. Coleman dominated on both sides of the ball piling up 409 yards of offense while limiting the Titans to 38.
While Coleman stole the headlines again, the Wausaukee Rangers qualified for post-season play following a 18-0 road win over Suring Friday night. Now 6-1 on the season and 4-1 in conference play, the Rangers will be making their first playoff appearance in 4 years.
As a coaching staff, we are pleased that a lot of time and effort by our players has resulted in our first playoff berth in four years. We are especially happy for our seniors, whose leadership and playing ability has lead the way, Wausaukee head coach Pat Edlbeck said.
Elsewhere in league play, Crivitz made a first quarter touchdown stand up in a 7-6 win over Gillett while the season continues to spiral downward for the Peshtigo Bulldogs, falling to Northern Elite 14-6 Saturday.
League play on Friday night finds Coleman hosting Crivitz, Wausaukee entertains Lena-STAA, Suring heads to Peshtigo and Gillett visits Menominee Indian in a crossover game Saturday afternoon.
Scoring on all of their opening 8 possessions, the Cougars cruised to their fifth straight conference win with a 56-0 clobbering of host Lena-STAA.The Saturday afternoon laugher was over early as Coleman opened up a 20-0 lead after period one and 48-0 by halftime.
Once again the green and white gridders dominated on both sides of the ball, totaling 409 yards in offense while limiting the Titans to just 38 yards. Coleman did most of its damage on the gorund churning out 375 yards on 52 rushes for a 7.2 yard average while completing 2 of 5 passes for 34 yards and one teedee.
Offensively it was good to have some longer, sustained drives.The long quick scoring plays are nice, but if you look back the long sustained drives is what the offense is based on. It was nice to see that re-appear, Coleman coach Jeff Bronson said. Again it was a solid effort by everyone on the offense...first time all year two backs were over 100 yards and then we had two other backs just short of 50. It is that balance that hasa helped us continue winning.
Mitch Mergener was the top rusher for Coleman with 15 carries for 120 yards and two scores. Mitch Champagne added 14 rushes for 111 yards, highlighted by a 54 yard scoring jaunt while quarterback Jacob Engels gained 58 yards in 5 attempts.
Barely needing to throw a pass, Coleman saw Engels click on 2 of 4 tosses for 34 yards, including a second quarter 8 yard flip to Mason Mergener.
The Coleman defense was just as dominant never allowing the Titans to cross the 50 yard line. Lena-STAA had 11 possessions on the day, resulting in 6 punts, three turnovers and a running out of downs prior to the half. The Titans netted 38 yards over 32 plays (1.1 yard average) with the running game netting 28 yards and passing 10.
I was very pleased at how wellwe defended. Watching last years film, we thought that they would try to attack our defensive left side so we worked the majority of the week strengthening up technique there. The players responded quite well. We had numerous people to the ball and were very sharp with our assignments, Bronson added.
A fumble recovery by Adam Fraaser at the Titan 48 set up the Cougars first score. The 10 play march was keyed by a 27 yard pass to Kollin Long on fourth down to the 8. Two plays later Engels snuck in from a yard out (6:44).
After forcing a punt, Coleman began at the Titans 33 and moved to the end zone in 4 plays before Engels scooted in from 17 yards (4:07). Mitch Mergener tacked on the conversion points for a 14-0 spread.
A 6 yard punt return by Champagne gave the Cougars a first down at the 38. Two plays later, Champagne broke loose on a 54 yard scoring jaunt. The conversion run by Engels was stopped short as Coleman enjoyed a 20-0 lead with 1:40 left in the opening quarter.
Holding the Titans on downs, Coleman used a 34 yard punt return by Champagne to the Titan 22. One play later Engels was heading to the end zone for his third score, when he was separated from the ball. No problem as Mason Mergener fell on the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. Champagne tallied the two point run for a 28-0 lead.
The Titans continued to be generous on their next possession as Dom Ramirez fumbled after picking up 8 yards with Trevor Bushmaker recovering at the Coleman 45. Six plays was all the Cougars would need before Mitch Mergener scooted in from 9 yards out (9:03). Brother Mason added the conversion and Coleman was on top 36-0.
The stingy Coleman defense forced the foruth punt of the half and took over at the Titan 45. Six runs, including galllops of 7 and 24 yards by Mitch Mergener set up a 4 yard run by Eric Brazeau and a 42-0 lead (5:32).
Looking to show some signs of an offense, the Titans strung together 6 plays before Ramirez saw his pass get picked off by Engels and returned 15 yards. Three plays later Engels tossed a 7 yard scoring pass to Mason Mergener with 52 seconds remaining for a commanding 48-0 halftime cushion.
With the mercy clock ticking away to open the third quarter, Coleman took the kickoff and drove 64 yards in 10 plays for their 8th and final touchdown of the game. Mitch Mergener hauled the ball 5 times for 39 yards, including the final 13 to paydirt at the 5:45 mark. Engels added the conversion run for a 56-0 final score.
It will be homecoming week for Coleman, hosting Crivitz at 7pm Friday.
Crivitz is next, our homecoming game, so I am hoping that our seniors will be ready for another test, Bronson said.
Suring 18-0, Earns
WIAA Playoff Berth
Combining a balanced offensive punch with a defense that forced 4 turnovers, Wausaukee qualified for the playoffs for the first time in 4 years with a 18-0 road win over Suring Friday night. The Rangers used second quarter scoring drives of 80 and 90 yarsd to build up a 12-0 halftime lead before tacking on an insurance score in the third quarter.
Wausaukee held a 23-10 edge in first downs, 391-181 in total yards and of course held the upper hand on the scoreboard.
The Rangers gained 228 of their 391 yards on the ground as junior Cole Lewandowski tore off 108 yards on 18 rushes, Brett Edlbeck 15-81 and Hunter Nystrom 4-34. In the passing department, senior signal caller Edlbeck drilled 16 of 30 tosses for 163 yards and a touchdown.
We got off to a slow start against an aggressive Suring football team. Fortunately, we were able to capitalize on 80 anad 90 yard drives, our last two possessions before halftime. The last drive out of our hurry up offense was huge in the game as it swung momentum to us through the halftime break, Edlbeck added.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Rangers reached the end zone with both of their possesioins in period two.
The first march took 15 plays and covered 80 yards before Edlbeck snuck over from a yard out (7:35). Starting at their own 20 following a punt, the Rangers scampers of 9 and 12 yards by Lewandowski along with a trio of Edlbeck passes to keep the drive alive. Edlbeck hit Ryan Nystrom for 7 and 16 yards while also hooking up with Beau DeLaet on tosses of 4 and15 yards.The second completion came on third down and gave Wausaukee a first and goal at the one. After crossing the goal line on a keeper, Edlbeck saw his conversion pass to Nystrom miss the mark for a 6-0 lead.
Suring tried to answer on the ensuing kickoff driving deep into Wausaukee territory before DeLaet came up with an interception at the 10 yard line (1:48).
Trying to beat the halftime clock, Wausaukee motored down field in 10 plays, including 7 straight pass completion. After picking up a first down at his own 21, Edlbeck hit Joe Jaworski for 27 yards to the 48 then followed with a 10 yard strike to DeLaet, 9 to Ryan Nystrom and 14 yards to Jaworski for a first down at the Suring 19. DeLaet grabbed tosses of 3 and 6 yards before Aaron Schlies hauled in the 10 yard scoring strike (0:16). Edlbeck saw the conversion pass to Ryan Nystrom get batted down for a 12-0 halftime spread.
We emphasized all week in practice that to have a chance against a tough Suring team at their place, we needed to win the turnover ball. Not turning the ball over and forcing turnovers with our defense allowed us to control field position for most of the game, Edlbeck commented.
With the defense forcing Suring to punt, Wausaukee found the comforts of the end zone on a 7 play, 48 yard scoring march. Edlbeck sparked the drive with a 19 yard scamper to the 24 before a pair of 3 yard runs put the Rangers at the 11. Lewandowski toook it from there busting in at the 7:24 mark. DeLaet was stopped short on the conversion attempt leaving the Rangers holding a 18-0 edge.
The Ranger defense punts on the next two Suring possessions before Mike Wojnicki and DeLaet swiped passes in the fourth quarter.
Starting at their own 3, Wausaukee slowly moved the ball out to the Suring 30 before the final seconds ticked off the clock.
The second half we were hurt by penalties which stalled some drives where we could have put the game out of reach. We need to be more consistent as we head into the last two weeks of the regular season, Edlbeck concluded.
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