Coleman Falls to Tough Iola-ScandinaviaIssue Date: November 1, 2018
Coleman got back to the playoffs and got a win in 2018, but Division 6 No. 1 seed Iola-Scandinavia showed the Cougars still have a ways to go.
After a season when they missed the playoffs with a young team, the Cougars earned a four seed in Division 6, defeating Crivitz 46-20 in the first round, but Coleman's season ended Friday, 42-6, at the hands of Iola-Scandinavia.
The Thunderbirds scored three touchdowns in the first quarter. Bryce Huettner had two rushing touchdowns in the first quarter and three in the game. I-S quarterback Connor Kurki ran for a touchdown in the first and two total as well.
Kurki was 5-for-5 passing for 103 yards, running for 64 yards on six rushes, with two touchdowns.
"He throws a good deep ball, but he's also a good runner. He's a long strider, so all of the sudden you realize he's 15 yards down," Coleman coach Jeff Bronson said. "They have a really nice team of size, speed and just a ton of athletes."
Bronson said the difference in the game was that the Thunderbirds controlled the line of scrimmage. Payton Nelson got an 18-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter but Coleman wasn't able to hang around, falling 42-6.
"They owned us up front. It was plain and simple," Bronson said. "That was the difference in the game tonight."
Tyler Blanchard led the Cougars with 12 rushes for 52 yards. Mason Risner ran 11 times for 43 yards in his final game as a Cougar and Coleman's top offensive player, senior running back Jacob Zeitler, saw his night end early.
"He's had his chin split open since week two and through stitches, glue and everything, he hasn't been able to keep it under control because that's the kind of physical runner he is," Bronson said. "Tonight, he just had a big enough cut where it wasn't going to heal, wasn't going to stitch and there was no reason to put him back in and jeopardize anything else for him."
Coleman quarterback Cayden Bintz was 6-for-13 for 55 yards with two interceptions. He's just a sophomore, and he'll return to lead a team that loses just seven seniors to graduation.
"We're leaning on a sophomore, so we knew we were going to have some growing pains, but I thought the last two games he threw the ball really well. He's taking control of things."
For the Cougars, it was important to get back to the playoffs. Next year, they'll have loftier goals.
"We had such a small senior class last year where we were playing with a JV team and it would have been easy to give up on us and this group, I think, took a lot of pounding last year and it showed with some resilience this year," Bronson said. "Outside of tonight, the only time where we were manhandled was Kewaunee, so that's showing we're stepping in the right direction. We went tonight where we ended up with one senior on the field again and we had more freshmen on the field than we did seniors at times, so a game like this was important to show we can get here, but we've got to do more to be competitive in a game like this."
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