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* Shockers Are Regional Champions; Marinette Comes Up One Game Shy
* Niagara Comes Up Short Against West DePere in Tournament Championship

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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Running Attacks Key M-O Victories

Sparked by some impressive opening night rushing performances, a trio of M-O Conference teams came up victorious.

Two-time defending league champion Coleman used a 219 yard effort by Dexter Karban to slam Sevastopol 42-7. Taking over the featured role in the Cougars 439 yard offensive attack, Karban did his damage on 27 carries while scoring a pair of touchdowns.

“Overall it was a good start for this young team...had contributions from many people,” coach Jeff Bronson said. “Thought the entire team played more physical than we did at the scrimmage. We were pushed around at the scrimmage and looked scared and passive. Friday that did not appear to be the case, our pad level was lower and we just seemed quicker to the ball than at our scrimmage.”

Looking to move up the M-O Conference ladder this season, the Crivitz Wolverines rode the legs of junior halfback Ben Fischer to the tune of 272 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 28-6 win over Gibraltar. Relying on the ground game, Crivitz saw Fischer reach the end zone three times from 40 yards out or more.

The final conference winner was Suring, which used a staunch defensive effort along with 111 yards by Dillon Kempen to level Laona-Wabeno 41-0.

Three other conference teams took it on the chin as Wausaukee fell to Crandon 46-12 to ruin the head coaching debut of Jared Deschane, Gillett lost to White Lake-Elcho 18-6 and Lena-STAA came up short to Menasha St. Mary 40-28.

League play begins this week with Peshtigo getting a slight edge in the pre-season polls to unseat Coleman as champion.

Coming off a 28-7 road win over Bonduel, the Bulldogs will entertain Lena-STAA Thursday at 7pm, Suring heads to Crivitz in an early test while Wausaukee takes the hike to Florence.

The lone outing on Friday finds Coleman traveling to Gillett for a 7pm clash.

Karban, Coleman

Slam Sevastopol


Picking up where they left off last season, the Cougars had no trouble with host Sevastopol in the season opener Friday claiming a 42-7 win.

Once again the Cougars relied on a devastating ground attack that ran through the Pioneer defense for 405 of its 439 total yards.

Leading the way was Dexter Karban with 27 carries for 219 yards and two scores. Mason Mergener added 17 rushes for 125 yards and two scores while quarterback Trevor Seewald chipped in with 30 yards on 9 attempts.

“Thought the line was much improved from a week ago. More holes for Dexter, Mason and the other backs to run. They seemed more confident in what they were to do. As a group, the line improved the most from our Shiocton experience,” Bronson said. “We still have many things to work on, but it was a good first step.”

Coleman put the opening 20 points on the board and never looked back.

Karban scooted in on runs of 10 and 1 yard while Mergener added a second quarter teedee scamper of 9 yards for a 20-0 spread.

Sevastopol managed to trim the deficit to 20-7 when Noel Faber and Bryce Birmingham teamed up on a 37 yard scoring pass in the second period.

But that was as close as Sevastopol would get.

Coleman saw Mike Carroll blast over from 5 yards in the third frame before Mergener (1 yard) and Seewald (8 yards) scored in the final 12 minutes.

Fischer Runs Wild

In 28-6 Crivitz Win


Junior halfback Ben Fischer had a great opening game, busting loose for 272 yards on 25 carries and 4 touchdowns to lead Crivitz to a 28-6 win over host Gibraltar Friday.

Fischer found the comforts of the end zone on scampers of 52 yards in the first quarter, 42 in period three before finishing with scoring dashes of 7 and 50 yards in the fourth quarter.

Ball control was the key for coach Jeff Ott’s troops, totaling 372 yards over 51 plays for a 7.5 yard average. The running game did most of the damage with 330 yards in 40 rushes while senior southpaw AJ Garcia hit on 2 of 11 passes for 42 yards with 2 interceptions.

Sam Banaszak was the number two runner for Crivitz with 9 carries for 33 yards while Parker DeLosSantos (35 yards) and Jed Nelson (7) hauled in one catch each.

Crivitz jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead as Fischer produced points on his third carry of the game. After picking up 7 yards on two runs, Fischer shook free on a 52 yard scoring scamper. Joe Rodriquez booted the extra point.

Protecting that slim lead through halftime, the Wolverines upped the margin to 15-0 in period three. Fischer again supplied the scoring surge with a 42 yard burst. Garcia and Adam Slaby hooked up on the extra point pass.

Later in period three, the Vikings trimmed the deficit to 15-6 as Austin Bauldry bolted 60 yards to the end zone. The two point conversion run failed.

Looking to pry open some more daylight, Crivitz sealed the win with a pair fourth quarter scoring runs by Fischer.

During a scoring drive that featured 8 runs, Fischer carried six times for 39 yards, the last 7 ending up in points. The PAT kick by Rodriquez failed for a 21-6 edge.

Getting the ball back later in the frame, Crivitz saw 4 running plays result in more points. Fischer gained 7 yards on first down while Banaszak added a pair of 5 yard runs. With the ball at midfield, Fischer got the call again and raced to the end zone. Rodriquez split the uprights for a 28-6 final score.

Titans Tipped By

St. Mary’s 40-28


In a high scoring Saturday afternoon clash, the Lena-STAA Titans battled back from an early 13-0 deficit, took the lead at 14-13 before falling to Menasha St. Mary 40-28.

With both teams having limited rosters and playing in some humid temps, conditioning took a toll throughout the game.

“We played with a lot of heart and it would have been easy for us to throw in the towel when they jumped ahead by two scores in the first couple of minutes. But we didn’t and actually took the lead at one point,” co-head coach Dale Lange said. “With the small numbers we didn’t get any breaks and the game went down to the very end. We jumped off-side on a fourth and one and that allowed them to keep the ball and score with less than 10 seconds left in the game.”

Things didn’t look very good for the Titans after falling behind 13-0 just 3:15 in the game. Menasha scored on a 58 yard run by Sam Dionne (9:51), recovered an onside kick and scored again when Andy Leibham hauled in a 12 yard pass from Jordan Schmidt (8:45).

The Titans didn’t quit. An interception by Sam Beschta gave Lena-STAA the ball at the Menasha 38. Five plays later Dom Ramirez connected with Blaik Fisher on a 17 yard scoring strike. Ramirez added the conversion run for a 13-8 deficit with 1:10 remaining in the opening quarter.

Taking advantage of another turnover, the Titans moved ahead 14-13 at the 9:10 mark of period two.

A fourth down center snap sailed over the head of the Menasha punter and was blocked by Ramirez. Bernie Beyer recovered the block for a first down at the 14. Ramirez took it from there, hitting paydirt on the next play. A conversion pass to Joe Jagiello fell incomplete.

The Zephyrs rebounded and took the lead for good with a 6 play, 85 yard scoring march. Mike Daniels grabbed a 37 yard pass from Jordan Schmidt while Conner VanZeeland found the end zone on a 27 yard scamper (6:14). Sam Dionne booted the point after for a 20-14 edge.

Menasha nearly extended the upper hand before the half, but couldn’t turn an interception by Bob Batzler into points. Inching their way towards the end zone, the Zephyrs came up a yard short when the halftime gun sounded.

After holding the Titans on downs, Menasha upped the lead to 26-14 at the 10:11 mark of period three when Liebham hauled in a 72 yard scoring strike from Schmidt.

Answering on the ensuing kickoff, the Titans moved 58 yards in 8 plays as Ramirez spotted Alex Votava for a 29 yard scoring strike (6:40). Ramirez tacked on the conversion run for a 26-22 deficit.

The offenses continued to flourish as Menasha moved to a 33-22 lead when Schmidt and Liebham hooked up on a 5 yard scoring toss (2:22). Dionne booted the point after.

Down but not out, the Titans closed the gap to 33-28 with 3:42 left when Kiefer Powers sprung free on a 9 yard fourth down scoring run. The teedee capped a 7 play, 36 yard drive that was kept alive by a facemask penalty which gave the Titans a first down at the 18. Ramirez was stopped short of the goal line on the conversion attempt.

Looking to wear down the remaining time on the clock, the Zephyrs moved 77 yards in 7 plays before scoring an insurance teedee. VanZeeland broke free for 50 yards on first down while Dionne found the end zone on a 1 yard run with 6.5 seconds left. Dionne added the PAT for that 40-28 final score.

“We have Peshtigo this week and it will be another hot one, so we will have to clean up a few of our mistakes and get ready,” Lange concluded.

Suring Cruises

To 41-Zip Win


Scoring five times via the ground, the Suring Eagles had no trouble with Laona-Wabeno in the season opener Friday 41-0.

Coach Mitch Taylor’s gridiron gang saw Dillon Kempen ramble for 111 yards and a score to lead the way.

Quarterback Jay Tienor put the Eagles on the board with a 1 yard plunge in the opening quarter, Creo VanBellinger added a 4 yard jaunt later in the frame then upped the margin to 21-0 by halftime with an 82-yard interception return.

Dan Sweda got into the scoring act in the third quarter with a 67 yard scamper before Kempen hit paydirt from 4 yards and Tristan Tisch one yard.

Tom Cleereman was the leading rusher for Laona-Wabeno with 12 carries for 36 yards while quarterback Jake Ambrosius connected on 4 of 13 passes for 64 yards.

Rangers Roughed

Up By Crandon


The Rangers got some big plays to go their way offensively in last Friday night’s season opener against Crandon.

Unfortunately for first year head coach Jared Deschane, the big plays enjoyed by his team’s offense weren’t at all enough to overcome the huge plays being thrown at them by the Cardinals as Wausaukee was upended on the road 46-12.

Crandon spent a lot of time in the Rangers’ red zone in this one and they made their time there work, scoring all six of their touchdowns with short, red zone running plays.

Well, out of the six scoring plays for the Cardinals, there was one long jaunt of 25 yards from Hayden Krueger. But when you rush for 259 yards on 19 carries, going a quarter length of the field for your first of two scores on the evening might get lost in the shuffle.

For the Rangers, quarterback Beau DeLaet had a solid night with a pair of touchdowns thrown on 10 for 17 passing and 120 yards. The junior quarterback, in his first season opener since taking over under center following the departure of 2011 all conference selection Brett Edlbeck, hit Aaron Schlies from 28 yards out in the second quarter to cut the Crandon advantage to 24-6 and then went 25 yards down field in the third quarter on a completion to Ryan Nystrom.

As the Crandon running backs tore up their own field for 355 yards and six touchdowns between three carriers, Wausaukee managed to put together a solid ground game of its own as Cole Lewandowski racked up 93 yards on 15 carries.

Lewandowski also caught a pair of passes for a dozen yards while Nystrom caught five passes for 56 yards and Schlies snagged three passes for 52 yards altogether.

Turnovers Costly

In 18-6 Gillett Loss


The Tigers weren’t hurting for offensive numbers in last Saturday’s road loss against White Lake/Elcho to open the 2012 season.

Quarterback Bryce Simpson went 13-for-20 for 125 yards, Dylan Roberts caught five passes for 67 yards, including a 30-yard scoring reception from Simpson in the second quarter and running back Monte Noffke had a respectable 44 yards on 13 carries as well as three kickoff returns for a total of 68 yards.

No, the numbers don’t look too bad for Gillett in last Friday night’s performance. Until you take a look at the turnover column, where the Tigers left their mark with a total of five miscues.

“Our youth really showed up,” said Gillett head coach Rick Kamps. “We only returned two starters on offense and three defense. That showed up big time on Saturday.”

The giveaways that show up in the scorebook overshadow the positives from the Tigers’ first game of the year. Gillett out gained White Lake/Elcho in the total offense column 193-155, they had an 8-6 first down advantage and their passing game picked up 156 yards on 24 total attempts to fully outshine the 30 yards put together through the air on just six passing plays by the Wolverines.

“We just want to be competitive,” says Kamps bluntly. “We want to be able to compete, no blowout scores. We don’t want to see running clocks. We want to be able to be in games and have a shot at the end.”

And they did just that in Saturday’s opener.

Take away three big Wolverines plays, including a 60-yard punt return for a touchdown, a big fumble recovery late in the third quarter that set up a score and a crafty reverse play that fooled the Tigers’ defense in the second quarter for a huge gain when the the score was tied up at 6-6, and Gillett was competitive throughout.

Kamps and his team realize that they’re not going to be able to throw three interceptions and put the ball on the ground six times and have any success. No matter how solid the rest of the stat sheet might look, those kinds of mistakes aren’t going to get it done.

Not with M&O play commencing and the Coleman Cougars awaiting them this Friday evening.


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