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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Peshtigo Roughs Up Rangers 42-6

As expected, the unbeaten Peshtigo Bulldogs had no trouble disposing of visiting Wausaukee Saturday afternoon 42-6 for their 5th straight win.

The homecoming hammering saw Peshtigo dominate in every statistical category while building up a huge edge after three periods.

Even though the final score indicates a rout, Peshtigo coach Sam Komp was impressed by the effort of the Rangers...“Wausaukee competed as harder or harder than any team we played this year. Nothing came easy for us....had to work for everything we got. Now that homecoming is over, I am the happiest guy in the world as we can get back to concentrating on football.”

Despite the distraction of homecoming week, the Bulldogs put on an impressive performance. Playing in front of a large crowd, including members of the 1962 team that was the first squad to play on the current field, the Bulldogs methodically took care of business.

Offensively Peshtigo piled up 418 total yards, highlighted by 324 yards on 50 rushes and three scores.

Sparking the offense were senior running back Derek Maye, who gained 195 yards on 26 rushes and quarterback Dakota Keller with a trio of scoring passes. The efficient Keller connected on 8 of 9 passes for 94 yards, including teedee tosses of 20 and 18 yards to Dakota Marino along with a 5 yard flip to Jake Veness.

While the offense had its way up and down the field, the defense barley budged. Peshtigo saw Wausaukee finish with 127 yards...17 rushing and 110 passing.

How stingy were the Bulldogs? The Ranger runners went backwards in the first half, losing 19 yards on the ground.

“Overall, we played well. Ran the ball consistently and the defense was excellent again,” Komp added.

First year Wausaukee coach Jared Deschane thought his troops took a step forward during the game. “I was proud of the effort we put forth, fundamentally we were better, which is a big step for us. Peshtigo did a nice job of shutting us down.”

Sophomore Aaron Schlies was forced into a starting role at quarterback for Wausaukee in place of Beau DeLaet, who continues to nurse a hip pointer.

Schlies proved to be the Rangers best offensive weapon, hitting on 11 of 27 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. His favorite target was tight end Ryan Nystrom with 8 catches for 74 yards while 100 pound freshman Conner Kempinski won over the crowd with two receptions for 74 yards.

“Aaron did a nice job avoiding the rush and running the offense. Without Beau we lose the element of speed and become one dimensional. We’re hoping to have him back next week,” Deschane said.

Forcing Wausaukee into the first of 3 punts in the opening half, Peshtigo opened at its own 42. Four plays later the Bulldogs had points. Maye gained 4 yards on first down while Mike Vojcihoski added 9 yards on two carries for a first down at the 45. Maye took it from there busting loose on a 45 yard scoring scamper at the 9:47 mark. Zack Neumann booted the extra point for a quick 7-0 edge.

Another defensive stand, which saw Schlies fire a trio of incompletions, resulted in a punt and Peshtigo’s ball at the Wausaukee 45. Five plays was all the Bulldogs needed to get back on the board. Maye and Vojcihoski softened up the defense with a pair of runs each, before Keller switched gears and fired a 20 yard scoring pass to Marino. Neumann’s kick split the uprights for a 14-0 lead (6:12).

The Rangers tried staying close and put together a 9 play drive that moved the ball from the 31 to Peshtigo’s 47. Schlies went to the air six times, completing three to Nystrom for 25 yards before being forced to punt the ball away. The boot by Schlies rolled dead at the 9 leaving Peshtigo in the shadow of its own goal post.

The usually sure-handed Maye fumbled the ball away on the Bulldogs first play with Dillon Meyers recovering at the 9 (1:28).

Eying points, Wausaukee saw Cole Lewandowski lose two yards on first down before Schlies and Nystrom teamed up for an 11 yard scoring pass with 32 seconds left in the quarter. A two point conversion pass by Schlies was batted away.

With their lead trimmed to 14-6, the Bulldogs tallied a pair of scores in the second quarter to pry open a 28-6 halftime cushion.

Taking the ensuing kickoff, Peshtigo marched 57 yards in 11 plays before Levi Sanborn jogged in from 5 yards out on a counter run. After a 4 yard pass to Marino on first down, the Bulldogs stuck to the ground the rest of the way. Maye peeled off an 18 yard scamper to the Wausaukee 35 then added a 14 yard jaunt to the 8, only to get negated by a motion penalty. Facing a first down at the 25, Peshtigo saw Maye carry 3 straight times to the 7. With Wausaukee looking for another Maye run, Komp and company gave the ball to Sanborn on a counter for the score and a 20-6 spread.

Wausaukee tried mounting another scoring drive and moved into Peshtigo territory on a 37 yard pass reception by Kempinski. Three plays later the drive fizzled on an interception by Veness at the 38.

Peshtigo was on the prowl for more points and strung together 9 play scoring march. Maye was the featured runner again with six carries for 28 yards and caught a 22 yard screen pass for a first down at the 2. He would score on the next play and added the conversion catch for a 28-6 spread (1:19).

The Bulldogs tallied two more scores in the third quarter to blow the game open at 42-6.

Sanborn returned the second kickoff 40 yards to the Wausaukee 45 setting up a 5 play scoring drive. Four Maye runs moved the ball to the 18 before Keller and Marino connected on an 18 yard scoring toss. Neumann’s boot upped the lead to 35-6 with 9:58 left in the quarter.

Wausaukee still wouldn’t go away as Schlies and Nystrom clicked on 4 tosses during a 10 play drive that ran out of downs at the Peshtigo 31.

After turning the Rangers back, Peshtigo mounted a 6 minute march that drove 69 yards in 11 plays for a commanding 42-6 score.

Sanborn played a huge role in the march, tearing off a 33 yard gainer to the Wausaukee 36 while catching a 19 yard pass to the 8. Three plays later Veness snagged a 5 yard scoring pass from Keller and Neumann added the PAT.


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