M-O Title Up For Grabs
Top honors in the M-O Conference will be decided Friday night when the Peshtigo Bulldogs travel to Suring in a battle for the league title.
With just two games left on the conference slate, both teams come into the gridiron clash with plenty of accolades...post-season berths already secured, explosive offenses and perfect records of 6-0 overall and 5-0 in conference play.
Neither team had much of a challenge this past week. With its line leading the way on both sides of the ball, Peshtigo knocked off visiting Northern Elite 28-0 in a crossover clash Friday while the Eagles soared to a 68-16 rout of host Wausaukee.
Looking for a favorite?
Lean with the Bulldogs as the M-O showdown will be decided in the trenches.
The Bulldogs have too much beef upfront and controlled the lines of scrimmage in every game to date. The Peshtigo blockers have opened huge holes for running back Derek Maye and company, and allow junior signal caller Dakota Keller plenty of time to find open receivers.
Suring is very explosive with some talented skilled people. Going on the road will certainly be a challenge for us and we are going to have to play well to be successful, Peshtigo coach Sam Komp said.
Suring on the other hand has a number of talented skilled weapons, starting with senior southpaw quarterback Jay Tienor. Utilizing a spread offense, Suring gets Tienor in the open field, springs running backs Dillon Kempen and Blake Strehlow for explosive runs while isolating receiver Cody Christensen.
Peshtigo has been the team to beat since the start of the season. We have been a surprise and didnt expect to be up at the top of the conference. We have some nice skilled athletes and are solid everywhere, but are still looking for an identity on the offensive line, Suring coach Mitch Taylor said.
Peshtigo has some really nice linemen and have found some skilled people to go with them. We are going to have to play our best and hope for some turnovers and mistakes by them.
In other M-O action, Coleman travels to Crivitz in a contest that has playoff berths at stake, Wausaukee heads to Lena-STAA while Gillett hosts Menominee Indian in a crossover clash.
Suring Too Much
For Wausaukee In
68-16 M-O Rout
Unleashing their highest scoring output of the season, the Eagles kept their hold on a share of the M-O lead with a 68-16 rout of host Wausaukee.
Just how explosive was Suring? Read on.
The Eagles soared to a 45-8 halftime lead and then capped the big night with a trio of second half scores.
Suring is a very well balanced team and does a great job of putting pressure on the offense, Wausaukee coach Jared Deschane said. We struggled to move the ball after a few key injuries on our line.
Running back Dillon Kempen scored on runs of 5 and 54 yards while bruising the Wausaukee defense for 113 yards rushing. Meanwhile talented senior quarterback Jay Tienor had a hand in 4 scores....passed for a pair, ran one in then returned an interception 45 yards to the end zone. Tienor finished the night with a perfect 5-5 passing mark for 78 yards and two scores.
Suring put the games first points on the board at the 4:57 mark of period one. Kempen capped the 12 play/63 yard march with a 5 yard run while Blake Strehlow booted the first of 5 extra points. Kempen carried 6 times for 38 yards and Strehlow added 3 runs for 7 yards.
Wausaukee answered on the ensuing drive, sparked by a 24 yard kickoff return from Ryan Nystrom. The 4 play march was highlighted by a 60 yard flip from Beau DeLaet to tight end Nystrom to the 19. Two plays later the Ranger points came via the same passing combination as Nystrom hauled in a 5 yard scoring toss. DeLaet ran in the conversion points to give Wausaukee its only lead of the game 8-7 with 2:53 left in the period.
Suring took care of the rest of the half, scoring 5 touchdowns to pry open a 45-8 spread. Three of the Suring scores were set up by interceptions from John Horst, Dan Sweda and Tienor.
The Wausaukee lead didnt last very long, like 15 seconds, as Cody Christensen returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a 15-8 score.
A defensive stand forced a punt to set up Kempens 54 yard scoring jaunt for a 22-7 spread just 3 minutes into the second period.
With his team up by a pair of teedees, Tienor took over and displayed his gridiron talents. The quick stepping southpaw signal caller hit Christensen with a 23 yard scoring toss then added a 5 yard teedee pass to Tyler Fisher for 38-8 edge. The talented Tienor capped his big first half by picking off a DeLaet pass and racing 54 yards to the end zone.
With the mercy clock ticking away, Tienor tacked on a 2 yard scamper in the third quarter to cap a time consuming 12 play/63 yard march before Ramsay Thompson busted loose on a 26 yard run in the fourth period.
Wausaukee closed out the game with a consolation score as Eric Arndt connected with Zach Zeutzius on a 9 yard pass.
We controlled the lines of scrimmage and at one point trailed 8-7. Once we shut down Nystrom and got the kickoff return by Christensen, it kick started our team, Taylor said.
It only took two plays for the Lena-STAA Titans to serve notice, via a dramatic run to the goal line, that win-loss records could, in fact, be tossed out the window in Friday nights M-O match up against the Cougars.
The 2012 rivalry game got off to a furious start and would keep that pace for the entire first half but the home team Cougars weathered the early barrage of Titans offense and came out on top 44-24.
The team in green found themselves looking up at the scoreboard in disbelief pretty early in this one and it read 6-0 Lena-STAA at the 11:36 mark. The score came after Kiefer Powers took the ball at second and two on Lenas opening drive, found the edge thanks to ample blocking from his offensive line and simply ran away from every defender on the field on his way to the end zone from 70 yards out.
Not bad for the second offensive play of the game.
But the Cougars didnt take the early letdown as an opportunity to get discouraged, they promptly blocked the extra point and snapped the home crowd out of the oh-no funk that hushed the bleachers after the early Titans score.
The game shows what rivalry is all about, commented Coleman head coach Jeff Bronson on the back and forth pace both teams set for themselves. Lena-STAA had big play after big play in the first half, their size and speed was a concern going into the game and it gave us fits all night.
Rattled a bit by the early big play for six, yet energized by the block that kept a seventh point off the scoreboard, the Cougars got right to work on offense. Aided by a couple of encroachment penalties, Coleman drove its way to third down and four at the 21, where the Titans came up with a big defensive stop to set up fourth and short just outside the red zone. The Cougars went for it and what came next turned out to be Colemans only completed pass of the entire game.
The rare (on this night anyway) completion went for 14 yards and a first down. It also set up Mason Mergener to pick up his first touchdown of the evening on the next play, a seven-yard haul across the goal line.
Coleman would give the ball back to Lena-STAA with the score tied at six after failing to convert the two-point conversion.
The Titans, once again, had big play on their minds as they set up shop on their own 20 after a penalty call on the kickoff negated a return that would have seen them starting deep in Coleman territory.
And once again, the big play would come on second down as quarterback Dom Ramirez (six of 18, 170 yards, two touchdowns, one interception) rifled a nice pass down the sideline to Blaik Fisher, who shrugged a couple of defenders and rumbled his way into the end zone for the 80-yard score.
The opportunity came for the Coleman squad to be overwhelmed by the big play effect their opponents seemed to be so easily enjoying.
Rather though, the Cougars decided to make a statement play of their own on second down after getting the ball back as Dexter Karban broke through the Lena-
STAA defensive wall for a 49-yard, quick-hit of a scoring run. Trevor Seewald found the corner and made it across the goal line for the two-point conversion to give Coleman a 14-12 edge.
Naturally, the Titans had some slippery offense in store for the Cougars on their next possession. Powers (12 rushes, 169 yards, 2 touchdowns) came through on third and 17 with a crafty run for a first down and some extra yards when the team needed it. This burst set up the second quarters first score as Ramirez, who did a good job to get the pass off as he was hit by Coleman defenders, found Joe Jagiello for a 24-yard scoring strike that ended with another six points on the board for the visiting Titans.
Down 18-14, the Cougars stepped up their intensity and quickly moved into Titan territory on their next drive. But what started out as a promising trip downfield got a little ugly as penalties backed them up.
After giving the ball back to Lena-STAA, Colemans defense provided a spark by recovering a fumble and the opportunity to quickly move into enemy territory.
The turnover set up a second and goal situation from the nine yard line and once again, it was Mergener (nine carries, 33 yards, three touchdowns) providing the ground power needed to pick up the score. Mergener also ran in the conversion points as his team reclaimed the lead at 22-18.
The first half fireworks werent finished there though as the Titans refused to let Coleman get comfortable with their one-score lead.
Ramirez found Fisher (three receptions, 116 yards, one touchdown) on a nice pass play to take Lena-STAA down to Colemans 12-yard line before Powers hit paydirt for the second time on the evening with a run that saw the junior back go nine yards untouched for the score. The touchdown gave his team a 24-22 lead going into the locker room at halftime.
The Cougars opened the second half with a bit of the dramatic as Trevor Seewald (11 rushes, 61 yards, one touchdown) bobbled the kickoff before finding his focus and blasting through the Titans for a first down on the enemys 33.
The Titans played tough defense and brought up a fourth and seven play but Seewald moved the chains on a keeper that got the Cougars into the red zone at the 20. It was only a few plays later that Mergener stormed through the defensive front from the five-yard line for his third score of the evening and a 30-24 edge.
It would prove to be all Coleman needed as the home team would go on to score two more touchdowns to race ahead by 20 and the Titans struggled to again find their first-half magic.
Fortunately, we were able to run the ball, said coach Bronson. That has been the common denominator for our wins. If we can run the ball and control the clock we have success. When we struggle to run the ball, we struggle to find success.
Unleashing 437 yards of offense, Crivitz blasted host Gillett 69-16 in a M-O Conference mismatch Friday night. Still in search of a playoff berth, the Wolverines did most of their damage on the ground with 324 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Pacing the Crivitz ground game was junior tailback Ben Fischer with 17 carries for 176 yards and scoring runs of 42, 2 and 58 yards, all in the first half. Jake Sawinski added 6 rushes for 103 yards and touchdown scampers of 27 and 48 yards while Nicholas Chapman gained 25 yards on 5 carries, including a 3 yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback AJ Garcia drilled 5 of 7 throws for 113 yards and two scores. Garcia hit Parker DeLosSanto on a 22 yard pass in the first quarter then added a 55 yard strike to Fischer in the third period.
While Crivitz had no trouble picking up yards or points, Gillett struggled. The Tigers gained 186 total yards...2 rushing on 19 attempts and 184 passing.
Quarterback Alex Zeitler connected on 13 of 29 passes and a trio of interceptions. Dylan Roberts was the main target for Zeitler with 5 catches for 127 yards and a score while Kyle Kershek added 6-49.
Coach Jeff Ott saw his Wolverines register 4 scores in the opening 12 minutes. Fischer shook free on runs of 42 and 2 yards, DeLosSantos caught that 22 yard pass and Sawinski bolted 27 yards to paydirt. When the period ended, Crivitz enjoyed a 28-0 lead.
Fischer reached the end zone again in the second frame with a run of 58 yards for a 34-0 halftime lead.
Crivitz tacked on 28 more points in the third frame as Sawinski jogged 48 yards to the end zone, Fischer grabbed a 55 yard pass from Garcia, Dominick Basso returned an interception 28 yards and Jed Nelson scooted in from 7 yards out.
Chapman reached the end zone in the fourth quarter on a 2 yard run.
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