4 M-O Teams Qualify For Playoffs
Conference Champion Suring Routs Titans 53-26 For 7-0 Mark; Coleman And Crivitz Gain Berths
Saving their best offensive output for a M-O title clinching win, the Suring Eagles put the finishing touches on a superb 7-0 league campaign with a 53-26 rout of Lena-STAA Friday.
The Eagles, 9-0 overall, had everything rolling in their direction as an explosive offense erupted for six touchdowns in the first half and 381 total yards to go along with a stingy defensive performance.
The win put a nice stamp on our season. I really wasnt expecting a title, thought we would be competitive and finish in the upper half of the conference, Suring coach Mitch Taylor said. Our successful season all stems from that big win over Crivitz, that was the turning point in our season.
The victory sends the unbeaten Eagles into the post-season at 9-0 overall and as the number two seed in Division 7. Coach Taylors gridiron flock will entertain Almond-Bancroft at 7pm Friday in Level 1.
Almond-Bancroft is 5-4 and runs basically the same offense as Peshtigo, but not as clean. They are inexperienced with a number of freshman and sophomores starting, but big. More of a defensive oriented team. I really believe we are in the toughest bracket in Division 7 and the team coming out of here will get to state, Taylor said.
The conference football championship is the sixth in school history and first for the Eagles since earning a three-way share in 2005 with Peshtigo and Lena-STAA, all at 6-1.
Suring also collected a tri-title in 1978 under coach Bob Brown and won their last outright championship in 1970 as Bob Collins engineered a 7-0 readout. Suring collected back-to-back M-O football titles in 1966 (6-1) and 1967 (7-0) under the leadership of Ira Rebella.
Elsewhere in the final week of M-O play, both Coleman and Crivitz came up with victories to qualify for the WIAA playoffs. Coleman leveled Laona-Wabeno 46-20 in a crossover game while Crivitz rode a big outing from Jed Nelson to blast rival Wausaukee 41-6.
Ironically both teams will be in Division 6 and will meet in the opening round of the playoffs on Friday, October 19 at 7pm in Crivitz.
Suring Unleashes 381
Yard Attack In 53-26
Rout Of Lena-STAA
The Eagles captured their first outright conference title in 42 years with a 53-26 rout of visiting Lena-STAA. Offense was the name of this game as the Eagles soared to a 381 yard punch, highlighted by 4 touchdowns from Dillon Kempen and a trio of scoring tosses by southpaw signal caller Jay Tienor.
Junior running back Kempen carried 12 times for 148 yards and made his way to the end zone on runs of 2, 16, 52 and 19 yards. Tienor also played a critical role hitting on 8 of 10 passes for 197 yards and 3 touchdowns. His favorite target was 63 end Cody Christensen with 6 catches for 141 yards and scoring receptions of 51 and 22 yards. Dan Sweda snagged the other teedee toss from 37 yards out.
While the Suring offense made its way up and down the field, the defense kept the Titans off the scoreboard until the final 12 :33.
Reaching the end zone six times in the first half, the Eagles soared to a commanding 40-zip halftime cushion and never looked back.
After forcing the Titans to punt, Suring moved 52 yards in two plays with Christensen hauling in a 51 yard scoring strike from Tienor (10:04).
Another Titan punt resulted in more Suring points on a 7 play, 53 yard march. Tienor hit Christensen for 33 yards to the 2, setting up a short run by Kempen (6:06) and a 13-0 lead.
The next Titan drive lasted three plays as Tienor picked off a pass and returned it to the 37. Suring needed one play to cover the distance as Sweda was on the receiving end of the scoring strike (4:24) and a comfortable 21-0 score.
The Eagles would make their way into the end zone three more times in the second frame to enjoy a 40-0 halftime cushion. A bad snap on the punt enabled Suring to take over at the Titan 26. Kempen gained 3 yards on first down then capped the march with a 16 yard scoring jaunt.
Continuing to dominate on the defensive side of the ball, Suring took over at its own 39 following the fifth Titan punt. Three plays later, the Eagles were back in the end zone as Kempen used some crisp blocking to race 52 yards to paydirt (6:52).
Surings sixth score of the opening half came with 4:08 left when Christensen grabbed a 22 yard toss from Tienor.
With the mercy clock ticking away to open the third quarter, the Eagles made their way to the end zone on the opening drive. The 6 play, 56 yard march was a ground show as Kempen and Blake Strehlow carried three times each. Kempen put the finishing touches on the drive with a 19 yard jaunt.
Looking to avoid the shutout, the Titans finally got on the scoreboard with 33 ticks left in period three on an 8 play, 71 yard drive. Alex Votava caught a 14 yard pass to the 43 then watched Roy OHarrow and Kiefer Powers rip off runs of 12 and 13 yards to the 8. Powers took care of the points with an 8 yard scamper.
The Titans tacked on three more consolation touchdowns in the fourth quarter as OHarrow broke free on scoring runs of 4 and 22 yards to close the gap to 46-20 with 4:13 left.
Suring saw Creo VanBellinger race 5 yards to the end zone for a 53-20 score before Dom Ramirez put the final points on the board by returning the ensuing kickoff 78 yards.
Cougars Play Their Way
Into The WIAA Playoffs
A seventh-straight trip to the post-season was on the line as the host Cougars faced a win-or-be-done scenario against the visiting Rebels of Laona/Wabeno.
And the 2012 Cougars kept their playoff streak intact for coach Jeff Bronson as they put together a balanced game for the 46-20 win and an opening clash at Crivitz.
"The team accomplished one of the goals set in pre season, making the tournament," said Bronson. "We face a familiar opponent on Friday for our first round. Crivitz makes you defend many things and is a team that isn't afraid to hit. For us to have a chance, we will need to play sound football and reduce both the penalties and the fumbles that have plagued us this year. They can score in too many ways to be giving them extra possessions."
The Rebels put the Coleman homecoming crowd on edge by taking the early lead on a Jake Ambrosius run from 18-yards out. Ambrosius hit Zach Reeves for the two point conversion.
Trevor Seewald, who came up big for the Cougars with a profound impact on both sides of the ball, responded for the home team with a 14-yard scoring pass to Austin Malecki later in the first to get the Cougars to within two after the extra point try failed.
Coleman would take their first lead of the game later in that busy opening quarter when Mike Carroll (4-66, 1TD) scored on a 51-yard running play followed by a Seewald pass to Mason Mergener for two, setting the scoreboard at 14-8.
But the Rebels came right back at the Cougars to start the second quarter as Joey Kroll raced 48 yards to the end zone. The failed two-point conversion left the score tied at 14.
The two teams traded fruitless drives for most of the remainder of the second quarter, each squad suffering from miscues and penalties before Mergener, who also had a big performance with 131 rushing yards on 11 carries, broke one off for a huge gain down field with less than a minute to play in the half.
Coleman went to work and ended up with a third and 15 on their opponent's 36. Seewald bailed the Cougars out of the tough situation with a nice pass play to Dexter Karban for 25 yards down to the 11 with half a minute before the break. Coleman scored moments later on a smartly-designed play that saw Mergener streaking across the back of the end zone, where Seewald easily found him for the late go-ahead score the Cougars would need on their way to victory.
Seewald was not done making big plays for the Cougars yet though. He brought back the third quarter's opening kickoff for a nice return to the Laona/Wabeno 46 and guided the offense down the field, eventually giving it to Marc Lansin (8-27 1TD) on a third and four play that ended up in points.
"The keys in my mind were the touchdown late in the second quarter and then the scoring drive to start the third," Bronson said. "Those two drives definitely helped with the confidence of the team."
As if they needed more confidence, Seewald provided another highlight reel worthy play on the defensive side of the ball late in the game to get the crowd on its feet. With the score 38-14 early in the fourth and the Rebels on the move in Coleman territory, Seewald broke up what would have been a fourth-down pass by laying out and putting a hit on the unfortunate Laona/Wabeno receiver that was audible throughout the stadium.
The bone-jarring hit by Seewald was perfectly timed and the ball was instantly loose and in the air, where Coleman's Mike Carroll managed to track it down and haul it in for the interception. The turnover broke the comeback chances of Laona/Wabeno for the night as the Cougars scored seven plays later on a 61-yard drive that was capped by a Seewald keeper from four yards out.
Crivitz Routs Rangers,
Ends Playoff Drought
The Wolverines put an exclamation mark on the end of their season Friday night as they rolled into Wausaukee and cruised 41-6 in a display of dominant offense.
Not only did the Wolverines hang a 35-point loss on their arch rivals, they did it on Wausaukee's homecoming night.
Also of note, the victory propelled coach Jeff Ott's gridiron squad into the post-season for the first time in five years.
Crivitz found its first touchdown of the game with just over nine minutes to play in the opening quarter when Cody Wolf capped off a nice Wolverines drive with a one-yard run to ring up 6-0 after a failed extra point kick.
More short range scoring later in the first period as Jed Nelson also made it in from the one yard line following a six-play drive as Crivitz went ahead 14-0. Alec Garcia connected with Sam Banaszak (seven carries, 85 yards) for the conversion.
Nelson had a tremendous game for the Wolverines. The senior back picked up 174 yards on 19 carries behind the ample blocking of his offensive line for a nine-yard average per run and scored three times.
His second touchdown haul came later in that busy opening quarter for Crivitz. This time, Nelson got loose from 12 yards out to put his team up very comfortably at 20-0.
The game's scoring pace didn't let up much in the second quarter as Nelson found the end zone for his final touchdown of the night from 20 yards out.
Wausaukee quarterback Beau DeLaet (three for 11, 36 yards; seven rushes for 46 yards, one TD) spoiled the Wolverines' plans of a homecoming shutout with an option play that went 42-yards to paydirt for a 26-6 score.
The Wolverines took to the air for their next score as Garcia airmailed one to Parker DeLosSantos for 24 yards. Garcia capped the game's scoring with a three-yard scoring run in the fourth.
A look at the statistic sheet shows just how intent Crivitz was to play its way into the post-season. The Wolverines totaled 432 yards on 63 plays for an average of nearly seven yards per play to 100 total yards by Wausaukee on 32 plays for an average of just over three yards a play. The Rangers did pass the ball 13 times for 59 yards compared to just seven attempts for 50 yards by Crivitz.
Other notable performances from Crivitz included David Poh's five carries for 44 yards and Nicholas Chapman's seven runs for 47 yards.
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