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Cougars/Predators Set for Rematch in Level 2

After winning the M&O Conference title last Friday, the Coleman Cougars returned to Jim Douglas Memorial Field to begin the five game march of the WIAA post season. After Friday they were one game closer to that ultimate goal, defeating the visiting Crandon Cardinals with an authoritative 50-0 whipping.

Whether they were lining up on offense or defense, the Cougars were ready for whatever the Cardinals had in their arsenal, which wasn't much, just take a peek at the stat sheets. The Cougar ground assault was as punishing as it has been all season, plugging out 280 yards of rushing offense while airing it out on the arm of Bryce Karban for another 69. The total, 349 yards. Crandon? 59 yards, the Cougars were just too tough. So tough that Crandon barely ever saw the chains move, ending the night with only three first downs.

Leading the ground and pound effort was Jake Baldwin who snuck past the Crandon defense on multiple counter plays for 89 yards on 13 carries. Jacob Zeitler, who wore down the Cardinals over the first half with a punishing assault ended the night with 79 yards on 14 carries.

Though it hasn't been a huge part of what made the Cougars so dangerous this season, the aerial attack was alive and well Friday night as quarterback Bryce Karban connected with five receivers on seven passes for 69 yards and three teedees. Three of those passes were reeled in by the speedy trackstar Gunnar Patz, who carried for 49 yards and three teedees.

It certainly is important to also note the special teams play of Josh Pillath. Two weeks ago, Pillath swatted down a Suring punt which he returned for a teedee. This week he almost replicated the exact play in the same spot, knocking down a Cardinal punt which he carried 28 yards to the end zone.

The win advances Coleman to the second round of the WIAA Regionals where they will host the Niagara/Goodman/Pembine Northern Elite Predators, a team that was not easily defeated during week two of the season. Coleman took the one score win in that one with a courageous goal line stand.

It will remain to be seen whether the Predators will put up as much fight as they did in week two, but a battle is almost certainly assured.

Crandon started the game on offense and were handed their first of many three and outs, thanks to a tough defensive front by the Cougars.

The Cougars first drive of the night ended in pay dirt, but not until eight plays were run. Of those eight plays, four were first downs. After entering the end zone, the Cougars nearly lost the ball on a fumble but a quick reacting Donovan Salewski was johnny on the post, scooping up the loose ball on the two yard line of Crandon.

After the recovery, Zeitler busted into the end zone for the first score of the night. The two point conversion was unsuccessful giving the Cougars a 6-0 lead.

Crandon got one of their three first downs on the ensuing drive, after which the Cougars were able to batten down the hatches to force a fourth and eight, certainly a punting situation. But no, instead Crandon dipped into their bag of tricks where they found a fake punt.

Coleman wasn't fooled, applying great pass protection they forced the incomplete pass.

On the first play of the Cougars drive, Austin Tachick found some daylight caring the ball 28 yards to set up a first down on the Cardinals 21 yard line. On the next play, the Cougars decided to exercise the throwing arm of Karban who connected with Patz near the Crandon sideline for a 21 yard teedee, which saw Patz dive over the goal line just barely ahead of a Cardinal tackle. Another failed two point conversion attempt left Coleman ahead 12-0.

On the Cardinal ensuing drive, the Cougars made their best defensive stand of the night, holding the guys in Crimson and White to no gain over four three plays.

Facing a fourth and long, the Cardinals set up to punt. Awaiting the snap was Pillath who flew through the defense to block his second punt of the season, which he then scooped up for the 28 yard blocked punt return teedee. This time the two point conversion found its way across the goal line, giving Coleman a commanding 20-0 lead with just over a minute left to play in the first quarter.

It was three and out again for the Cardinals as the game entered the second quarter.

Coleman's next drive was the longest of the night. A 14 play seven and half minute push that ended with a 23 yard pass to Patz in the end zone.

Five plays into the drive, the Cougars nearly stalled out. Facing a fourth and three, the Cougars elected to go for it and Karban carried getting four yards when three were needed. Four plays later, the Cougars faced another fourth down. This time it was Zeitler who had his name called, getting the first down while bringing the ball to the 30 yard line of Crandon. Another four plays later, Patz posted the teedee bringing the Cougars to the 26-0 lead.

Patz returned to the end zone on the ensuing Coleman drive, pulling in a Karban pass with just enough time to touch his toes down before falling out of bounds. Patz also pulled in the two point conversion, giving Coleman a 34-0 lead entering the intermission.

But before the halftime could begin, the Cardinals nearly posted their first points of the game. After fielding the Coleman kick, the Cardinal returner skirted through a hole in the Cougar coverage. He would have been gone were it not for a second effort by Pillath, who ran him down near the Coleman 20 yard line.

Starting the second half Coleman's Patz got a chance to return the favor. Receiving the kick near the Coleman side line, he made his way back toward the Crandon side before cutting up field where he was pulled down near the 40 yard line of Crandon.

Crandon finally came up with the stop, forcing a turnover on downs. But Coleman answered on the next drive as Zeitler punched in the teedee rush from three yards out. Jordan Blachard recorded the two point conversion reception to bring the Cougars to a 42-0 lead.

Blake Forner posted the night's final score, crossing the goal line from eight yards back while also getting the two point conversion to give the game its final tally of 50-0.

The Coleman defense held the Cardinals rushers to minimal gains as leading rushers John Doane and Riley Wagoner were able to obtain only 20 yards a piece, with Doane doing it in eight and Wagoner nine.



Wild Rose

Wallops Suring

The Suring Eagles were pinned with an 8-seed heading into the Division 7 playoffs meaning they traveled to Wild Rose to take on the 1-seed Wildcats.  Thanks, in part, to two scoreless quarters, Wild Rose won in a rout 49-14.

Just a minute and a half into the game Wildcat quarterback A. Vandecastle threw to P. Hernandez for a 45-yard touchdown taking a 7-0 lead.  Two and a half minutes later, Hernandez returned a punt 69 yards to the house.  Before the first quarter was finished, Vandecastle ran 35 yards to the end zone as Wild Rose opened a 21-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

Each team found the end zone in the second.  Vandecastle scored from 7 yards out, pushing the lead to 27-0.  Suring finally answered with four minutes left on the clock in the half.  John Christensen punched in a 1-yard TD run, with an unsuccessful two-point conversion the lead was cut to 27-6 at halftime.

In the third quarter, it was all Wildcats again.  Vandecastle scored his third rushing touchdown of the game, this one from two yards.  Vandecastle was not finished however, as he broke loose for a 70-yard touchdown later in the quarter to cap a five-touchdown day.  Wild Rose took a 41-6 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Eagles' Cody Johnson scored on a 1-yard touchdown at the 7:49 mark of the quarter.  After Christensen's pass to Mitchell Stegeman was complete for the two-point conversion, the score was 41-14.  Wild Rose would respond with a 47-yard touchdown from T. Deist and a successful two-point conversion pushing the lead back to 49-14.

Suring's John Christensen finished 8 of 31 for 137 yards.  He also led the team in rushing with 65 yards on 20 attempts including a TD.  Cody Smith added 35 rushing yards on 8 attempts.  Mitchell Stegeman was the leading receiver for the eagles with five catches for 115 yards.



Mustangs Pull Away From

Bulldogs in Second Half

Anytime an eight seed plays a one seed, many expect a blowout.  This wasn't the case Friday night when eighth seeded Peshtigo traveled to number one seed Little Chute.  The Bulldogs came out strong and took the lead after one quarter, but three unanswered touchdowns lifted the Mustangs to victory.

In the first quarter, Little Chute kicker Eric Hietpas nailed a 21-yard field goal to give the Mustangs a 3-0 lead.  Peshtigo responded with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Justin Thill to Jeremy VanVooren to take a 7-3 lead.  It was then Little Chute's time to respond as Devin Plate found Kyle Hietpas for a 53-yard pitch-and-catch score.  The Mustangs went up 10-7.  Bulldog back Jerod Jandt capped off a Peshtigo drive with a two-yard TD run as Peshtigo reclaimed the lead, 14-10.  Another Eric Hietpas field goal made it a one-point game as he drilled a 27-yarder making it 14-13 at the end of the first.

From there, the Bulldog offense was held silent while the Mustangs put up three scores, one in each quarter.  Logan Van Handel punched in a two-yard touchdown in the second quarter which made the score 20-14 at halftime in favor of Little Chute.  In the third, Charlie Hietpas ran in a touchdown from three yards out, extending the lead to 27-14.  Then, for the final score of the game, Cory Diedrick caught a Plate pass for 35 yards in the fourth quarter, putting the final at 34-14. 

Justin Thill finished his career with the Bulldogs with an 18 of 39 game for 219 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.  Jerod Jandt ran the ball 21 times for 91 yards and a touchdown.  Dalton Keller was the leading receiver for Peshtigo with 77 yards on five catches.  Jeremy VanVooren added three for 56 yards and a score.

Logan Van Handel led Little Chute with 56 rushing yards on 16 attempts.  Devin Plate went 23 of 35 for 276 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the game.  The leading receiver for the Mustangs was Kyle Hietpas who hauled in eight catches for 111 yards and a score.


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