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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Peshtigo Takes #1 Seed Wrightstown to the Wire

The Peshtigo Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker in week one of the playoffs last week, falling to the Wrightstown Tigers as a 27-yard field goal bounced off the left upright with seven seconds left.

The Bulldogs, the region's eight seed, had a chance to beat Wrightstown, and Interim Head Coach Jeff Bayerl said the Bulldogs dominated the game.

"There was no playing to look good. We went down there to win the game," Bayerl said. "We took it to them. We really, really did" I think we manhandled them. We controlled the ball. We did everything we needed to do except win the game. That's life. That's how things go sometimes."

Peshtigo especially dominated the game on the ground, as sophomore running back Jerod Jandt put up 265 yards on 45 carries, scoring two touchdowns. His first came in the second quarter, which opened the scoring. Sophomore Nick Nielson, filling in for injured kicker Aiden Bohazek, made the score 7-0 with an extra point.

"We run the football and when you have a running back, you ride your running back," Bayerl said. "Jerod didn't do it all on his own. Our offensive line came together and started blocking better and coming off the ball, moving their feet and we pushed a lot of people around."

Andrew Pelishek scored from a yard out to tie the game in the third quarter. Jandt answered back with an 80-yard run, however, giving the Bulldogs a 14-7 lead. Senior running back Braydon Smith took a 17-yard run to the house in the third and re-tied the game. Smith ran 12 times for 54 carries.

Nielson made an impact on the defensive side of the ball, as well, scooping and scoring fumble. His extra point was blocked, however, making the score 20-14 in favor of Peshtigo.

With 3:15 left in the fourth, Pelishek got his second touchdown on his 19th carry of the game. He finished with 102 yards rushing. The Bulldogs had one last chance, taking the ball down to the Tigers' 10 yard line, when Nielson's kick hit the left upright.

Bayerl said he's watched the replay of that kick at least 15 times.

"I was looking at the snap, the placement, the seal of the blocking," he said. "It's not hard for me to watch it at all because of how our kids played and how we handled them. Yeah, it's disappointing that we should be practicing this week."

The Bulldogs are graduating six seniors this season. Bayerl praised their mindset over the final games of the season.

"Adversity reveals as much as it teaches," Bayerl said he told the seniors when he took over. "Their heart the last four games really impressed me. They carried the team."


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