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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Coleman Rallies Past Regis For Div. 7 Title Shot

Issue Date: November 17, 2021

WIAA?Level 4 Football Playoffs

For the first time in program history, the Coleman Cougars football team is headed to Camp Randall.

Coleman qualified for state with a 28-22 win over Division 7 No. 1 seed Regis on Friday. The win didn't come without a bit of adversity, the first time this season the Cougars have truly been challenged in 2021.

Coleman hasn't played a game with a winning margin of less than 26 all season, and that was a week one win against Peshtigo back in August.

Even in the playoffs, Coleman picked up wins by margins of 38, 38 and 30.

Regis was different. The Ramblers punched the Cougars in the mouth early with two first-quarter touchdowns. Coleman uncharacteristically struggled to make tackles and contain the inside run, but they adjusted quickly.

"We tackled better. We were very high at the beginning of the game and you could see, once we relaxed, got that first first down, you could see our kids actually breathe," Coleman head coach Jeff Bronson said. "And next thing you know, our tackling improved. It's amazing when you tackle how many good things happen."

They changed their defensive scheme and tied the game with touchdowns in the second quarter by Will Bieber and Peter Kuchta.

Bieber scored first on a 13-yard touchdown run, diving for the pylon to get the Cougars on the board.

"It means a lot, getting them fired up right away, getting them back in the game. It's awesome," Bieber said. "Diving for the pylon right there, it gets everyone hyped up. It just keeps the train rolling."

The train kept rolling with Kuchta's 11-yard touchdown run.

Coleman took a lead in the third quarter on Kuchta's second touchdown. He would finish the game with 11 carries for 80 yards and three touchdowns, as he added one more with 59 seconds to play in the fourth quarter to take a 28-22 lead after the Ramblers tied the game at 22. "We have some kids that hate to loose," said Bronson "These guys have played so many big games it doesn't matter the sport or the season, they're not going to cave, they're not going to give up and they're going to keep fighting and you saw that tonight."

On the final Regis drive of the game, Noah Nosgovitz gave himself a birthday present with an interception to seal Coleman's place at state. He was understandably excited after the game.

"This has been a dream. We worked the whole season ?? we worked so hard for this. And a game like this, where we were down in the first quarter, 14-0, and come right back into it, we knew we had what it takes to get back into the game," he said. "This team has been through everything. Nobody expected this from us this season. Our regular season schedule, no one knew what we were made of. We got to the playoffs, we faced some undefeated teams, we showed them what we had. I mean, we blew them out, and then it comes down to a game like this, and to win a game like this is even better."

Regis went for 316 total yards of offense, but Coleman's defense held firm after the first quarter, outside of a 39-yard touchdown run by Jack Weisenberger in the fourth period.

"We hadn't really had that adversity all season," Coleman defensive coordinator Jody Styczynski said. "I mean, yeah, we had guys get scores on the first, second drive of the game, but to come out, get two on us and go down 14-nothing. You talk about responding, we talk about that all the time, and these guys, they did it. And what better way can you do that? That's where the grit plays. They just were relentless ?? will not give up."

To come back from that deficit was a total team effort.

"You can't ask for anything more. It's all the guys. It's all of our scout players, it's all of our D-linemen, it's all of our O-linemen. It's all of the guys that are down in the trenches making the plays and really giving the glory to all of our athletes," Styczynski said. "Again, we can't teach that. That's just something, these guys are unselfish, they mesh perfect. This is a special, special group, and I could not be prouder of these guys."

Owen Kinziger would take 14 carries for 72 yards, Nosgovitz was 4-for-8 passing for 76 yards, carrying nine times for 23 yards, Trent Mongin ran five times for 37 yards and Bieber took 10 carries for 52 yards, also blocking an extra point.

Winning big football games also comes down to coaching.

"That was a scary game. The first quarter, we tried a defense, it didn't work, and with our coaching, we have multiple defenses," Kuchta said. "It's crazy to think that our coaching is this good. Personally, I think our coaching is the best around, because we switched our defense and we stopped them after that first quarter."

The only thing standing between the Cougars and a Division 7 state championship at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison is Reedsville. The two sides square off Thursday at 10 a.m.

The Panthers' only loss this season was to D6 No. 2 seed Cedar-Grove Belgium, a 28-18 loss on Oct. 8.

Since then, Reedsville has won by margins of 49-19, 55-13, 50-14, 30-12 and 47-8, the final four games coming in the playoffs.

Brennen Dvorachek is Reedsville's star player. He has thrown the ball 118 times and run the ball 118 times, both leading the team. He's completed 63 passes for 1,145 yards and 17 touchdowns, while running for 1,559 yards and 25 touchdowns.

The Panthers didn't allow double-digit points in a game for their first six games of the year, but since then, they've allowed 12 or more points in six of seven matchups, with the exclusion being their WIAA Level 4 win over Cashton last week.

The Cougars will be ready, Styczynski said.

"We are psyched, absolutely psyched, and we'll make sure every kid on our team is too."


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