They didn’t clinch a conference championship or stay alive in the playoffs, but there was plenty of excitement in the air at Haberkorn Field Friday after the Waupaca Comets’ 20-0 win over Winneconne.
“This was a big game and we said going on that it was a big game,” coach John Koronkiewicz said after watching his team improve to 2-1 on the season with a win over the previously unbeaten Wolves.
“In big games, you have to have big performances,” he said. “If you take a look across the board, we had big plays all night long.”
Zach Nellis put the Comets on the board in the first quarter with a 19-yard run and added a 3-yard touchdown pass from Harley Anderson in the second quarter. Beau Ash helped seal the win with a 21-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
“We had a pretty good plan coming in,” Koronkiewicz said. “We had multiple defensive looks and I think that helped us. They have a lot of gifted athletes. (Quarterback) Austin Ryf and (Joey) Mayefski is a good, solid, hard-nosed running back inside.
“Our people up front did a wonderful job,” he added. “We took away some of the things they had success with early in the year. That’s always part of your game plan, to try to take away what they do best. We were able to do that and maybe force them to do some other things.”
The Wolves who came into the game averaging more 36 points a game in wins over Berlin and Fox Valley Lutheran, struggled to get anything going on offense against the Comet defense.
Waupaca held Winneconne to 70 rushing yards and 41 passing yards.
“It’s an exciting win for us,” Koronkiewicz said. “Give credit to the guys for working hard the last couple of weeks and really coming back from a disappointing performance the first week to get ourselves back in the hunt.”
The Comets ran for 131 yards, with Ash gaining 93 on 24 carries. Anderson completed 13 of 20 passes for 139 yards.
“I thought Harley was very good tonight,” Koronkiewicz said. “I said to be a leader out there and try to avoid bad plays. For the most part, we were able to do that. If you can avoid a bad play, you give yourself a chance and move the chains.”
The Comets will face another undefeated team this Friday, as Waupaca travels to Little Chute for a 7 p.m. Eastern Valley Conference matchup with the Mustangs.
“Little Chute has some great athletes,” Koronkiewicz said. “Defensively, they’re always very solid, very aggressive. They’ll pose a different problem for us because they’ll be more of an option team and you never really know with the option until you get in front of it and take a look at it.
“We’re happy to be able to have a big game again,” he said. “Every game becomes bigger if you do the right things. Hopefully, we’ll be up to the challenge.”