Defense is the name of the game this season for the Waupaca Comet football team.
The Comets held Berlin to zero net yards of offense Friday in a 42-0 Eastern Valley Conference win over the Indians.
“We’re becoming a pretty good defensive team and hopefully that will continue because that’s what we hang our hat on,” coach John Koronkiewicz said. “We had outstanding pressure on the quarterback. I don’t know how many tackles for losses we had tonight, but there had to be at least a dozen. We gave up a first down or two, but that was it.”
Safety Aaron Gooch put the Comets in the board early in the first quarter after picking off a Bryan Hargrave pass and returning it 24 yards.
“He’s made an adjustment from linebacker to back in the secondary and it’s a lot harder transition than you might think,” Koronkiewicz said. “He’s finally picking it up back there and making more plays. You couldn’t ask for a more exciting way to start the game than an interception for a touchdown. He takes it to the house and we’re off to the kind of start that you hope for.”
Waupaca added two more scores in the first half on Casey Nicewander’s 4-yard run and Harley Anderson’s 11-yard pass to Marcus Johnson.
Beau Ash and Anderson scored on 42- and 12-yard runs in the third quarter and backup quarterback Sam Menzies capped the scoring with a 38-yard run in the fourth quarter.
“Guys like it when they get on the field,” Koronkiewicz said. “I’m sure the last touchdown was a thrill for Sam and the guys that were out there, to score one at the varsity level. Hopefully, that’s an indication of things down the road that we have to look forward to.”
The Comets’ sixth win in a row came on Homecoming night.
“This is what the week is for,” Koronkiewicz said. “This was a great week as far as our student body and the amount of participation that I saw. The crowd tonight was outstanding. I told our guys that some teams don’t get to play in front of this many people in an entire season.”
Ash gained 114 yards on 18 carries, while Anderson completed seven of 13 passes for 88 yards.
The Comets will head to Appleton Friday to face Fox Valley Lutheran at 7 p.m. before closing out the regular season Thursday, Oct. 21, with a nonconference home game with Luxemburg-Casco.
Although FVL has only one win this season, Koronkiewicz expects the Foxes to give the Comets a good game.
“FVL will be a lot of tougher at home than on the road,” he said. “They played us to a 7-0 game a year ago. They have the second-ranked offense in the league, so they have some weapons. We’ll be tested defensively. Hopefully, our offense can generate some things and we can come out of there with a win. That’s all we can ask for, to finish with a 7-1 conference mark. That should give us a pretty good seed as far as the upcoming tournament.”