Move on or stay home was the name of the game Friday night. With a victory the Truckers would move on to the playoffs; with a loss they would go home for the season.
Giving everything they had, the Truckers ended their season with a 14-7 loss to Fox Valley Lutheran and a 3-5, 3-6 overall record.
“We played hard tonight, but just didn’t get any breaks early and ran out of time late,” said Coach Bob Petermann.
Clintonville stopped the Foxes on their first possession forcing a punt. Clintonville took over, but was unable to move the ball forcing them to punt. However, the snap sailed over the punter’s head giving FVL field possession on the Clintonville 35 yard line. A sack and tackle for loss by Jared Henschel forced the Foxes to punt the ball. Clintonville took over on the 20 yard line after the ball rolled into the end zone for a touch back.
On the first play, the Truckers were intercepted by Jon Willman who returned the ball 22 yards for a score for the Foxes. The extra point kick by Hunter Wilz was good and the Truckers gave FVL the lead at 7-0 with 4:07 left in the first quarter.
Both teams went three and out on their next possessions. Clintonville then stopped the Foxes again. The Truckers took over on their own 43 yard line. On third and five, Clintonville fumbled the ball giving FVL the ball on the Clintonville 47 yard line. FVL moved the ball down to the Truckers 21 yard line before the vaunted Clintonville defense stopped the Foxes, allowing Clintonville to take over.
An 11-yard run by Jake Reiter moved the ball out to the 32 yard line. However, the Truckers allowed a quarterback sack and a fumble recovered by Clintonville for a loss to force a punt. The Foxes returned the punt to the Clintonville 42 yard line.
Both teams stopped each other again and Clintonville was forced to punt again. The Foxes took over on their own 35 yard line. Moving the ball down the field, FVL connected on a second and 10 pass that took them down to the 10 yard line with 13 seconds left in the half. Then FVL quarterback Austin Eisenmann connected on a pass with Mitchell Skarban for a touchdown. The kick by Wilz was good for a 14-0 lead at halftime.
The third quarter saw neither team score. In the fourth quarter, the Truckers got their first break of the game. FVL fumbled the ball and Lucas Carrigg of the Truckers recovered the ball on the Clintonville 41 yard line. The Truckers then began to move the ball down the field on short passes and some bursts up the middle by Jake Reiter. On third and nine from the FVL 21 yard line, Ben Klein connected with Garrick Morgan to move the ball to the one yard line. Two runs resulted in minus two yards and on third and three Klein connected with James Simpson for the score. The kick by Jake Reiter made the score 14-7 with 4:40 left in the game.
Clintonville would need another break to beat the Foxes. FVL fumbled again on their next possession with Clintonville’s Jared Henschel recovering the ball on the Clintonville 46 yard line with 3:26 to go in the game. The Truckers moved the ball down to the FVL 30 yard line where they stalled out and were not able to convert on a fourth and six play. FVL then ran out the clock for the victory.
“Our season is over, but the friendships, camaraderie, and togetherness we built during this season with the seniors leading the way will be something these young adults will cherish for a long time. We had fun and grew together as the season went on. Yes, it is disappointing not to meet your expectations for the season, but sometimes life deals you some hardships that you have to be able to work through. I love every last one of these players and will miss the seniors especially,” commented Coach Bob Petermann.