Marinette High School is making the most out of its first trip to the state high school football playoffs in a decade.
The unseeded Marines took advantage of five Waupaca fumbles and handed the Comets a 17-10 loss Friday, Oct. 28, in a Division 3 Level 2 game in Marinette.
The Comets’ season ended at 8-3, while the Marines, who knocked off Appleton Xavier in the first round, will host defending Division 3 state champion West De Pere this weekend in a Level 3 matchup of Bay Conference teams.
Meanwhile, Amherst defeated Bonduel 45-14 Saturday, Oct. 29, in Division 5 matchup of two Central Wisconsin 8 Conference teams and Brillion defeated Tigerton/Marion 44-9 Oct. 28 in another Division 5 contest.
Marinette 17, Waupaca 10
MARINETTE – Waupaca led 10-7 at halftime, but coughed the ball up five times in the second half on fumbles.
Marinette’s Kyle Johnson and Charlie Klumb hooked up for a 58-yard pass play in the first quarter to put the Marines on the board, but Waupaca countered in the second quarter with Bjorn Asher’s 26-yard field goal and Sam Menzies’ 2-yard run with 2:06 remaining in the half.
The Marines fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half at their own 33-yard line. However, the Comets fumbled. Another Comet fumble in the fourth quarter at the Waupaca 30-yard line led to the go-ahead score, Jaden Boivin’s 2-yard run, with 8:01 remaining.
Calvin Michelis sacked Menzies and Kyle Messer recovered the loose ball at the Waupaca 15-yard line to set up Brandon Beaudo’s 31-yard field goal with just under 7 minutes to go.
A fourth-and-1 pass from Menzies to Nate Jenson kept the Comets’ next drive alive, but Waupaca fumbled again.
The Comet defense forced the Marines to punt and Menzies hit Asher on a 38-yard pass to set Waupaca up in Marinette territory, but another fumble ended the drive.
Waupaca forced another punt and got the ball with less than a minute to go. Menzies connected with Jenson for a 30-yard pass, but Menzies’ pass to the end zone fell incomplete as time expired.
The Comets outgained the Marines 176-83 in the first half and held Marinette’s rushing game to 11 carries for 16 yards. The second half was a different story, however, as Marinette outgained Waupaca 153-126.
Menzies led Waupaca in rushing with 85 yards, while Jenson caught six passes for 73 yards.
Amherst 45, Bonduel 14
BONDUEL – A two-point conversion turned out to be the difference the first time Amherst and Bonduel met in the regular-season finale, with Amherst getting a 15-14 win and a share of the CWC-8 championship.
The rematch was a different story, however, as the Falcons led 21-0 at halftime and added three more unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter.
Four of Bonduel’s six turnovers resulted in Amherst touchdowns, including a fumble on the opening kickoff. The Falcons recovered and scored on Chris Zblewski’s 14-yard pass to Garth Groshek.
Amherst added to its lead in the second quarter with Willie Doll’s 3-yard run and Zblewski’s 24-yard pass to Max Strand.
Doll made it 28-0 by returning the second-half kickoff 79 yards. Zblewski added 15- and 8-yard TD runs in the third quarter.
Jacob DeBauch threw a 30-yard pass to Andrew Lamers to put the Bears on the board in the fourth quarter.
Doll countered with a 30-yard field goal and Bonduel finished the scoring with Hunter Vanderlinden’s 7-yard run.
Doll ran for 103 yards and caught two passes for 41 yards.
The 10-1 Falcons will host 10-1 and defending Division 5 state champion Brillion at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5.
Brillion 44, Tigerton/Marion 9
CLINTONVILLE – Tanner Behnke ran for 222 yards and Blake Klessig threw three touchdowns in the Lions’ win over the Thundercatz.
Brillion’s defense also shut down Tigerton/Marion’s offense, holding the Thundercatz to 29 passing yards. Adam Mielke ran for 112 yards that included an 18-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Cole Dreghal also booted a 30-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half.
Brillion wasn’t finished in the half, however, as Klessig hit Matt Lorenz for a 20-yard touchdown with 2.4 seconds on the clock that gave the Lions a 24-3 halftime lead.
The Lions outgained the Thundercatz 518-184.