What a difference a year makes.
The last time Waupaca and Berlin hit the field for an Eastern Valley Conference football matchup last September, Berlin nearly upset the Comets before Waupaca came up with an overtime win.
That wasn’t the case Sept. 7, as Waupaca scored on six of its seven possessions in the first half in a 42-0 win over the Indians.
Six players scored for the Waupaca as the Comets improved to 3-0 on the season and 2-0 in conference play.
Quarterback Sam Menzies capped the Comets’ first drive with a 14-yard touchdown run and tossed a 20-yard TD pass later in the first quarter to Alex Hoffman. Beau Ash added a 2-yard run as Waupaca took a 21-0 lead into the second quarter.
Nate Jenson and Nate Nelson added 7- and 8-yard TD runs in the second quarter and Menzies connected with Craig Moloney for a 44-yard pass to complete the scoring.
The Comets outgained the Indians 356-41. Berlin managed only 5 net rushing yards in 24 attempts, but were playing without its leading rusher, Nathaniel Resop, because of an injury.
“You have to give credit to the kids,” coach John Koronkiewicz said. “Everybody knew their jobs, everybody did their jobs. Great execution from an offensive standpoint from the blocking up front to the perimeter blocking to the reads by our quarterbacks to the running of our running backs. It was a pretty complete game from an offensive standpoint. I don’t think you can ask for anything more than what you saw. At times, it was flawless.
“From a defensive standpoint, I thought we were in the right position,” he added. “We knew what to expect. We read our keys very well and got a lot of people to the ball. There were very few missed tackles compared to our first two games.”
Once the Comets went into the second quarter with a 21-point lead, Koronkiewicz was able to try some new wrinkles, especially on offense.
“As our receivers get a little more experience, that makes a difference,” he said. “Joe Nelson had several catches and Brando (Vasquez) had a couple of catches. Nate Jenson and Alex Hoffman gives us additional weapons that other teams really haven’t seen as of yet. This is the first time they had any opportunity to play. Jenson still isn’t 100 percent, but he gutted it out. He’s a great perimeter blocker and he can go up in traffic. It’s nice to have him back on the football field. Alex made a couple of sensational catches out there and you saw Sam with a lot of composure. He was rushed one time, but still found Alex on a crossing route.”
Waupaca’s final touchdown came on a play that the Comets never run, according to Koronkiewicz.
“I saw that from the sidelines and thought that had an opportunity to work,” he said. “We never run that play at all. I just kind of saw the opening. Craig did a nice job of eluding the linebacker and running down the seam. Sam saw him, threw it over the second safety and it turned into a thrill for Craig.
“I’m looking at the defense and trying to just find a hole,” he said. “A couple of those times, it was a matter of calling a play, executing it and a guy getting all the way to the end zone. That’s what you’d like on every call.
Waupaca will head to Clintonville Friday, Sept. 14, to face the Truckers at 7 p.m. Clintonville is still looking for its first win of the season and fell to Winneconne 35-0 Sept. 7.
“We have goals and one of them is to get better each and every day,” Koronkiewicz said. “You have to be a better player than you were yesterday.”