It’s hard to score against the Amherst football team.
Stanley-Boyd learned that lesson the hard way Nov. 14, as the Falcons shut out the Orioles in the second half of a 30-14 win in a Division 5 state semifinal game at Stiehm Stadium in Schofield.
The two teams had met last year at the same location in the state semifinals, with S-B getting the win and eventually winning a Division 5 state championship.
This time it’s Amherst’s turn, as the 13-0 Falcons will take on 12-1 Lancaster at 4 p.m. today (Thursday, Nov. 20) at Camp Randall Stadium. Those two teams met in the Division 5 finals two years ago, with Amherst coming out on top 19-7.
The Falcons and Orioles matched up on a field that was half-covered with ice.
“The thing I was most nervous about was the ice,” coach Mark Lusic said. ” I’ve never seen a field like this. A lot of guys were cramping up. The water was frozen and it was so hard to get a drink out there.”
The teams went into the locker room at halftime tied at 14-14.
Amherst quarterback Garrett Groshek scored from a yard out in the first quarter and added another 1-yard run in a second quarter. He then hit Mitchell Glodowski for a two-point conversion after the second touchdown and the Falcons had a 14-0 lead.
The Orioles came back with a pair of scores before halftime, however. Alex Lisiecki caught a 2-yard pass from Seth Hause and Ronny Ponick added a 1-yard run. Stanley-Boyd’s Zach Turner recovered Ponick’s fumble in the end zone on the two-point conversion try to tie the score.
Those two points turned out to be the Orioles’ final points of the season.
“At halftime, we told the guys we were OK,” Lusic said.
Groshek had 23 of his 44 carries in the first half and finished with 156 yards on the ground
“He’s done it before for us,” Lusic said. “We’ll take it. They were giving us the run and Garrett was the hot hand tonight.”
Glodowski scored both of the Falcons’ touchdowns in the second half on a 17-yard run in the third quarter and a 4-yard pass from Groshek in the fourth. He finished with four catches for 46 yards.
While the Oriole defense held Amherst running back Connor Zblewski to only 23 yards on six carries, Stanley-Boyd’s leading rusher, Ponick, finished with 21 yards on nine carries.
Groshek also completed eight of 10 passes for 104 yards to go along with his 156 rushing yards.
“We had a great week of practice, probably one of the best we’ve had all year,” Lusic said. “We were outside for 2 1/2 hours last night. It was cold, but I give the guys a lot of credit.”
The Falcons held the Orioles to minus-2 rushing yards and 116 total yards. The Falcons ran the ball 59 times for 204 yards.
“We play a lot of guys and we expect them to perform,” Lusic said. “We always tell them, ‘We expect you to play and be there.’ A lot of teams say that, but I believe it and the kids believe it.”