Penalties hurt Waupaca in loss to Wrightstown
By Greg Seubert
Since it was a nonconference game, it didn’t have any bearing on the Bay Conference football standings.
Still, Waupaca’s 27-15 loss to Wrightstown on the Tigers’ home field Sept. 18 left the Comets with plenty of questions to answer as the season hits the halfway mark.
The Comets scored on their first possession, led 9-7 at halftime, but struggled to move the ball in the second half until a touchdown on the game’s final play erased what had been a 27-9 deficit.
Hayden Neidert capped the game’s opening drive with a 28-yard field goal.
Wrightstown also scored on its first drive, as Bryce Herlache scored on a fourth-down play.
Walker Smith threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Johnny Popham with 2:29 to go in the first half to give the Comets a 9-7 lead. Neidert kicked the extra point, but Waupaca was flagged for holding on the play and the Tigers blocked Neidert’s second try.
It was one of several penalties that hurt the Comets throughout the game.
Wrightstown took the lead for good on its second drive of the second half, as Stetson Burmeister scored from 9 yards out.
Herlache found the end zone for a second time with 8:14 remaining in the game on a 16-yard run and Hunter Kussow scored from 15 yards out with 39 seconds to go to make it 27-9.
Smith drove the Comets 79 yards in five plays against Wrightstown’s reserves and scored on a 12-yard run on the game’s final play.
Wrightstown had a 319-153 advantage in rushing yards and outgained Waupaca 411-262. The Tigers also ran 22 more plays than the Comets.
Waupaca fell to 3-2 on the season, while the Tigers are now 5-0.
The Comets will return to Bay Conference play at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, as Waupaca travels to West De Pere to take on the Phantoms.