Canterbury seals the deal with TD, pick
By Greg Seubert
Last year, Waupaca’s football team scored 57 points against New London while holding the Bulldogs to 21.
This season’s rematch on Sept. 2 was a little closer, as the Comets needed overtime to hand the Bulldogs a 27-20 Bay Conference loss at Haberkorn Field in Waupaca.
Brenden Canterbury played a big role in the win in the extra period, as his 3-yard touchdown run broke a 20-20 tie and his interception in the end zone on New London’s drive ended the game.
New London came up with the only points of the first half, as Jack Noffke’s 1-yard run with 6:31 to go in the first quarter gave the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead. Noffke had thrown a 60-yard TD pass to Parker Fermanich, but the Bulldogs were flagged with a personal foul on the play.
Neither team found their offensive groove in the half. Waupaca went into the break with 44 rushing yards and 32 through the air, while New London had minus-1 rushing yard and 93 passing yards.
The Comets took their first lead with 4:56 to go in the third quarter on Hayden Neidert’s 6-yard pass to Jake Popham and Neidert’s extra point.
New London regained the lead on its next drive as Noffke threw a 25-yard pass to Brayden Kurth with 3:05 remaining in the quarter. The Bulldogs took over on the Waupaca 20-yard line after a high snap on a punt attempt to take a 12-7 lead into the fourth quarter.
Neidert’s 53-yard punt gave the Bulldogs the ball at their own 1-yard line with just under seven minutes remaining. Noffke gave his team a little breathing room with a 32-yard pass to Kurth, but the drive ended up stalling at the New London 20-yard line. A partially blocked punt gave the Comets the ball at the New London 47-yard line. Neidert took the ball to the end zone on the first play of the drive to make it 14-12 with 4:37 to go.
However, the Bulldogs drove 80 yards in 2:31 and went up 20-14 with Noffke’s 11-yard TD pass to Fermanich and his pass to Kurth for the two-point conversion with 2:06 left on the clock.
The Comets took over on their own 35-yard line with 1:59 remaining, but soon faced a fourth-and-10 from the New London 43-yard line. A snap went over Neidert’s head, but he picked up the ball and found Stephen Johnson for a touchdown with 1:11 remaining. That score tied the game at 20-20, but the Bulldogs blocked the extra-point try that kept the Comets from retaking the lead.
Waupaca won the toss and Canterbury capped the 25-yard drive in overtime with his only score of the game. The Bulldogs then started their own drive, but it ended with Canterbury’s interception.
New London outgained the Comets 223-207, but mustered a net minus-7 yards on the ground. Noffke completed 13 of 22 yards for 230 yards, while Neidert threw for 127 yards.
The Comets improved to 3-0 with the win, while the Bulldogs fell to 1-2. Both teams will stay in the Bay Conference Friday, Sept. 9. Waupaca will head to Appleton to face Xavier, which fell to Menasha 28-19 Sept. 2. The Bulldogs will play at Shawano.