T-Birds knock off defending champs
By Holly Neumann
The Iola-Scandinavia football team will play for a state championship for the first time since 2007. Regis, the defending Division 6 state champion, scored the first 15 points of their state semifinal game Nov. 10, but ended up on the short end of a 27-26 score at Goerke Field in Stevens Point.
The Thunderbirds will now play unbeaten St. Mary’s Springs at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, in the WIAA Division 6 state championship game at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
The Ramblers opened the scoring on Nati Raehl’s 71-yard run and Jack Nicolai’s two-point conversion run. Hayden Reinders gave Regis a two-score lead to make it 15-0.
Connor Kurki connected with Alex Sharp for a 23-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter and Ethan Olson added the extra point to cut the lead to 15-7.
The T-Birds then recovered an onside kick and got the ball on the Regis 33-yard line. Three plays later, Kurki connected with his brother Carter for a 27-yard pass that cut the lead to 15-13.
Tristan Root added a field goal before halftime that gave the Ramblers an 18-13 lead at the break.
Isaac Michels threw a 10-yard TD pass to Jacob Salonek early in the third quarter for another Regis touchdown, but I-S answered with two of their own.
Sharp hauled in another pass from Connor Kurki and Bryce Huettner ran in the two-point conversion. Huettner scored a touchdown of his own to give the T-Birds the lead.
Connor Kurki completed eight of 12 passes for 104 yards and Huettner gained 190 yards on 37 carries.
Michels connected on four of 10 passes for 68 yards and Raehl carried the ball 10 times for 140 yards.