Indians hold on for win over Thunderbirds
With a season-opening 42-0 win over Algoma, the Weyauwega-Fremont football team showed how it can dominate a game.
Turns out the Indians can win the close contest as well.
W-F scored on its first possession and took advantage of a missed extra point attempt Aug. 31 to post a 7-6 win over Iola-Scandinavia in the Central Wisconsin 8 Conference opener for both teams.
Quarterback Trevor Potratz capped the Indians’ opening drive with a 3-yard run with 6:29 remaining in the first quarter. Hunter Billington tacked on the extra point, but that would be the only score the Indians could muster.
W-F’s defense held the Thunderbirds in check especially in the first half, as I-S was held to 11 rushing yards in the first two quarters on 21 attempts. The Indians also came up with 16 tackles for loss in the first half.
“Give a lot of credit to our defensive coordinator, Pat Fee,” coach Tom Chase said. “He does a great job putting our kids in position to make some plays.”
Neither team found the end zone again until the T-Birds took over after a W-F fumble with less than four minutes to go in the game. Jake Hansen scored from 2 yards out with 1:45 to go in the game, but Andrew Bauer’s kick for the extra point sailed to the left. The Indians recovered the T-Birds onside kick attempt and ran out the clock to preserve the win.
“We made a little adjustment at halftime when they came out with that spread formation, which helped a little bit,” Chase said. “We constantly put pressure on their quarterbacks, who did not have a lot of time to throw most of the time. Our run defense today was so good that they had to throw a little more than they wanted to.”
The Indians outgained the T-Birds 216-39 on the ground, but I-S had a 73-7 advantage through the air. Potratz led W-F rushers with 79 yards in 21 attempts, while Adam Krause and Logan Erdmann added 63 and 51 yards, respectively. Nick Wavruk led the T-Birds with 30 yards in eight attempts, but the Indians held Brady Huettner to nine yards.
Nathan Stelzner led the W-F defense with 12 tackles, while Krause and Billington added 10 each, including a sack.
The Indians improved to 2-0 and will play at Wittenberg-Birnamwood at 7 p.m. Sept. 7. The T-Birds fell to 1-1 and will play at Bonduel at 7 p.m. Sept. 7.
Last year at this time, the Indians were on their way to a 1-8 season.
“Tonight isn’t where it started,” Chase said. “It started last December after the season was over. The good thing about last year is our juniors became seniors, our sophomores became juniors and they got a lot of playing time. They got knocked around a little last year, but they spent their time in the weight room and I reminded them about that before the game today.
“This was really a critical game for us,” he added. “We had to win this game if we’re thinking about making the playoffs. I reminded them about all the work they put in last year, getting up at 6 a.m. and coming into the weight room before school. You can’t forget about that. It should mean more to you now that you put that much time in. It should be harder to lose.”