Cougar Season Ends with Loss to Eagles

The high school football season came to a close Friday for the Coleman Cougars, the last remaining local team in the WIAA playoffs.

Auburndale, the top seed in their Division 6 bracket, hit the Cougars for three touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 27-14 lead at halftime. Coleman cut it to five with a three-yard touchdown run by Micah Kuchta and a two-point conversion from Brady Gross, but Auburndale’s Kaden Anderson scored on a touchdown run in the fourth to make it 33-22. 

Sawyer Seefeldt blocked the extra point but the game finished with an 11-point margin of Eagle victory.

Coleman out-gained Auburndale 331 to 327 in the game and played the No. 1 seed tough but ultimately fell in the second-round tilt. 

Seven penalties in particular hurt the Cougars. They threw the ball just once, an incompletion, which meant that getting behind the chains was hard to overcome.

“We shot ourselves in the foot,” Coleman coach Jeff Bronson said. “The penalties just hurt any momentum we had because it went from manageable distances to putting us behind. Where we’re at right now with the healthy bodies is we really can’t throw the ball.”

Gross ran 25 times for 165 yards in his final high school game, Cole Berth ran 16 times for 85 yards, and Kuchta’s 14 carries went for 76 yards.

Anderson ran 29 times for 197 yards and three touchdowns.

Garett Kriescher, Dylan VanErmen, Max Seefeldt, Gross, Westin Rowley, Seefeldt, Adam Fonder, Matt Fendrick, Brayden Bort, and Peyton Halford are all seniors.

“They played a lot better in the second half than the first and we gave ourselves an opportunity to win, and that’s all you can ask to do,” Bronson said. “We’ve just got to clean things up moving forward. Sad to see the 10 seniors go, but it was going to end sometime.”



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