Cougars/Maroons Are Lone Playoff Survivors

Cougars Blast Rockets
46-14; Host Ledgers
in Level 3 Matchup

They’re two games away from state qualification, and the Coleman Cougars still look like they’re on a completely different level from the rest of Division 6.
Coleman dismantled No. 4 seed Cedar Grove-Belgium 46-14 on Friday for their ninth straight win by 22 or more points. They haven’t lost this season and they won by a margin of less than 22 points just once, a 22-15 win over Bonduel back in August.
For one drive, it looked like Cedar Grove-Belgium would give Coleman a scare on Friday. The Rockets’ first drive went all the way inside Coleman’s 10 before stalling at fourth and goal at the six.
After a turnover on downs, Coleman took over and got to work quickly. Less than four minutes later, Will Bieber took the handoff and ran 70 yards to the end zone to give Coleman a 6-0 lead.
After forcing a 3-and-out, Coleman scored again, this time on an 11-yard pass from Trent Mongin to Micah Kuchta. The same connection made it 14-0 on the two-point conversion.
With four minutes left in the first half, Brady Gross ran in a one-yard touchdown to make it 20-0. Bieber had a big play to set it up, a 54-yard run to the CG-B eight.
By halftime, Coleman led 26-0, with a touchdown pass from Mongin to Joe Olsen doing the honors.
To start the second half, Coleman got the ball and scored within 66 seconds, with Peter Kuchta bolting 89 yards to the end zone.
“That’s the joy of Will and Peter and why it’s going to be a shame when they’re done,” Coleman coach Jeff Bronson said. “They’re special backs. They really are. They see the cutback really well, they have patience, and they both have the speed to take it the distance.”
Cedar Grove-Belgium got on the board with two fourth-quarter touchdowns, both on receptions by Gabe Egan. He finished with nine receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
“They have a kid that can throw it and [Egan] is just phenomenal,” Bronson said. “Watching him all week, the goal was just to slow him down and you saw at the end of the game the type of catches he can make. The kid’s good.”
Those touchdowns both came against the Coleman reserves, but Bronson was happy with his defensive backs’ positioning, even if Egan made a pair of touchdown passes.
“They have grown up so much from the beginning of the year,” Bronson said of his defensive backs. “We had guys in the right spot. Even at the end of the game, our young guys were right where they needed to be.”
Bieber ran 10 times for 201 yards and a touchdown, Gross carried 16 times for 71 yards and two touchdowns, and Kuchta ran 10 times for 132 yards. As a team, the Cougars carried the ball 52 times for 424 yards.
No one player is getting the majority of the carries, but they’re all taking advantage of every opportunity they get.
“What helps is that they’re complete. Whether they get the ball or not, they block, they catch, and when they have a chance to run, they run,” Bronson said.  
Mongin was also 5-6 passing for 41 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Olsen.
Defensively, Bieber had two interceptions and Kuchta had one. Sawyer Seefeldt led the Cougars with five total tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble.
Next up for No. 1 seed Coleman is No. 2 St. Mary’s Springs. Springs is 10-1 and coming off a 21-0 win over No. 6 Bonduel in the second round of the playoffs.
“They’re very well-coached, they’re very good at what they do, and we’ll have our hands full,” Bronson said. “As physical as tonight was, next week is going to be more, but it’s a game I’m glad we could play.”
Maroons Beat
Copper Kings in
Playoff Shootout 44-39

Almost a year to the day that Calumet ended Menominee’s season in the playoffs for the third straight season, the Maroons got their revenge Friday for the last three years of playoff defeats with a 44-39 victory.
It was a particularly sweet night for Landan Bardowski. Last season, his fumble was returned for a Copper Kings touchdown that put the game out of reach, 35-20.
This season, he was on the other end of things. He made sure of it.
With 49 seconds left and his team down 39-38, he raced to the end zone for an eight-yard touchdown run to give Menominee a 39-38 lead.
He had just come back on the field after going to the sideline to get his twisted ankle looked at. He wasn’t going to spend the final minute of the game anywhere but on the field.
“When I was over there and my ankle twisted, I thought, ‘What am I going to do?’ I was out and I just started crying,” he said. “As soon as I got on the sidelines, I was like, ‘Strap that thing up, get me back out there.’ I got right back out there and told coach Brandt literally, ‘I’m going back in. I’m going right back in.’”
And when he got in, he was going to finish the job.
“I saw the hole and there was no way I wasn’t scoring,” he said.
It was his second touchdown of the game. He also recovered a fumble.
His first touchdown gave Menominee a 30-20 lead just 67 seconds before the stroke of halftime.
Menominee’s offense went silent in the third quarter, allowing a pair of touchdowns by the Copper Kings to give Calumet a 33-30 lead into the fourth.
Trevor Theuerkauf hit Kaeden Calcari for a touchdown pass to regain the lead with 10:39 to play, but Calumet’s lead was restored, 39-38, with a 38-yard touchdown run by Brayden Nelson with 3:03 to play. Unfortunately for the Copper Kings, it left a little too much time on the clock for Bardowski and the Maroons.
Nelson was no stranger to the big play on Friday night, running 40 times for 309 yards and five touchdowns.
“We are still not playing downhill and coming to tackle the football,” Menominee coach Chad Brandt said. “Part of that is Calumet blocks really well and they’re big up front. Their backs hit the hole going north-south.”
Still, despite Nelson’s massive day and 465 total yards by Calumet, Menominee made the plays necessary to win. The Maroons forced two turnovers and didn’t give the ball up themselves.
“I guess we’re getting accustomed to these shootouts,” Brandt said. “I’m glad we keep scoring and then make some opportune turnovers or a stop – just enough to hold on. Our guys are gritty, they compete, and we’ve got some guys that can make some plays.”
For Menominee, Bardowski ran 17 times for 95 yards and two touchdowns, Calcari took 13 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown, and Theuerkauf ran for two touchdowns on five carries for 25 yards.
Theuerkauf also threw 17 times, completing 10 for 153 yards and a 20-yard touchdown to Calcari. Aaron Brunelle caught four passes for a team-high 66 yards.
Menominee travels to face top-seeded Negaunee in the next round. The Miners are 10-0 on the season including a 48-0 win over Houghton in the first round.
“We’re excited,” Brandt said. “We’re into November and we get another game under our belt, so we’re excited for that opportunity.”
Titan Exit Tourney
Trail; Fall To Rebels
in Defensive Battle

For the second straight season, the Laona/Wabeno Rebels broke Lena/Saint Thomas Aquinas hearts in the postseason, this time in a 20-8 win Friday.
The Rebels are the only team this season that has been able to shut down the potent Titans offense. Coming into the game, the Titans were averaging over 42 points per game and had scored 30 or more points in every game.
On Friday, it was tough sledding, with Titans carriers running 63 times for 211 yards, an average of 3.3 yards per attempt. Still, Lena/STAA was on the board first.
With four minutes left in the first half, the Titans finally punched in a five-yard touchdown to cap off a 21-play, 99-yard drive. Every play on the drive was a run play.
The Titans took that lead into halftime, but with three minutes gone in the second half, the Rebels tied things up on a 43-yard run by Carter Janesch.
Lena/STAA kept things tied by stuffing a run on the two-point conversion, and they took the lead back with 4:22 to play in the third when Sidney Sylvester and Jake Belongia combined to tackle Janesch in the end zone for a safety.
As time expired in the third quarter, the Rebels took a 12-8 lead on a 23-yard run from Janesch, and Lena/STAA’s offense continued to sputter.
Ten minutes went by before the Rebels solidified their lead on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Janesch to Brady Shepard on fourth down that very easily could have gone a different way.
Janesch wriggled away from what looked like a sack on the play, which would have given the Titans the ball back with a chance to win the game.
Instead, it stretched the lead to two scores. A two-point conversion extended the lead to 20-8, where it would finish.
“This is what playoff games are supposed to be, a battle from the start to the finish,” Lena/STAA coach Dale Lange said.
Janesch had 75 of his 118 rushing yards on the two long touchdown runs. He passed for 134 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 12 completions.
Marquardt had the interception. On offense, he ran 36 times for 103 yards and a touchdown offensively. Logan Graef ran 18 times for 87 yards.
The Titans will lose 10 seniors from this year’s roster. It’s a special group that has come a long way.
They didn’t win a single game their freshman year, but in each of the last two seasons, they’ve gone to the playoffs twice and won a combined 21 games.
“We are very proud of our players and are thankful for the wonderful season,” Lange said. “We will miss our seniors.”
Josh Kristof, Ethan Braley, Sam Peterson, Marquardt, Jake Belongia, Jadyn Belongia, Ayden DeCoursin, Elijah Gott, Tyler Younger, and Sidney Sylvester all graduate this spring.



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