Westfield's Lucas Nelson skirts around Phoenix Players
Pioneers Stop Phoenix
Cross-county games between Westfield and Montello teams always seem to have just a little more intensity, and even with the addition of Princeton and Green Lake to create the Phoenix, the football season continues that rivalry each year. This year’s matchup was played Friday night in Montello, but the Pioneers would take home the victory.
The Phoenix received the opening kickoff, but they would turn it over on a Justin Daye interception. His 49-yard return gave the Pioneers good field position. The Phoenix defense would hold, and turn the Pioneers over on downs, but after a couple gains, the Phoenix would move backwards with a penalty and a sack, and punt it away. This time, the Pioneers would move the ball down the field on runs by Jon Brakebush, Brett Krentz and Luke Nelson, and Krentz would take it 17 yards for the first score of the game.
Down 6-0, the Phoenix took the kickoff and responded with their own drive, on the strength of runs by Alan Chaussee, including a 44-yard jaunt. The drive would end on the first play of the second quarter on an incomplete pass on 4th down. The Pioneers again moved down the field, but the Phoenix defense would hold and give the ball back to their offense at their own 20. The Pioneers would force a Phoenix punt, and they would again move the ball only to turn it over on downs at the Phoenix 24. A couple positive plays were offset by a penalty and a sack, and another punt was the result for the Phoenix. The Phoenix would use their timeouts along with defensive stops to force a Pioneer punt with 17 seconds remaining in the quarter, but only had time for one completed pass from Sam Soda to Chaussee. The half ended with the visitors leading 6-0.
Returning the opening onside kick would give the Pioneers the ball on the Phoenix 43 to start the second half, and they would take advantage. The big plays in the drive were a 4th down completion from Greg Winkleman to Brandon Rasmussen, and then a 20-yard touchdown pass to Nick Holly. Brakebush would score the two-point conversion, making the lead 14-0. The Phoenix were unable get anything going on their subsequent drive, punting it away. After a couple gains by the Pioneers, however, the Phoenix defense would rise up and stop them on downs at the 44. Their offense would move the ball to the Pioneer 30, but there the visitor’s defense would make their own stand, closing out the quarter with the lead still 14-0.
After forcing a Pioneer punt, the Phoenix again moved the ball on offense, but again a couple negative plays would offset their gains, and force a punt. Pinning the visitors on their own 7 with 7:26 left in the game, the Phoenix hoped for a quick hold and to get the ball back in good position. The Pioneers had other ideas, however, and successfully running the ball would gain yards as well as take time off the clock before punting it to the Phoenix 38. A loss on their first play would be overcome with a 23-yard completion from Soda to Lucas Lashock, but time was not on their side. The Phoenix would move down the field, but only in small chunks, and turn it over on 4th and 7 at the Pioneer 26. A kneel-down by the Pioneers would clinch their 14-0 victory.
As a team. the Pioneers came out on top not only on the scoreboard, but on the stat sheet as well, with 219 total yards to the Phoenix 162. The Pioneers had 147 yards rushing and 72 passing to the Phoenix’s 99 and 63. The Pioneers also managed to maximize their opportunities while limiting those of the home team by controlling the time of possession 31:22-16:38. While no stats were available for field position, it seemed that most of the game was played on the Phoenix side of the 50. The Phoenix also had the only turnover of the game. Penalties continue to be an issue for the Pioneers. Committing nine penalties last week, this week they had 7 for 60 yards.
Individually for the now 1-1 Pioneers, leaders included: Winkleman passing 5-8, 72 yds., 1 TD.; Receiving – Rasmussen 2-30; Brakebush 2-22; Holly 1-20, 1 td; Rushing – Brakebush 13-79; Krentz 15-70, 1 td; Nelson 5-11; Mark Heuer 3-5. Tackles were led by Heuer 11; Peters 8; and Hierlmeier 7. Krentz had four assisted tackles, both for losses and 4 QB hurries. Johnston had 5 tackles and 1 QB hurry.
The Phoenix, now 0-2, were led by: Soda passing 7-24, 0 TD, 1 int; Receiving – Lashock 2-31; Chaussee 2-15; Daniel Krause 1-11; Jack Soda 2-6; Rushing – Chaussee 21-103; Sam Soda 6-7; Jack Soda 2-2.
The Phoenix start Trailways Large Conference play in Princeton this Friday 9/5, welcoming the Horicon Marshmen. They then return to Montello 9/12 to welcome the Dodgeland Trojans. The Pioneers welcome the Marshall Cardinals 9/5 and then go on the road to take on New Glarus/Monticello 9/12.