Hoheisel touchdown, Huettl 2-point conversion with 30 seconds left lift Tigers to homecoming win
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield football team entered Friday’s homecoming game against fourth-ranked and undefeated Fond du Lac with no chance of making the WIAA playoffs, but the Tigers played their best game of the season anyway.
Three close losses at home earlier this season essentially kept the Tigers out of the playoffs for a second year in a row, and they were not going to allow for a fourth heartbreaking loss.
Tyson Slade threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Nick Hoheisel with 30 seconds left and then hit Isaac Huettl with a two-point conversion pass to lift Marshfield to an improbable 22-21 victory over the Cardinals on Friday night at Beell Stadium.
Marshfield’s Tate Kanneberg recovered a fumble at the 22 on a big third-down stop, and the Tigers took over with 6:27 to go, trailing 21-14.
The Tigers had two fourth-down conversions on the drive, the second of which was a 15-yard run by Hoheisel that brought the ball to the Fond du Lac 10 with just over a minute to go.
During a timeout, Marshfield coach Denny Goettl said Hoheisel called the play — a throwback screen. Slade rolled to his right, stopped, and threw back left to a wide open Hoheisel, who scampered into the end zone. On the two-point conversion, Slade hit Huettl in the corner of the end zone to secure the win.
“We kept giving it to Nick, and he’s a man on a mission,” Goettl said. “He knows what he wants. It’s his senior year, his last game. They gave everything they could give. Nick said, ‘Coach, when Tyson goes that way, I am wide open over there.’ We drew the play in the grass. We were going to run the play that they think we’re always going to run. It worked out.
“We have to give kudos to our whole teaching staff and our school this week. This is the best homecoming week we’ve ever had. Competitions were great. We had 1,200 kids in the gymnasium today for our pep fest. Principal Steve Sukawaty, (teachers) Jess LeMoine, Scott Scheuer, Jackson Hein, they made this week awesome and made that score tonight even more awesome.”
Friday’s victory against the conference champion Cardinals (8-1, 7-1 VFA South) gives the Tigers (4-5, 3-5 VFA South) one positive memory from what was otherwise a frustrating season.
Marshfield had fourth-quarter leads in three previous home games but surrendered late touchdowns to lose all of them. On top of that, the Tigers had a slew of injuries that saw nearly their entire offensive and defensive lines out of the lineup at one time or another.
“What a great turning point for us in our last game of the season,” Goettl said. “We went through some injuries. Six or seven starters that were out that would have been getting all-conference looks. That could decimate any team, but we played with every team all season long. A couple of things here or there, we’re playoff eligible. We look at it right now as we learned a ton, and it’s a big turning point for the kids that are coming up and those that are here see this.”
Braden Bohman caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Slade just 1:32 into the game to put the Tigers up 7-0 early.
Fond du Lac got its offense rolling, scoring on three-straight possessions and taking a two-touchdown lead by halftime.
Justin Maratik had a 3-yard TD run midway through the first quarter, and quarterback Quinn Woelfel had touchdown runs of 20 and 11 yards in the second quarter to put the Cardinals on top 21-7 at the half.
Marshfield’s defense picked up its play in the second half. The Cardinals fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half, and after each team was stopped on fourth down, the Tigers drove 60 yards in six plays to tighten up the score.
Hoheisel, who had 196 yards rushing, had runs of 26 and 15 yards on the drive and capped it off with a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 21-14 with 3:58 left in the third.
Fond du Lac punted on its next two possessions before Kanneberg’s fumble recovery gave the Marshfield offense one final chance.
“We knew we had to score to win the game, so we just had to feed Nick Hoheisel,” Slade said. “He’s been great this year. When it came down to it, we made the plays that we needed to win the game.”
Bohman intercepted a desperation pass from Woelfel on the final play of the game to set off a wild celebration for the Tigers.
“We stayed in there. We knew we could do it, and it symbolizes our season,” Slade said. “We had to go through everything, and we got rewarded at the end even though we couldn’t make the playoffs.”
Hoheisel, who ran for more than 100 yards in all nine games this season, finishes with 1,673 yards rushing and 21 total touchdowns. He won the VFA South rushing title with nearly 1,500 yards in the eight conference games.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Tigers 22, Cardinals 21
Fond du Lac 7 14 0 0 – 21
Marshfield 7 0 7 8 – 22
M – Braden Bohman 26 pass from Tyson Slade (Zach McManus kick), 10:28.
F – Justin Maratik 3 run (Joe Kuber kick), 5:05.
F – Quinn Woelfel 20 run (Kuber kick), 10:34.
F – Woelfel 11 run (Kuber kick), 0:31.
M – Nick Hoheisel 3 run (McManus kick), 3:58.
M – Hoheisel 10 pass from Slade (McManus kick), 0:30.
First downs: Fond du Lac 19; Marshfield 15.
Rushing (att-yards): Fond du Lac 37-214; Marshfield 44-231.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): Fond du Lac 11-21-137-1; Marshfield 9-21-112-0.
Punting (no.-avg.): Fond du Lac 2-33.0; Marshfield 3-34.3.
Penalties (no.-yards): Fond du Lac 3-24; Marshfield 8-75.
Fumbles (total-lost): Fond du Lac 3-3; Marshfield 0-0.
Rushing: F, Justin Maratik 23-116, Quinn Woelfel 13-91, Keon Jefferson 1-7. M, Nick Hoheisel 32-196, Braden Bohman 2-15, Jon Hardinger 1-13, Tyson Slade 7-7.
Passing: F, Woelfel 11-21-137-1. M, Slade 9-21-112-0.
Receiving: F, Maratik 4-20, Caleb Goldstein 2-25, Joe Kuber 2-22, Ryan Collien 1-39, Devon Krzanowski 1-26, Alex Ruppel 1-5. M, Zach McManus 3-23, Hoheisel 2-24, Hardinger 2-20, Bohman 1-26, Isaac Huettl 1-19.
Punting: F, Jake Walgenbach 2-33.0. M, McManus 3-34.3.
Fumble recoveries (defense): M, Chris Collins, Sawyer Lovstad, Tate Kanneberg.
Interceptions (defense): M, Bohman.
Records: Fond du Lac 8-1, 7-1 Valley Football Association South Division; Marshfield 4-5, 3-5 VFA South.