Krueger tosses three TDs, runs for another as Tigers win first VFA game
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield football team was in desperate need of a win, and a strong defensive effort by the Tigers provided one.
Marshfield held Kaukauna to just 51 yards rushing and used three second-quarter touchdowns to beat the Ghosts 27-14 in a Valley Football Association matchup Friday night at Beell Stadium.
Junior quarterback Ryan Krueger threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter for the Tigers and added a 65-yard TD run on a busted play in the fourth quarter to push Marshfield to the victory.
The Tigers improve to 2-2 overall and 1-2 in the Valley Football Association West Division. Kaukauna falls to 1-3 and 1-2 in the VFA North.
The magic number to get into the WIAA playoffs is four, as in four conference wins needed. Now that Marshfield has No. 1, it is primed to get more.
“I would have loved to be 3-1, but you take what happens,” Marshfield coach Denny Goettl said. “The kids are coming together. We’re battling through injuries. We lost our heart and soul. (Linebacker) Quinton Alexander is on the sidelines on crutches, but guys are stepping up, believing in each other, and making it work.”
Marshfield got on the board first, putting together an eight-play, 64-yard drive that bridged the end of the first and start of the second quarter. A screen pass from Krueger to Isaiah Baierl turned into an 18-yard touchdown that gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead.
After forcing a punt, the Tigers went 72 yards in just six plays for another score as Krueger threw a 35-yard TD pass to Duncan Swanson on fourth down. Krueger evaded a number of Kaukauna defenders on the play as the pocket collapsed, rolled to the right sideline, and heaved a pass over the safety to find Swanson in the end zone.
The Tigers’ third touchdown was set up by a short punt and a 16-yard return by Brant Bohman that gave them the ball at the Kaukauna 28. Three plays later, Colin Fravert caught a tipped pass in the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown to put Marshfield up 20-0.
Kaukauna responded with a quick 58-yard drive as quarterback Noah Van Asten completed four-straight passes, and Tyler Froehlich ran in from the 3 to get the Ghosts on the scoreboard. Marshfield took a 20-7 lead into halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Kaukauna pulled closer as Van Asten hit Mason Van Zeeland for a 28-yard touchdown pass, making it 20-14 with 8:44 remaining in the game.
The Tigers did not take long to make it a two-score game again. On Marshfield’s first play and after some confusion with the snap, Krueger bolted upfield, hit the left sideline, and raced 65 yards to the goal line for a score.
Krueger finished with 115 yards rushing, 116 yards passing, and accounted for all four touchdowns.
Kaukauna failed on three fourth-down attempts in the final eight minutes as the Marshfield defense held to secure the win.
“Hats off to the defense, they did a phenomenal job,” Goettl said. “Coach Len (Luedtke) was back on the sidelines this week, and that was kind of a big deal. I think it was a good luck charm.”
Marshfield plays at Stevens Point (1-3, 0-3 VFA West) next Friday, Sept. 15, at Goerke Field. Game time is 7 p.m., and it will be broadcast on WDLB-AM 1450 and wdlbwosq.com.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Tigers 27, Ghosts 14
Kaukauna 0 7 0 7 – 14
Marshfield 0 20 0 7 – 27
M – Isaiah Baierl 18 pass from Ryan Krueger (pass failed), 10:47.
M – Cameron Swanson 35 pass from Krueger (Mason Coffren kick), 6:27.
M – Colin Fravert 24 pass from Krueger (Coffren kick), 1:31.
K – Tyler Froehlich 3 run (Mikael Kolosso kick), 0:40.
K – Mason Van Zeeland 28 pass from Noah Van Asten (Kolosso kick), 8:44.
M – Krueger 65 run (Coffren kick), 8:20.
First downs: Kaukauna 12; Marshfield 8.
Rushing (att-yards): Kaukauna 25-51; Marshfield 30-223.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): Kaukauna 19-43-201-0; Marshfield 8-15-116-2.
Total yards: Kaukauna 252; Marshfield 339.
Penalties (no.-yards): Kaukauna 6-40; Marshfield 9-67.
Fumbles (total-lost): Kaukauna 1-0; Marshfield 3-1.
Punting (no.-avg.): Kaukauna 8-31.3; Marshfield 6-38.8.
Rushing: K, Tyler Froehlich 15-26, Noah Van Asten 10-25. M, Ryan Krueger 10-115, Brant Bohman 9-80, Andy Goettl 9-23, Isaiah Baierl 7-23, Eric Kubash 1-2, Tyler Spaeth 1-1, Will Voss 2-minus 1.
Passing: K, N. Van Asten 19-43-201-0. M, Krueger 8-14-116-2, Voss 0-1-0-0.
Receiving: K, Mason Van Zeeland 6-92, Taylor Tschantz 4-42, Froehlich 3-20, Nic Giordana 3-18, Mason Van Asten 1-28, Cole Hurst 1-4, Riley Knaack 1-minus 3.
Fumble recoveries (defense): K, Mason Stewart.
Interceptions (defense): K, Garrett Ott, Blayne Otto.
Punting: K, Trenton Fassbender 8-31.3. M, Krueger 6-38.8.
Records: Kaukauna 1-3, 1-2 Valley Football Association North Division; Marshfield 2-2, 1-2 VFA West.