Rockets pile up eight first-half touchdowns in lopsided win
By Steve Pilz
SPENCER — It probably was not the best week to come to Spencer for a visiting football team. A week after the Rockets stubbed their toe with five turnovers in a loss at Stanley-Boyd, it was the Neillsville/Granton football co-op that had the unfortunate task of visiting Spencer’s Ted Fritsch Field Friday night.
It did not end well for the Warriors.
Spencer/Columbus scored eight first half touchdowns, four by North Dakota State-bound senior running back Hunter Luepke, as the Rockets blasted the Warriors 62-8 in a Cloverbelt Conference game.
Carson Hildebrandt crashed in for six just 52 seconds into the game for an early Rockets lead. Jacob Miller scampered in from 30 yards out less than four minutes later before Luepke got in from the 3 for the first of his four scores. The Rockets led 24-0 after a quarter.
Three minutes into the second quarter Luepke snatched a Neillsville/Granton shovel pass out of the air and took it into the end zone for an 11-yard interception return.
“It was my first time playing (defensive) line this season,” grinned Luepke. “It was kind of interesting. I didn’t see it coming right away, but I made the play.”
It was one of five interceptions by the Rockets. Lucas Ellefson had two, and Karak Bushman and Ethan Meese also added picks.
Less than two minutes later Spencer/Columbus got a special teams score when speedy sophomore Hayden Bauman corralled a punt and hauled it 41 yards for a TD.
Luepke got two more rushing scores before the half: one of 10 yards and the other 33. He finished with 106 yards on just seven carries.
“We just need to be strong each week and keep on working guys in so guys can get some rest here and there,” Luepke said. “We practiced ball security all week, and I think it paid off.”
Bauman put the finishing touches on the 56-point half by scooting in from the 5 with three seconds left in the half.
“I thought we played a very clean game,” Spencer/Columbus coach Jason Gorst said. “We improved on some of our mistakes from last week, and we played very hard tonight. We try and play smarter each and every week.”
After a scoreless third quarter and a running clock, Zach Wheeler-Savoy scored Spencer/Columbus’ only second half touchdown on a 3-yard run 2½ minutes into the final quarter.
The Rockets put up 448 yards on the ground and 498 total yards in the win.
The Warriors provided the game’s final points when Matthew Friemoth scored on a 15-yard run.
Both Gorst and Luepke knew they had to go back to work pretty soon as undefeated Colby (4-0 overall, 3-0 Cloverbelt) heads to Spencer next Friday, Sept. 15, for a big conference showdown.
“We’ll have our hands full against Colby next week,” Gorst said. “They’re well-coached. I truly believe they’re one of the better teams in central Wisconsin. It’s a tough matchup.”
(Note: This article was originally published at MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Rockets 62, Warriors 8
Neillsville/Granton 0 0 0 8 – 8
Spencer/Columbus 24 32 0 6 – 62
SC – Carson Hildebrandt 4 run (Bubba Post run), 11:08.
SC – Jacob Miller 30 run (Miller run good), 7:23.
SC – Hunter Luepke 3 run (Jared Mandel to Lucas Ellefson), 5:49.
SC – Luepke 11 Interception return (kick failed), 9:18.
SC – Hayden Bauman 41 punt return (Caden Schillinger kick), 7:25.
SC – Luepke 10 run (kick failed), 4:14.
SC – Luepke 33 run (kick failed), 2:12.
SC – Bauman 5 run (Schillinger kick), 0:03.
SC – Zach Wheeler-Savoy 3 run (kick blocked), 9:41.
NG – Matthew Friemoth 15 run (Thomas Friemoth run), 3:00.
First downs: NG 10; SC 22
Rushing (att.-yards): NG 37-112; SC 41-448.
Passing (comp.-att.-yards-int.): NG 2-15-26-5; SC 4-8-50-1.
Penalties (no.-yards): NG 2-10; SC 3-35.
Fumbles (total-lost): NG 1-0; SC 0-0.
Rushing: N/G, Thomas Selk 12-33, Matthew Friemoth 2-32, Jonah Zoschke 3-23, Luke Mayer 11-23. SC, Luepke 7-106, Hildebrandt 4-71, Post 6-66, Miller 3-62, Bauman 6-48, Wheeler-Savoy 5-47, Andres Rodrieguz 7-25, Colten Schillinger 5-17, Karak Bushman 1-14, Mandel 1-4.
Passing: N/G, Monte Diestler 2-8-26-2, Lucas Mosely 0-6-0-3, Braden Trunkel 0-1-0-0. SC, Mandel 4-8-50-1.
Receiving: N/G, Hunter Hand 2-26. SC, Ellefson 2-19, Hildebrandt 1-17, Luepke 1-14.
Interceptions: N/G, Hand. SC, Ellefson 2, Luepke, Bushman, Ethan Meese.
Records: Neillsville/Granton 1-3 overall, 0-3 Cloverbelt; SC 3-1 overall, 3-1 Cloverbelt.