Tigers fall to 2-3 in VFA West
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The speed of Wisconsin Rapids running back Nash Coombs proved to be the difference Friday night at Beell Stadium.
The junior halfback only touched the ball seven times but racked up 165 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score late as Rapids topped Marshfield 28-21 in a Valley Football Association West Division game.
After Marshfield failed on fourth down on the Rapids 26, Coombs took a handoff to the outside and raced 74 yards on the Raiders’ next play to score the go-ahead touchdown with 4:42 remaining.
Marshfield had a chance to tie it, driving 57 yards in 11 plays down to the Rapids’ 5 before Thomas Grube picked off a Ryan Krueger fade pass in the end zone with 1:05 to go. The Tigers were out of timeouts, and Rapids knelt twice to end the game.
“They’re a really good team, and if you miss the running back, he’s going to go flying,” Marshfield coach Denny Goettl said. “I like what we’re doing defensively. We’re bringing the house, getting in there, and causing havoc, and they’re getting the ball back for us. We hung in there with them. We just couldn’t get that last touchdown in there.”
Wisconsin Rapids struck first as it went 89 yards on the game’s opening drive, ending with a 35-yard touchdown run from Coombs.
Marshfield put together an impressive drive to end the first half, going 95 yards in 16 plays. The Tigers converted three third-down plays, and Krueger ran in from the 3 with 21 seconds to go before halftime. The extra point was blocked, however, and Rapids led 7-6 at halftime.
The lead changed hands twice in the third quarter. Marshfield scored first when Krueger hit Brant Bohman for a 36-yard touchdown on fourth-and-4, and Andy Goettl ran in the 2-point conversion to make it 14-7.
Wisconsin Rapids responded with touchdowns on its next two drives to pull back ahead. Quarterback Jacob Mancl threw touchdown passes of 21 yards to Isaiah Westfall and 20 yards to fullback Justin Wefel, and the Raiders led 21-14.
Marshfield’s fourth-down magic continued on its next drive. After taking over at the 25 after a 41-yard punt return from Bohman, Krueger tossed a 27-yard TD pass to Isaac Meverden, and the game was tied 21-21 with 9:43 remaining.
Following a Rapids punt, the Tigers got down to the Raiders’ 26 before failing on fourth down. Coombs’ touchdown run came on the next play.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Goettl said. “I loved the way we played. Hats off to those guys. I’m just sick and tired of getting beat by them. We move on and have to win two more football games to get in the playoffs. That’s it.
“We’re playing hard football, but a loss is a loss. You have to come back and find a way to win these football games.”
Marshfield heads to Oshkosh for the second time this season to play Oshkosh North next Friday, Sept. 29, at 5 p.m. The game, at Titan Stadium, will be broadcast on WDLB-AM 1450 and wdlbwosq.com. Marshfield must win two of its final three games to be playoff eligible. The Tigers play at D.C. Everest on Oct. 6 and finish the season with their homecoming game Oct. 13 against Wausau West.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Red Raiders 28, Tigers 21
Wisconsin Rapids 7 0 14 7 – 28
Marshfield 0 6 8 7 – 21
WR – Nash Coombs 35 run (Nathan Hepp kick), 8:58.
M – Ryan Krueger 3 run (kick blocked), 0:21.
M – Braden Bohman 36 pass from Krueger (Andy Goettl run), 8:27.
WR – Isaiah Westfall 21 pass from Jacob Mancl (Hepp kick), 5:00.
WR – Justin Wefel 20 pass from Mancl (Hepp kick), 2:57.
M – Isaac Meverden 27 pass from Krueger (Mason Coffren kick), 9:43.
WR – Coombs 74 run (Hepp kick), 4:42.
First downs: Wisconsin Rapids 14; Marshfield 14.
Rushing (att-yards): WR 25-255; M 40-144.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): WR 11-20-146-0; M 13-30-189-1.
Total yards: WR 401; M 333.
Penalties (no.-yards): WR 8-57; M 11-100.
Fumbles (total-lost): WR none; M 4-0.
Punting (no.-avg.): WR 4-38.3; M 4-38.8.
Rushing: WR, Nash Coombs 4-131, Isaac Pelot 18-127, Jacob Mancl 3-minus 3. M, Brant Bohman 10-51, Ryan Krueger 12-40, Andy Goettl 13-34, Isaiah Baierl 5-19.
Passing: WR, Mancl 11-20-146-0. M, Krueger 13-30-189-1.
Receiving: WR, Coombs 3-34, Justin Wefel 2-28, Nicholas Campbell 2-27, Isaiah Westfall 1-21, Zachary Wendt 1-12, Keegan Hewitt 1-8, Pelot 1-6. M, Bohman 6-88, Isaac Meverden 3-52, Baierl 4-33.
Interceptions (defense): WR, Thomas Grube.
Punting: WR, Dylan Ashbeck 4-38.3. M, Krueger 4-38.8.
Records: Wisconsin Rapids 4-2, 3-2 Valley Football Association West; Marshfield 3-3, 2-3 VFA West.