Tigers win Homecoming game behind big defensive effort
By Steve Pilz
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield football team will return to the playoffs after a three-year hiatus, fresh off its sixth win of the season and a share of the Valley Football Association’s West Division Championship.
The Tigers held off Wausau West 17-6 on Friday night during Marshfield High School’s homecoming game at Beell Stadium.
Marshfield (6-3) tied for the league championship with Wisconsin Rapids, who downed D.C. Everest 51-20, after nearly pitching its third-straight shutout.
“Defense wins championships,” Marshfield coach Denny Goettl said. “That goes way back to Coach Len (Leudtke Sr.). That’s what we based everything on. Our defense has been keeping us in games. West is a darn good team. The record is not indicative of what they do. We’re lucky we got what we got. The field was a little greasy. We’ll take what we get, but the defense was really good again.”
Neither team could really get much going, and although the Tigers moved the ball more effectively, they had little to show for it. Mason Coffren drilled a 39-yard field goal near the end of the first quarter, and Marshfield led 3-0 after the first period.
Brant Bohman slanted off right tackle early in the second quarter, broke a tackle, switched the ball to his outside hand, and bolted 52 yards to the West 9. Ryan Krueger lobbed a ball to Isaac Medverden on the next play for a score and the Tigers looked ready to roll with a 10-0 lead.
After West went three-and-out, the Tigers got the ball back, but they coughed it up, and the Warriors took advantage of the short field.
Matthew Wittenburg ripped off 17 yards to the 16, and then West’s workhorse halfback Mitch Michalske blasted through a big hole to cut the lead to 10-6. Michalske ran for 101 yards on 22 carries, but the stingy Marshfield defense yielded little else.
“We pretty much are doing what our coaches are telling us,” said Marshfield defensive back Neil Ott. “Coach (Len) Luedtke (Jr.) makes some great calls. We’re pretty fast, and we go hard to the ball. I’m really excited to go to the playoffs. It’s been a while, and we’re pumped.”
No one scored in the third, and it remained a one-score game.
Bohman led the Tigers in the first half but did not return in the second half, leaving the offensive burden to Krueger. The junior signal caller came through in the fourth, calling his own number eight times and gaining 45 yards on the ground, including a 1-yard plunge with 5:17 remaining to sew up the victory.
“Ryan’s getting it,” concluded Goettl. “He’s making calls, taking charge, and coming into his own: real good game for him tonight.”
Marshfield’s Division 2 WIAA playoff opponent will be announced on Saturday afternoon.
(This article originally appeared on MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
Tigers 17, Warriors 6
Wausau West 0 6 0 0 – 6
Marshfield 3 7 0 7 – 17
M – Mason Coffren 39 field goal, 3:39.
M – Isaac Meverden 9 pass from Ryan Krueger (Coffren kick), 9:49.
W – Mitch Michalske 16 run (kick no good), 8:14.
M – Krueger 1 run (Coffren kick), 5:17.
First downs: West 8; Marshfield 17.
Rushing (att.-yards): West 29-129; Marshfield 46-223.
Passing (comp.-att.-yards-int.): West 6-22-41-0; Marshfield 8-14-67-0.
Total yards: West 170; Marshfield 290.
Fumbles (total-lost): West 2-1; Marshfield 1-1.
Penalties (no.-yards): West 3-40; Marshfield 7-70.
Rushing: W, Michalski 22-101, Matthew Wittenberg 1-17, Sam Sippel 3-10, Chandler Fochs 3-1. M, Ryan Krueger 16-80, Brant Bohman 7-65, Isaiah Baierl 7-41, Andy Goettl 11-38, Caden Pearce 4-14.
Passing: W, Fochs 6-21-41-0. M, Krueger 10-18-69-0.
Receiving: W, David Bagby 3-27, Brandon Clausen 2-17, Michalske 1-minus 3. M, Meverden 3-22, Colin Fravert 2-18, Baierl 2-5, A. Goettl 1-13, Bradley Hendrickson 1-9, Mitch Wilhelm 1-6.
Records: West 2-7, 1-7 Valley Football Association West Division; Marshfield 6-3, 5-3 VFA West.