WEST?BEND - There's no better way to start a season than by making a solid statement. West Bend-Mallard's Wolverines did just that with a 60-18 pasting of the Laurens-Marathon Chargers in a Week Zero football game Friday night.
It was a case of score earlier and often, as the Wolvers scored four times in the opening quarter of the contest.
Mitch Bonnstetter hit Jason Zinnel with a 49 yard strike for the first score with 11:35 to go in the quarter and ran in his own conversion for an 8-0 lead. Just two minutes laters, Bonnstetter picked off a pass and returned it 55 yards for a score, and Collin Thatcher added the conversion run for a 16-0 lead.
Laurens-Marathon would post a TD off a 75-yard kickoff return for a 16-6 tally, but with 9:02 to go in the quarter, Bonnstetter floated a 65-yard toss into Collin Thatcher's waiting hands for the third Wolverine score of the evening and after the conversion failed, the score stood at 22-6.
The offense was nowhere near ready to let up, as with :48 remaining in the quarter, Bonnstetter called his own number and scampered nine yards for the final score of the quarter. Logan Streit would run in the conversion for a 30-6 lead.
In the second quarter, the Wolverines kept their offense running smoothly, and earned another score with 9:58 to go in the half as Streit popped over the goal line from two yards out. Bonnstetter would tack on the extra point run fro a 38-0 lead.
The Chargers would score off a two yard run with 4:55 to go in the half, but couldn't add the conversion to trail 38-12.
With 2:22 to go in the first half, West Bend-Mallard went to Thatcher once again and the senior delivered a quick two-yard run into the end zone. The conversion try failed, giving the Wolverines a 44-12 lead at the intermission.
The second half started with the clock still running conventionally, but it didn't take long to change that. West Bend-Mallard would get a 53-yard run from Mitch Bonnstetter with 10:07 left in the third quarter. Colin Thatcher added the two-point conversion and the clock would run continuously off the 35-point differential rule with the 52-12 Wolverine lead.
After a trade of possessions, the Wolverines got the ball back and with 2:40 to go in the third stanza, Ashton Fehr got his chance to hit paydirt, running in from two yards out to make the score 58-12. Jessie Zinnel, now at the helm of the offense, kept the ball for the conversion run to make the score 60-12 at the end of the third quarter.
The two teams would trade possessions in the final abbreviated quarter until Laurens-Marathon managed a final score with :05 left for the 60-18 final.
Mitch Bonnstetter picked up 169 yards off 14 carries, while Logan Streit had seven carriers to gain 43 yards and Collin Thatcher added39 yards off seven rushes.
Bonnstetter connected on four of six passes for 180 yards and two scores. Jason Zinnel had one 55-yard catch and Thatcher had a 65-yard catch for scores, while Matt Goeders had a 30 yard catch.
Dustin Johnson, Logan Streit, Aaron Montag and Dan Eubank all had four tackles in the win.