Wolverines’ Offense Scuttles Raiders
RUTHVEN – If you go by a first possession in a ballgame, the Raiders of Ruthven-Ayrshire looked to be on track to picking up a Homecoming victory in their matchup Friday night with West Bend-Mallard. Coach luke Miller’s Raiders ate up a bunch of clock before turning the ball over, but that would be all for most of the game as the Wolverines went on to dominate and take a 54-7 win. The win improves the Wolverines to 2-3 on the year, 1-3 in the district, while the Raiders continue to search for their first win, with an 0-5 overall mark and 0-3 district record. West Bend-Mallard didn’t get the ball until just over 6:40 remained in the first quarter, but the Wolverines quickly engineered a 70 yard scoring drive that was capped off by a 25 yard run by Jack Riesenberg. Quarterback Darin Banwart added the two-point conversion to put the Wolverines up 8-0. The Raiders took over, only to lose the ball on an interception that would give the Wolverines a second score off a seven yard run by Banwart. The conversion run from Andy Riesenberg made the score 16-0 at the end of the first quarter. The tempo of the game slowed in the second, as both squads struggled to find their offensive footing, but West Bend-Mallard made a drive with time running down, when Travis Goeders pulled in a Banwart pass from 27 yards out for a 22-0 score at the intermission. West Bend-Mallard would get the ball to start the second half, and survived a fumble to cap the drive off with a four yard keeper by Banwart, who would add his own conversion for a 30-0 lead. The Raiders were limited to three downs and a punt on their resulting possession and the Wolverines would also end up punting after the Raiders put up a good defensive stand. Getting the ball back, Raider quarterback Brad Geelan tried to go to the air, but was picked off by Banwart, who was dragged down at the Raiders’ 14 yard line. After a penalty on the Wolverines, West Bend-Mallard got a 14 yard run from Andy Riesenberg and added a pass to Travis Goeders for the 38-0 score to end the third quarter. After a punt by the Raiders, the Wolverines drove downfield after the start of the fourth quarter and hit paydirt on a 30 yard run by Jack Riesenberg and conversion run from Matt Ruppert for a 46-0 tally. with just over 10:30 to go in the game. Coach Pete Kapustynski went to his bench and got a score from the reserves off a 50 yard punt return by Ethan Fehr. Andy Riesenberg sped in with the conversion for the 54-0 lead with just under 8:00 to go in the contest. Ruthven-Ayrshire would take over after a fumble recovery at the Wolverines’ 38 yard line. After a sack of Geelan, the Raiders managed to erase their goose-egg, as Brad Geelan would find Ryan Sikora with a 39 yard pass into the end zone with :08 to go in the contest. The conversion kick by Sikora was good, but West Bend-Mallard would spoil the Raiders’ Homecoming with the 54-7 win. For Ruthven-Ayrshire, Justin Titus would gain 16 yards off six carries, while Colton Bakken picked up 10 yards off four carries. Shawn Molitor had five yards off eight rushes, while Kyle Simington gained six yards on five carries and Brad Geelan had two yards off six carries. Geelan completed nine of 18 passes for 124 yards, with Ryan Sikora making six catches for 100 yards. Mark Geelan added two catches for 17 yards and Mark Langner had a reception for seven yards. The Raiders got 17 tackles from Colton Bakken and 13 from Brad Geelan. West Bend-Mallard was led by Jack Riesenberg with 98 yards off six carries, while Andy Riesenberg had 89 yards off 20 carries. Darin Banwart completed six of 12 passes for 82 yards in the win, with Travis Goeders making four catches for 62 yards. Matt Ruppert and Jack Riesenberg would each catch a pass in the winning effort. Defensively, Wyatt Wirtz led the Wolverines with 12 tackles, while Aaron Johnson made seven tackles. Jack Riesenberg also made seven tackles for the Wolverine defense. Overall, West Bend-Mallard had 342 yards, 260 rushing and 82 passing, while Ruthven-Ayrshire had 163 yards, 39 rushing and 124 passing. The Wolverines will host league-leading North Sentral Kossuth on Friday in West Bend, while Ruthven-Ayrshire will take to the highway for the road trip to Gilmore City to take on Twin River Valley.