Wolverines Upset Remsen St. Mary’s, Armstrong-Ringsted Rematch Next
REMSEN — Call it the thing dreams are made of. Call it an incredible upset. Call it what you will, but the fact remains that the West Bend-Mallard Wolverines served notice Wednesday night that they are ready to play playoff caliber football with a 44-36 win over St. Mary’s of Remsen.
Going into the substate game, the Wolverines, with a 3-6 mark on the season, were given little hope of making a strong showing against the seventh-ranked Hawks. But, with Wolverine Pride and an unrelenting, physical attack, West Bend-Mallard was able to take an early lead and give the Hawks their first loss of the season.
However, the next step on the playoff trail was a rematch for the Wolverines on Monday night, as they traveled to Armstrong-Ringsted to meet the high-flying Mustangs in the first round.
West Bend-Mallard got the ball to start the game, only after the Hawks kicked off out of bounds twice. Starting at their own 33 yard line, the Wolverines needed nine plays to hit paydirt, as Andy Riesenberg would use the blocks of the offensive line to burst in from 10 yards out with 9:11 to go in the quarter. Riesenberg added the conversion run from a quick 8-0 lead that the purple and gold would never relinquish the rest of the night.
Remsen St. Marys would answer the Wolverines’ score with one of their own at the 6:19 to go in the half for an 8-6 score, but on the conversion, Andy
Riesenberg sacked quarterback, Skyler Higgins, to preserve the Wolverines’ lead.
Coach Kapustynski’s Wolverines didn’t wast any time engineering another drive, as quarterback Ethan Fehr would put the ball up and into the hands of Andy Riesenberg on a screen pass that Riesenberg would run 63 yards for a touchdown. The try for two points came up short, giving the Wolverines a 14-6 lead with just over 5:00 to go in the first quarter.
The Wolverine defense wasn’t just sitting on its hands either – on the next series, a fumble was recovered by Mitch Bonnstetter at the St. Mary’s 27 yard line to give West Bend-Mallard great field position for a quick scoring opportunity.
Fehr started driving the Wolverines towards the goal line, using a nice catch by Jake Goodchild for a first down inside the 15 yard line. Andy Riesenberg would blow through the Hawks’ defense down to the three-yard line and went in to score with 1:25 to go in the quarter.
Jack Riesenberg would tack on the conversion run to give the Wolverines a 22-6 lead to start the second quarter.
St. Mary’s would score just after the start of the second quarter to cut the Wolverines’ lead to 22-14. After an exchange of punts, West Bend-Mallard took over with just under 1:30 to go in the half.
Starting at their own 15 yard line, the Wolverines turned to Andy Riesenberg, who started out with a seven yard run. The ball would go to Ryan Banwart, who reeled off three consecutive runs down to the Hawks’ 24 yard line.
Standing just outside the red zone, the Wolverines turned to the halfback pass play, with Ryan Banwart throwing to Fehr, a play that had paid off numerous times earlier in the season.
This time, the trickery worked to perfection as Banwart faked the throw to Fehr and instead hit Todd Goeders in the flat. Goeders tucked the ball in and raced into the end zone from 24 yards away. The conversion failed, but West Bend-Mallard held a 28-14 advantage at the intermission.
Coming out of the break, St. Mary’s seemed to be on fire as they scored in just three plays to cut the score to 28-20, after Mitch Bonnstetter knocked down the conversion pass.
But once again, the Wolverine defense came up big, recovering a fumble at the Hawks’ 17 yard line. The turnover would go for naught, however, as a fourth-down pass into the end zone fell incomplete for Fehr and the Wolverines, giving the Hawks the ball back at their own 10 yard stripe.
St. Mary’s would make things close when they marched 70 yards in just seven plays to score off a 42 yard pass play with 4:42 to go in the quarter. The conversion try two point try and the game was tied at 28-all.
WBM got a bit of a break when the ensuing kickoff bounced off Tanner
Bruellman but was alertly recovered by Matt Goeders at the WBM 33.
The Wolverines quickly took advantage of that good fortune and went
the 47 yards in just 4 snaps. The big play in the drive was another
nice grab by Jake Goodchild that put the ball on the RSM 16. A 13-
yard pass to Jack Riesenberg capped the foray at the 3:27 mark. Ryan
Banwart took in the two point conversion and WBM led 36-28.
St Mary’s looked to be ready to get even again as they drove to the
WBM 22, but a pass that was caught out of bounds in the end zone and
a huge sack by Todd Goeders and Andy Riesenberg turned them away at
the WBM 26.
The Wolverines punted early in the fourth quarter and got another
fumble recovery to set up what would prove be the winning score.
Ethan Fehr flopped on the loose ball at the RSM 36 and WBM used 9
plays to get the touchdown. On 4th-and-1 at the 26, Ryan Banwart got
the first down and Andy Riesenberg ran three straight times to get it
to the RSM 8. On 3rd-and-5 from just outside the 5, Fehr kept it and
raced into the end zone with 5:33 left. Banwart added the two point
run and WBM led 44-28.
The hawks got their final score in just 6 plays and it came with
4;28 left as Phillips ran in from 7 yards out.Higgins hit Kockler for
the conversion and it was 44-36.
WBM grabbed the onside attempt by the Hawks but couldn’t move the
ball and punted.
St. Mary’s started at their own 31 and got a first down at the WBM
39. WBM got a sack, then a holding call on RSM before a scramble by
Higgins gained 6. A dropped pass, a short completion and another pass
incompletion on fourth down gave the Wolverines possession with 1:09
left. Three kneel downs by Fehr ended it and the Wolverines had the
44-36 upset before an ecstatic Wolverine following that had traveled
the 100 miles to Remsen.
The WBM offense put up its best effort of the year and it couldn’t
have come at a better time as it netted a total of 544 yards. Rushing
54 times for 404 was the key, but 140 passing yards made it special.
Ethan Fehr was huge in this one as he racked up 231 yards rushing and
passed for another 114 in the game. Andy Riesenberg ran 21 times and
netted 94 yards. He also had the one big catch and raced 63 yards
with it for a score. Ryan Banwart had 60 yards in 14 carries and his
one pass was good for the big score to Todd Goeders just before
halftime. Jake Goodchild collected a pair of passes and gained 38
yards while Jack Riesenberg had a pair of grabs for 26 yards. When
the offense stalled Mitch Bonnstetter constantly punted them out of
trouble. His five boots averaged 53 yards each
On the other side of the ball it was a team effort as the swarming
tackles stymied the Hawks potent offense at critical times. Mitch
Bonnstetter and Tanner Bruellman each were in on 10 stops.
Bonnstetter had 8 solos while Bruellman had 7 solos. Ryan Banwary had
9 takedowns, Andy Riesenberg had 8 and Todd Goeders totaled 7 in the
The Wolverines now face Armstrong-Ringsted at Armstrong. The
Mustangs stand at 9-1 and led the way to a 4-0 sweep of the district
#2 teams over squads from the neighboring district #1 in the substate