Badger topples top-seeded Waunakee in overtime
WAUNAKEE—The comeback kids were at it again Friday night.
Lake Geneva Badger rallied late to force overtime and then got a game-winning 35-yard field goal from Tias Larson in the first extra period to stun previously unbeaten Waunakee, 24-21, in a WIAA Division 2 state quarterfinal game.
Badger (10-2) plays Waukesha West (10-2) in a state semifinal game next Friday or Saturday.
The Badgers got a game-tying touchdown from Isaac Ziervogel to Chase Craig on a perfectly executed halfback pass for 29 yards with 50 seconds left to play. Then they got a pivotal interception from Jordan Monroe on Waunakee's first possession of overtime.
Badger ran three plays before Larson came on and drilled his game-winning kick.
“These kids have been down in just about every game this season but just don't care” Badger head coach Matt Hensler said. “They don't panic and keep fighting, and when it's somebody's turn to step up and make a play, they do.
“I don't think Tias could probably squat 100 pounds, but he's got a strong leg and is a kicker we have a lot of confidence in.”
Larson said he was more nervous on the extra-point try that tied the game at 21-21 than on the field goal try in overtime.
“On the field goal, I just tried to tell myself that that's a kick I can make and usually do every day in practice,” Larson said. “I'm pretty comfortable from about 30-35 yards, so that kick was in my range.”
Badger trailed by a touchdown three different times but answered every step of the way. The vaunted running game was held to 186 yards, but Tyler VanDeVelde picked up some pivotal yards on critical third downs that kept two scoring drives alive.
Waunakee struck first on Casey Marksberry's 2-yard pass to Jacob Royston with 1:34 left in the first. Javian Dayne, the son of former University of Wisconsin Heisman Trophy-winning running back Ron Dayne, had 40 yards rushing on the drive on nine straight carries. Dayne finished with 171 yards and a touchdown.
Badger tied the game at 7-7 on Mason DuMez's 1-yard sneak with 4:02 left in the half, but Waunakee answered immediately on Marksberry's 47-yard pass to Tyler Mais just 15 seconds later.
The Badgers again got the equalizer on DuMez's perfect 43-yard strike to VanDeVelde with 50 seconds left in the half.
DuMez and Marksberry combined to complete 5 of 6 pass attempts in the first half for 181 yards and three touchdowns.
Dayne gave Waunakee a 21-14 lead in the fourth quarter with a 13-yard touchdown scamper, setting up the Badgers for their late heroics.
Badger now gets Classic Eight powerhouse Waukesha West, which walloped another Southern Lakes Conference team, Waterford, 60-0 on Friday.
“We'll strap 'em up tight and be ready to go,” Hensler said. “This team keeps finding ways to win. I couldn't be more proud of each and every one of them.”
BADGER 24, WAUNAKEE 21 (OT)
Lake Geneva Badger 0 14 0 7 3—24
Waunakee 7 7 0 0 0—21
Scoring: W—Jacob Royston 2 pass from Casey Marksberry (Max Allen kick). B—Mason DuMez 1 run (Tias Larson kick). W—Tyler Mais 47 pass from Marksberry (Allen kick). B—Tyler VanDeVelde 43 pass from DuMez (Larson kick). W—Javian Dayne 13 run (Allen kick). B—Chase Craig 29 pass from Isaac Ziervogel (Larson kick). B—Larson field goal 35.
Statistics: First downs—B 13, W 12. Rushes—B 49-186, W 41-196. Yards passing—B 179, W 49. Passes—B 15-6-0, W 7-2-1. Fumbles—B 1-0, W 0-0. Penalties—B 7-52, W 3-35.