Kick up a storm: Lightning stun Cougars

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John Barry
Friday, November 3, 2017

CLINTON--All Matt Reilly wanted was a chance.

The Lake Country Lutheran placekicker was hoping for a chance to redeem himself for missing what he called a “chip-shot” 27-yard field goal that he missed earlier in the game.

Reilly got that chance with six seconds left to play in a WIAA Division 5 state quarterfinal game Friday night and promptly nailed the game-winner.

Despite two timeouts from Clinton, Reilly drilled a 41-yard field goal to lift the Lightning to a 17-14 road victory.

Lake Country Lutheran (12-0) advanced to next Friday's state semifinal game, where it will play Cedar Grove-Belgium.

Clinton, which won the Rock Valley Conference title, saw its hopes of a trip to Camp Randall come to an end in finishing 11-1.

With the game tied 14-14 and less than a minute to play, Lake Country faked a punt on fourth-and-seven and picked up 19 yards on a pass play to the Clinton 30.

The Lightning ran three plays to the 24 before Reilly connected on fourth-and-nine with 6 seconds left.

“It was just another field goal or extra point, something I practice every day,” Reilly said. “Just swing straight and it will go right through.

“I love my team and my coaches, and I felt like I let them down earlier in the game by missing that kick. I just said to them to get the ball down there and I'll make it.”

Clinton looked to be on cruise control early in second half.

Lake Country fumbled the second-half kickoff and Clinton recovered. Three plays later, Zach Krause got his second touchdown of the game to make it 14-0.

But the Cougars did little offensively after that.

Clinton came into the game leading the state in rushing with nearly 400 yards per game but was held to just 175.

Krause, who played on a tender left ankle, finished with 84 yards rushing. He came into the game second in the state with 2,302 yards and had been averaging 209 per game.

“It was a great high school football game,” Clinton coach Jeff Spiwak said. “You wish you would've come out on the other end of it, but that doesn't always happen.

“They made one more play than us. Last year, on this same field and in the same situation in a Level 3 game, we made one more play than Lancaster.”

Trailing 14-0 early in the third quarter, Lake Country answered Clinton's second touchdown quickly on a 63-yard pass from Ethan Wilkins to Dane Vance. The Lightning tied the game at 14-14 midway through the fourth on Vance's 1-yard run.

Wilkins finished with 216 yards passing.

“Good teams make the adjustments, and that's what they (Lake Country) did in the second half,” said Spiwak, whose team was looking to make back-to-back trips to the state semifinals. “We made some good adjustments, too, but that long pass play they got for a touchdown really changed the momentum of the game.”


Lake Country Lutheran 0 0 7 10—17

Clinton 0 7 7 0—14

Scoring: C—Zach Krause 2 run (Chandler Yurs kick). C—Krause 36 run (Yurs kick). LC—Dane Vance 63 pass from Ethan Wilkins (Matt Reilly kick). LC—Vance 1 run (Reilly kick). LC—Reilly 41 field goal.

Statistics: First downs—LC 16, C 9. Rushes—LC 31-88, C 42-175. Yards passing—LC 216, C 7. Passes—LC 32-14-1, C 6-2-0. Fumbles—LC 1-1, C 2-1. Penalties—LC 8-56, C 7-60.

Last updated: 11:03 pm Friday, November 3, 2017

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