Delavan-Darien outlasts Whippets in football opener
Delavan-Darien High School’s football team opened a 24-0 lead early in the fourth quarter and seemed poised to notch win in a nonconference opener against Whitewater.
But things quickly got complicated.
With lightning rapidly heading south toward Whitewater, both teams lengthened the game by combining to score 33 points in the next 6:27 en route to a Delavan-Darien 37-20 lead with 4:31 to play.
Then a nasty thunderstorm made its mark, forcing the fans and players to run for cover as the remaining 4:31 of the game was quickly cancelled.
In the middle of all the hysteria, Delavan-Darien was named the winner with a 37-20 victory.
“We found out at halftime that the bad weather was coming,” Delavan-Darien coach Steve Tenhagen said. “The officials did a good job of continuing the game until the point we couldn’t play anymore.”
The Comets did a good job of controlling the game from the start.
Junior quarterback Austin Fritzinger got the Comets going with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Brickner with 48 seconds left in the first quarter.
Fritzinger later made it 14-0 on a 35-yard touchdown run with 7:00 left in the first half. Connor Kolanda tacked on a 28-yard field goal late in the second quarter to give the Comets a commanding 17-0 halftime lead.
“I’m very pleased with our offense tonight,” Tenhagen said. “Across our whole offense, we are playing with little experience, and I’m pleased with the way we responded.”
Eric Polzin added to the Comets’ response with a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown that put his team up 24-0 early in the fourth.
“The turnovers didn’t help tonight,” said Whitewater coach Doug Parker, whose team committed four turnovers. “It’s a whole other ball game if we don’t turn it over.”
The Whippets finally responded with a Ryan Owen 20-yard touchdown pass to Dylan McKay to cut the lead to 24-6 with 9:18 left.
Both teams rolled up two more touchdowns apiece to build the score to 37-20 before the weather ended the contest prematurely.
“We’ve got to come to play in first quarter and not just the fourth quarter,” Parker said. “We have to make the plays when we have the chances.”