Janesville63°

Big Foot rolls on to Ripon

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Tim Wester/Special to the Gazette
November 2, 2009
— Big Foot High’s football team dressed up as underachievers for Halloween.

Fortunately for the second-ranked Chiefs, the costume party ended at halftime against New Holstein.


Big Foot erased a 7-0 halftime deficit with 21 unanswered second-half points and posted a hard-fought, 21-7 victory over the Huskies in a WIAA Division 4 second-round game here Saturday afternoon.


Michael Walker ran for two touchdowns and added a 90-yard touchdown reception to help second-ranked Big Foot (11-0) advance to the third round against Ripon (9-2) at 7 p.m. Friday at Ripon.


“They (the Hukies) were blowing up our power running game and had us on our heels, and I had flashbacks to Wautoma again,” said Big Foot coach Rodney Wedig, who was recalling his team’s disappointing 20-0 loss in the Division 4 state championship last season. “So at halftime, we made a few adjustments.”


The first adjustment was to seize momentum from the Huskies (7-4).


Big Foot linebacker Jordan Gottman took care of the momentum with a 20-yard interception return to the Chiefs’ 47 early in the third.


“He (quarterback Chris Lefeber) threw it right to me, and I just hoped I wouldn’t drop it because I dropped a few in the past,” Gottman said. “We knew we just needed to get one big push and open the flood gates.”


On the next play, Big Foot quarterback Steve Dowden stunned the Huskies’ defense with a 39-yard pass to Alec McGreevy to the 14.


Three plays later, Walker jumped over the pile with a 2-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7-7 with 6:35 left in the third quarter.


After a New Holstein punt on the ensuing possession pinned the Chiefs back at their 10, Dowden hit Walker over the middle on a 90-yard touchdown pass to give Big Foot its first lead at 14-7 with 2:49 left in the third quarter.


With the game slipping away early in the fourth quarter, a desperate New Holstein went for it on fourth-and-1 at its 42. The gamble backfired when running back Cody Thede was drilled for a loss at the 38.


The Chiefs then methodically put the game away with a 7-play scoring drive, capped by Walker’s 12-yard run that put Big Foot up 21-7.


New Holstein didn’t threaten the rest of the way.


“Once our offensive line settled in, I think we finally wore them down in the second half,” Wedig said.


New Holstein certainly settled in on the second play of the game when running back Austin Polster took a reverse 73 yards for a touchdown to put his team up 7-0.


The Chiefs drove inside the New Holstein 10 twice in the first half, but they turned the ball over on downs both times.


Big Foot eventually figured out the Huskies in the second half.


BIG FOOT 21, NEW HOLSTEIN 7


New Holstein 7 0 0 7— 7


Big Foot 0 0 14 7—21


Scoring summary: NH – Austin Polster, 73 run (Ross Klapperich kick). WBF— Michael Walker, 2 run (Sean Kivlin kick). WBF—Walker, 90 pass from Steve Dowden (Kivlin kick). WBF—Walker, 12 run (Kivlin kick).


Statistics: First downs—NH 7, WBF 12. Rushing—NH 30-143, WBF 40-103. Yards passing—NH 24, WBF 182. Passes—NH 8-3-2, WBF 12-6-1. Fumbles—NH 1-1, WBF 0. Penalties—NH 2-20, WBF 2-10.



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