Big Foot returns to state football finals
Foot prints to State
The gold rush is on for Walworth Big Foot’s football team.
After coming up short in the WIAA Division 4 state title game a year ago, the Chiefs will get another chance at a gold ball Thursday night.
Nathan Nagel broke two tackles on a 23-yard pass play to score the winning touchdown with 32 seconds left as Big Foot rallied past Lodi, 27-21, in a Division 4 state semifinal game here Saturday.
Big Foot (13-0) plays Kewaunee (13-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
Lodi (11-2) had a 21-7 halftime lead, but Big Foot held the potent Blue Devil offense scoreless in the second half.
“I can’t say enough about the effort our kids gave the second half, especially the leadership we got from the seniors,” Big Foot coach Rodney Wedig said. “Lodi was big and strong up front and moved the ball against us a lot better than I thought they would, but we made a few adjustments and won the battle the second half.
“Getting back to the state title game is absolutely as rewarding as it was last year. The expectations weren’t as high for this team, and that motivated this group, especially the seniors.”
Senior Michael Walker, who was held to a season-low 68 yards rushing, cut Lodi’s lead to 21-14 with a 5-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter. The Chiefs tied the game on Walker’s 14-yard run late in the third.
“We talked at halftime about not trying to win the game on every play,” Wedig said. “And that was key in the second half. We really came together and stayed focused. We didn’t try to rush anything even though we were down at half.”
With the game tied at 21-21, Lodi took over deep in its territory with less than two minutes to play in the game.
After stuffing the Blue Devils on first down, Big Foot’s Alec McGreevy made the play of the game with an interception at the Lodi 26-yard line. Big Foot gained three yards on the next two plays before quarterback Steve Dowden found Nagel for a 23-yard scoring strike that gave the Chiefs a 27-21 lead with 32 seconds left.
“We made some big, big plays the second half,” Wedig said. “Obviously, McGreevy’s interception put us in position to win the game. And then Nathan broke a couple of tackles in scoring the winning touchdown.
“Again, I can’t say enough about these seniors. They’ve played all year like they had something to prove.”
BIG FOOT 27, LODI 21
Lodi 7 14 0 0—21
Walworth Big Foot 7 0 14 6—27
Scoring summary: BF—Dustin Sorrentino, 5 run (Sean Kevlin kick). L—TD, information not available. L—TD, information not available. L—TD, information not available. BF—Michael Walker, 5 run (Kevlin kick). BF—Walker, 14 pass from Steve Dowden (Kevlin kick). BF—Nathan Nagel, 23 pass from Dowden (kick blocked).
Statistics: First downs—L 9, BF 12. Rushes—L 33-92, BF 31-103. Yards passing 148, BF 134. Passes—L 17-10-3, BF 18-11-0. Fumbles—L 3-2, BF 2-1. Penalties—L 6-45, BF 2-20.