Badger High suffers stinging double-overtime defeat
The Badgers, who average 41 points per game, had three touchdowns called back for penalties and a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line that ended in a missed field goal.
Add that to Waterford’s high-powered offense going scoreless through regulation before Greg Steffens’ 1-yard touchdown run broke a scoreless tie, and it all seemed like a sick joke to the Badgers.
But it’s a very harsh reality.
The improbable victory gave Waterford (8-1, 6-1) a share of Southern Lakes Conference championship with Badger (7-2, 6-1), which was poised to clinch its first outright conference title since 1990, and Wilmot (8-1, 6-1).
“It’s the story of the game when you have three touchdowns called back,” Badger High coach Matt Hensler said. “We probably shouldn’t win and we don’t deserve it, and we didn’t win.”
Badger’s 12 penalties proved to be good fortune for the Wolverines.
“I’m just proud of my boys on defense,’ said Waterford linebacker J.J. Ahlers, who ended the game with an interception. “They pushed through and put a zero on the board. This was probably the biggest game of our career, but now we just have to push it through the playoffs.”
The Badgers were the first team to celebrate in the first overtime after quarterback Peter Krien snuck through the Waterford line and scampered 15 yards for an apparent touchdown. But a holding penalty called the play back and subsequently ended the drive.
Waterford failed to score on its first overtime possession but made good in the second overtime behind a quick, four-play drive, capped by Steffens’ 1-yard touchdown run. Krien tried to answer on the ensuing possession, but his quick pass over the middle was nabbed by Ahlers at the Wolverine 5.
“We were thinking pass because the (Badgers) had been passing a lot in overtime,” Ahlers said. “So I just dropped back, and the ball came right to me.”
The Badgers’ luck wasn’t any better in the first half.
Badger appeared to hit pay dirt late in the second quarter on Chris Walker’s 32-yard halfback option touchdown pass to Cole Moreland. But the play was called back due to an illegal-formation penalty.
The frustration only built further for the Badgers, who drove to the Waterford 1 late in third quarter before being held to a Peter Karr field-goal attempt that was pushed wide right by a bitter autumn wind.
The Badgers flirted with the end zone on their next possession when Krien’s 18-yard touchdown run was called back for penalty. That mistake set the stage for a bitter sudden-death defeat.
“We took it on the chin tonight, but we’re still conference champs,” Hensler said. “We just had too many mistakes.”
WATERFORD 7,BADGER 0
Waterford 0 0 0 0 0 7—7
Badger 0 0 0 0 0 0—0
Scoring Summary: W-Greg Steffens, 1 run (Nick Wirchsing kick).
Statistics: First downs—W 9, LGB 14. Rushing—W 29-64. LGB 72-282. Passing—W 43 LGB 0. Passes—W 7-2-1, LGB 3-0-0. Fumbles—W 1-0, L 1-1. Penalties—W 6-45, LGB 12-80.