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Platteville's Ethan Bernhardt engineers GW drive
Among the area athletes playing for the South Small Schools All-Star team were: (front, from left) Eric Heisner (Mineral Point), Trevor Neuroth (Fennimore), Ethan Bernhardt (Platteville), Brandon Kinyon (Potosi/Cassville), (back) Liam Kenney (Fennimore), Donovan Blevins (Platteville), Ian Carter (Platteville), Evan Gates (Lancaster) and Billy Schluter (River Valley). - photo by photo by A.J. Gates / Herald Independent




OSHKOSH — Just minutes after throwing what could have been a game-ending interception, Platteville’s Ethan Bernhardt engineered the game-winning drive in his final prep football game.

Bernhardt completed a 25-yard pass on first down to Hillmen teammate Donovan Blevins with just under two minutes left, then completed a 12-yard pass to Markesan’s Drew Bernhagen on 3rd-and-10 to move the South into field goal range.

Moments later Melrose–Mindoro’s Victor Ponterio drilled a 40-yard field goal from the left hash mark to lift the South to a 22–21 come-from-behind victory in Saturday’s Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Smalls Schools (D4–7) All-Star Football game Saturday at UW–Oshkosh’s Titan Stadium.

Blevins, who was a WFCA first-team All-State selection last fall, finished with a game-high seven receptions for 113 yards. He will attend UW–Whitewater in the fall.

Bernhardt, who is headed to the University of Minnesota, completed 7 of 16 passes for 98 yards and was intercepted twice in his final game on the gridiron.

Platteville’s Ian Carter, who will play at UW–River Falls this fall, started at left tackle and protected his prep QB’s blind side one final time.

Cassville/Potosi’s Brandon Kinyon started at right guard. He will attend Southwest Tech in the fall.

Lancaster running back Evan Gates rushed for 31 yards on five carries. He will play at UW–Platteville this fall.

Black Hawk linebacker Brody Milz finished second on the team with 11 tackles. He will play at UW–Oshkosh.

Fennimore’s Trevor Neuroth caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Lake Mills’ Ben Dunkleberger late in the first half to get the South on the board.

Fennimore safety Liam Kenney made two tackles and batted down a pass.

Both Neuroth and Kenney will attend the University of Dubuque where they will also play football.

The North built a 15–0 lead midway through the second quarter after Kobe Berghammer (Cumberland) found Nathan Stoffel (Marathon) for a touchdown and Zayne Rodencal went in for a 20-yard score.

The South team got a pair of touchdowns of it’s own to close out the half, as Dunkleberger connected with Neuroth and Lake Mills’ teammate Hayden Iverson in the final minute of the half, but the North still led 15–12 at intermission.

Amherst’s Marcus Glodowski ran for a 37-yard touchdown in the third quarter to put the North up 21–12 and back in control.

Dunkleberger rallied the South once again when he hit Clinton running back Zach Krause to pull the South within 21–19 early in the fourth quarter. Dunkleberger finished 7 of 13 for 155 yards and three TDs passing and rushed for a team-high 51 yards on 11 carries.

The South had the ball in field goal range with five minutes left in the game, but Glodowski, who played both ways for the North, intercepted a Bernhardt overthrow in the end zone on third down.

“That was on me,” said Platteville coach Ryley Bailey, who was the passing game coordinator for the South. “I got a little too aggressive there. But I learned my lesson and played it for the field goal in the final minute and it all worked out.”

The South defense held on 4th-and-2 at its own 35 with 1:50 left in the game.

Bernhardt completed a 25-yard pass to Blevins on first down to move the ball to midfield. After a pair of incompletions, Bernhardt tossed a 12-yard strike to Bernhagen along the sideline. Two more incompetions forced a third-and-long. Bailey elected to run the ball with Dunkleberger for a 5-yard gain and take a shot at the game-winning field goal.

“We felt pretty confident on anything inside 50 yards,” said Bailey, who led Platteville to a 9–2 mark and a share of the Southwest Wisconsin Conference title last fall in his first season with the program. “Victor is a heck of a kicker.”

Bailey and the other South coaches reported to UW–Whitewater on Saturday, July 14 for coaches meetings. The players reported to practice the following day for a week of practice and team bonding.

The South players traveled to Oshkosh on Friday and attended the All-Star banquet that night.

The entire All-Star event, which also featured an 8-Man All-Star game and a Large Schools (D1–3) All-Star game, raised more than $480,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

“It was an amazing week,” added Bailey. “It was one of the best experiences I have had in coaching. It was so neat being surrounded by such talented coaches and players that were all on the same page of putting together and executing a game plan. I would definitely do it again if I ever have the opportunity.”



South 22, North 21

(from Saturday, July 21 @ UW–Oshkosh)

North.......... 0 15   6   0 —  21

Small........... 0 12   0 10 —  22

Second quarter

North:  Nathan Stoffel 6 pass from Kobe Berghammer (J. Burish kick)

North: Zaqyne Rodencal 20 run (Marcus Glodowski run)

South: Trevor Neuroth 30 pass from Ben Dunkleberger (run failed)

South: Hayden Iverson 35 pass from Dunkleberger (pass failed)

Third quarter

North: Glodowski 37 run (kick failed)

Fourth quarter

South: Zach Krause 40 pass from Dunkleberger (Victor Ponterio kick)

South: FG 40 Ponterio

Team statistics

First downs — N n/a, S n/a. Rushing – N 49-209, S 30-106. Passing (comp-att-int, yards) — N 12-30-0, 111. S 14-30-2, 253. Fumbles-lost – N n/a, S n/a.

Individual Leaders

Rushing — N: Zayne Rodencal 17-93, Marcus Glodowski 6-58; S: Ben Dunkleberger 11-51, Evan Gates 5-31, Benjamin Behan 5-20. Passing — N: Kobe Berghammer 12-36-0, 111, Max Feldman 0-3-0, 0; S: Dunkleberger 7-13-0, 155, Ethan Bernhardt 7-16-2, 98. Receiving — N: Dayne Friday 3-20, Rodencal 2-27, Max Narges 2-20; S: Donovan Blevins 7-113, Hayden Iverson 4-38, Krause 1-40, Neuroth 1-30. Tackles — N: Ben Turner 6, Colton Heil 5; S: Clay Schueffner 12, Brody Milz 11, Michael Schumacher 7.