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MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U CO-GAME OF THE WEEK (Six Rivers Football): #10 Potosi/Cassville 27, #4 River Ridge 13
#10 Chieftains pick off #4 Timberwolves to clinch Six Rivers crown
If the recently proposed football-only conference realignment plan passes in March, Potosi/Cassville and River Ridge will no longer be gridiron conference foes, and the Six Rivers football conference will cease to exist (for the 2024 and 2025 seasons at least). The WIAA Board of Control will make a final determination on the conference realignment plan at its March 7 meeting. - photo by A.J. Gates

PREP FOOTBALL: #10 Potosi/Cassville 27, #4 River Ridge 13

By A.J. Gates, Herald Independent

Potosi/Cassville knocks off River Ridge for Six Rivers supremacy

PATCH GROVE —  Two Six Rivers heavyweights battled it out Friday night for the 2022 conference football title, with Division 7 #10-ranked Potosi/Cassville coming out on top off host and #4-ranked River Ridge, 27–13.

Coach Mark Siegert’s Chieftains (7–1, 4–0 SRC) took full advantage of four River Ridge interceptions and one fumble, while pounding away at the Timberwolves’  (7–1, 3–1) defense with their two-headed running attack of Eli Adams and Roman Friederick.

The junior running backs teamed up for a combined 253 rushing yards and three touchdowns, as Adams ran for 146 yards and three scores on 20 carries, and Friederick had 107 yards on 19 carries.

In eight games this season, Adams leads the team in rushing with 957 yards and 11 touchdowns on 139 carries, while Friederick is close behind with 710 yards and six TDs on 119 carries.

“They both do so many things well and they compliment each other,” said Siegert. “We have a really powerful inside game with Roman, and Eli can do that too, but if we need him to go outside and kick it into fifth gear he can do that too.”

While Adams and Friederick had a handle on the Potosi/Cassville offense, defensive backs Dayton Udelhofen, Braden Fishnick and Sam Udelhofen put the wraps on River Ridge’s top two playmakers, Braden Crubel and Aidan Gage.

Coming into Friday night’s game, Crubel had 20 receptions for 549 yards and 10 touchdowns, while Gage had 12 receptions for 312 yards and five TDs.

Against the Chieftains, Crubel was held to one catch for four yards, and Gage one catch for six yards, as the Timberwolves were unable to hit on any big plays.

“We knew they were going to put good athletes on them, and it’s the best athletes we’ve seen against us all year,” said River Ridge coach Wade Winkers. “It was a little wake up call for us. Kudos to them.”

“We were just trying to dabble with them, thinking we could get them condensed, and then set some stuff back out and maybe we could pop something on them. We just didn’t capitalize on the shots.”

Instead, when quarterback Matthew Nies tried to get the ball to his playmaker’s hands, it led to four interceptions, two by Dayton Udelhofen and one each from Sam Udelhofen and Braden Fishnick.

“We just made some silly mistakes,” said coach Winkers. “The pass protection wasn’t great on a few of them. We forced some balls that we shouldn’t have forced and should have been thrown away. We just never really got our feet under us. They covered us up well.”

Each team scored on its first offensive possessions, River Ridge first on a seven-play scoring drive that covered 80 yards and was capped off with a one-yard run by sophomore running back Andrew Nies. Aidan Gage’s extra-point kick was off the mark, leaving River Ridge with an early 6–0 lead.

Potosi/Cassville answered on their ensuing possession, going 65 yards in 14 plays, capping off the drive with a one-yard run by Adams and an extra-point kick by Friederick.

On their next possession, River Ridge turned the ball over on an interception by Dayton Udelhofen on a 3rd-and-13 pass play.

Setting up the Chieftains on their own 41-yard line with 2:20 to play in the opening quarter, coach Siegert’s squad used 10 plays to cover the 59 yards, getting a seven-yard touchdown run from Adams with 9:03 to play in the second quarter. The failed extra-point kick left Potosi/Cassville’s led at 13–6.

River Ridge regrouped to put together a nine-play scorning drive that covered 61 yards, capped off with an 18-yard TD pass from Matthew Nies to Carter Copsey. The extra-point kick by Gage evened the score at 13–13, which stood for the remainder of the first half.

With neither team scoring in the third quarter, it wasn’t until the 10:15 mark of the fourth when the tie was broken on a two-yard touchdown run by Adams, his third of the game. Friederick’s extra-point kick gave the Chieftains a 20–13 lead.

River Ridge’s next two offensive possessions both ended with interceptions, the second being returned 30 yards to the end zone by Sam Udelhofen with 3:12 to play in the contest. Friederick’s third extra-point kick gave the Chieftains a commanding 27–13 lead, which stood to the final horn.

Holding River Ridge scoreless on five second-half possessions, and turning over the Timberwolves on three of those, was crucial to Potosi/Cassville finding success and all-but ensuring them of this year’s conference title.

“Our game plan is always to stop their run game,” said coach Siegert. “Even though they throw the ball really, really well, it still comes down to stopping the run game. It kind of makes people one dimensional.

“Taking away their big-time players is really important, and it’s hard because they have so many of them. We just did the best we could and tried to limit some touches for kids, and if they did get them, hopefully we’re doing our jobs and limiting the big plays.”

The Timberwolves concluded the night with 187 yards of total offense, gaining 156 on the ground and 31 through the air.

While Adams and Friederick accounted for all 253 of their team’s rushing yards, senior quarterback Raz Okey completed 5-of-8 passing attempts for 79 yards and one interception.

Defensively, Roman Friederick led Potosi/Cassville with 10 tackles, followed by Nick Hampton with nine to go along with one sack.

Siegert’s Chieftains will close out the regular season Friday night against visiting Southwestern/East Dubuque (4–4, 1–3).

River Ridge will concluded the regular season against visiting Benton/Scales Mound/Shullsburg (5–3, 2–2).

#10 Potosi/Cassville 27, #4 River Ridge 13

(from Friday, Oct. 7 @ Patch Grove)

Potosi/Cassville 7 6 0 14 — 27

River Ridge 6 7 0 0 — 13

First quarter

RR: Andrew Nies 1 run (run failed), 9:15

P/C: Eli Adams 1 run (Roman Friederick kick), 3:46

Second quarter

P/C: Adams 7 run (kick failed), 4:02

RR: Carter Copsey 18 pass from Matthew Nies (AIdan Gage kick)

Fourth quarter

P/C: Adams 2 run (Friederick kick), 10:15

P/C: Sam Udelhofen 30 interception return (Friederick kick), 3:12.

Team statistics

First downs — P/C 18, RR 10. Rushing – P/C 47-253, RR 26-156. Passing (comp-att-int, yards) — P/C 5-8-1, 79; RR 5-14-4, 31. Fumbles–lost P/C 0-0, RR 1-1. Penalties-yards P/C 7-55, RR 2-10.

Individual Leaders

Rushing — P/C: Eli Adams 20-146, Roman Friederick 19-107; RR: Matthew Nies 8-83, Andrew Nies 10-44. Passing — P/C: Raz Okey 5-8-1, 79; RR: Matthew Nies 5-13-3. Receiving — P/C: Braden Edge 2-37, Brayden Edge 2-35; RR: Carter Copsey 2-25. Tackles — P/C: Roman Friederick 10, Nick Hampon 9, Ethan Kerkhoff 8.