SOUTH WAYNE — As part of his pregame speech each week prior to taking the field, Potosi football coach Mark Siegert always leaves his team with one last nugget of advice.
“I always tell the guys on game night to make sure you get beat by a better team,” Siegert said.
With that being said, Siegert and his Chieftains (10–2) have a little bit easier time swallowing last Friday night’s 41–12 season-ending loss to host Black Hawk (12–0) in a WIAA Division 7 state quarterfinal contest.
When asked if Black Hawk was the better team last Friday night, coach Siegert didn’t hesitate for a second with his answer.
“There’s no doubt about it. They’ve been outstanding,” he said.
The statistics from Friday’s Level 3 playoff game also indicate that the Warriors were the superior team.
In the first half alone, Potosi managed just 31 yards of total offense on 22 plays. The Chieftains were held to just one first down, never crossed the Warriors’ 40-yard line, and trailed 21–0 at the half.
Black Hawk though, accounted for 240 yards of offense on 27 plays in the first half, and scored on three of its four offensive possessions.
Potosi did get on the board with 1:08 to play in the third quarter though, capitalizing on a 15-play scoring drive that started on its own 30-yard line.
A three-yard TD run by Brent Curtis made the score 28–6, as the two-point conversion run came up short for the Chieftains.
Black Hawk answered right away with a six-play, 62-yard scoring drive of its own, making the score 34–6 with 9:53 to play in the game.
Forcing Potosi into a three-and-out, the Warriors then put the game away on their next possession, going 68 yards in four plays to make the score 41–6 with 6:55 showing on the clock.
The Chieftains didn’t quit though, and put together an eight-play drive that covered 70 yards, including a 51-yard run by Teagan Friederick.
Trevor Ehlen found the end zone from two yards out with 1:41 to play, making the score 41–12.
While the Warriors used multiple formations on defense to limit the Chieftains, they often times put nine players in the box, making it hard to run against.
“Our passing game has changed quite a bit since Kyle’s injury, and there were some things that we would have loved to have done, but it’s just not the same now,” Siegert explained.
Coach Siegert’s squad finished the game with 184 yards of total offense, rushing for 145 yards on 38 attempts, and passing for 39 yards.
Friederick led the Chieftains on the ground with 73 yards on 10 carries, while Chase Kruser had 30 yards on eight carries, and Brent Curtis 28 yards on 11 attempts. Ehlen contributed 18 yards on nine carries.
Through the air, Kruser completed 4 of 10 passing attempts for 39 yards, while Curtis hauled in three passes for 23 yards.
“The thing is, they have so much speed, and when we have plays that typically have been really good for us and have worked, the big plays just aren’t there,” Siegert said.
The Warriors concluded the game with 470 yards of total offense, rushing for 311 yards on 39 attempts, and completing 6 of 7 passing attempts for 159 yards.
Black Hawk’s Tanner Sweeney ran roughshod on the Chieftains, rushing for 212 yards and four touchdowns on just 16 carries.
“That’s a testament to a really great team, when you know exactly what’s coming, and you still can’t stop it,” Siegert said. “That’s the frustrating part I guess. We knew what they were trying to do to us, and we tried to make some adjustments, and it still wasn’t working.”
To say that the Warriors have had Potosi’s number this year is quite the understatement.
Against its other 10 opponents put together, Potosi has given up a total of 93 points. In their two games against Black Hawk this year, they Chieftains gave up a total of 87 points.
Still, coach Siegert can be very proud of his team, who midway through the season had to adjust without their starting quarterback, Kyle Kaiser, which also meant using Kruser in a different role.
“You’re really looking at two different teams that we put on the field with two different offenses and two different personalities,” Siegert said. “I’m just really proud of how the guys all came and prepared as well as any team has ever prepared. There’s nothing to be ashamed of with a 10-win season and a Level 3 playoff berth.”
For the Potosi, it was the program’s sixth time playing in the third round of the WIAA playoffs, and for coach Siegert, it’s always something special that should never be taken for granted.
“I don’t know if we’ve gotten spoiled or not, but I know that this is a huge deal, and I try to keep that in perspective, that the state quarterfinals is nothing to sneeze at,” Siegert said.
WIAA Division 7, Level 3 playoff
Black Hawk 41, Potosi 12
(from Friday, Nov. 8 @ South Wayne)
Potosi 0 0 6 6 — 12
Black Hawk 6 15 7 13 — 41
BH: Heath Butler 1 run (run failed)
BH: Sweeney 1 run (Seth Butler pass from H. Butler)
BH: Sweeney 80 run (Paulson kick)
BH: Rufenacht 3 run (Paulson kick)
P: Brent Curtis 3 run (run failed)
BH: Sweeney 56 run (kick failed)
BH: Sweeney 4 run (Paulson kick)
P: Trevor Ehlen 2 run (run failed)
First downs — P 7, BH 18. Rushing — P 38-145, BH 39-311. Passing yards: P 39, BH 159. Passes — P 4-10-1, BH 6-7-0. Fumbles-lost — P 1-0, BH 0-0. Penalties-yards — P 4-35, BH 8-55.
Rushing — P: Teagen Friederick 10-73, BH: Sweeney 16-212. Passing — P: Chase Kruser 4-10-0, 39; BH: H. Butler 6-7-0, 159. Receiving – P: Brent Curtis 3-23; BH: Lovelace 2-49.