CASSVILLE – Just five weeks into the 2017 prep football season and the newly formed co-op football team of Potosi/Cassville has already clinched a playoff spot.
Coach Mark Siegert’s squad punched their playoff ticket last Friday night with a 38–14 victory over Pecatonica/Argyle, improving to 4–1 in the Six Rivers Conference with just two league games remaining on their schedule.
On a night that celebrated Homecoming at Cassville, earning a playoff bid proved to be the cherry on the top.
“It is a relief, but I think our expectation is to make a playoff run,” said coach Siegert. “I fully appreciate how difficult that is, though some folks take that for granted. In the infancy of our program making the playoffs was our major goal and it was really hard to get to. I don’t take it for granted because I know how hard it is. It’s not easy.”
It wasn’t easy for Siegert’s team Friday night either, as the Chieftains had to rally from a 14–12 halftime deficit against the banged up Vikings.
But Potosi did control the second half scoring 26 unanswered points to pull away for a 24-point victory.
In the first half, Potosi/Cassville got a 15-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Will Bierman to senior wide out Alex Udelhofen, which was followed in the second quarter by a 2-yard TD run from senior Dylan Pluemer. Both extra-point kicks were missed.
Pec/Argyle (3–2, 2–2 SRC) also scored two touchdowns in the first half, but held a 14–12 halftime lead as Jaden Hendrickson made both of his extra-point kicks.
Whatever message coach Mark Siegert had for his squad at halftime clearly sunk in, as the Chieftains scored 19 points in the third quarter and seven more in the fourth to outscore the Vikings, 26–0 in the second half.
It also helped that Pec/Argyle lost starting quarterback Colton Schraepfer to an injury in the second quarter.
“I think our sense of urgency was ramped up a bit,” coach Siegert said of the second half. “We took a look at ourselves and seeing where we wanted this thing to go, we had a couple of choices, and I’m really happy they elected to take the route they did.
“They scored a couple times in that first half just by getting a couple big plays, so that was something that we talked about as far as limiting those in the second half.”
It was the special teams of Potosi/Cassville that started the second half off with a big play, as junior Brady Curtis took the second-half kick 90 yards for the quick score, giving his team an 18–14 lead.
Curtis scored again in the fourth quarter on a 26-yard TD run, while fellow junior Ty Bausch found the end zone twice in the third quarter on runs of 14 and 11 yards.
While the offense and special teams gave Potosi/Cassville the lead in the second half, it was the defense that stymied the Vikings, holding the visitors scoreless during the final 24 minutes of action.
“It was a very physical game, and luckily we came out on top in that aspect,” coach Siegert said. “I thought we, for the most part, controlled the line of scrimmage, which is really obviously important. I thought our offensive and defensive lines did a really solid job of controlling the line of scrimmage.”
Offensively, coach Siegert’s squad accumulated 337 yards of total offense, 203 yards on the ground and 134 through the air.
Bausch finished as the game’s leading rusher, accounting for 94 yards and two TDs on 15 carries, while Pluemer added 83 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.
Through the air, Bierman completed 4 of 11 passing attempts for 134 yards, one touchdown and one interception. His top target was Udelhofen, who had three catches for 98 yards and one score.
Defensively, Potosi/Cassville gave up just 162 yards of total offense, 110 passing and 52 rushing on 39 attempts.
Junior linebacker Cyrus Siegert led the team with 18 tackles and one sack, while Pluemer had 16 tackles and senior Logan Schmitz was in on 14 stops. Alex Udelhofen also had two sacks on the night.
Potosi/Cassville will host Shullsburg (1–4, 1–3) Friday at 7 p.m. for Potosi’s Homecoming game.
(from Friday, Sept. 15 @ Cassville)
Pec/Argyle 7 7 0 0 — 14
Potosi/Cassville 6 6 19 7 — 38
PA: Colton Schraepfer 1 run (Jaden Hendrickson kick)
P/C: Alex Udelhofen 15 pass from Will Bierman (kick failed)
P/C: Dylan Pluemer 2 run (kick failed0
PA: Brent Ritschard 7 run (Hendrickson kick)
P/C: Brady Curtis 90 kickoff return (run failed)
P/C: Ty Bausch 14 yard run (kick failed)
P/C: Baush 14 run (Cyrus Siegert kick)
P/C: Brady Curtis 26 run (Siegert kick)
First downs — P/A 6, P/C 11. Rushing — P/A 39-52, P/C 37-203. Passing (comp-att-int, yds) — P/A 10-13-0, 110, P/C 4-11-1, 113. Fumbles-lost — P/A 0-0, P/C 0-0. Penalties-yards — P/A 4-35, P/C 9-80.
Rushing — P/A: Brent Ritschard 7-24. P/C: Ty Bausch 15-94, Dylan Pluemer 13-83. Passing — P/A: Easton Schraepfer 4-5-0, 67. P/C: Will Bierman 4-11-1, 134. Receiving — P/A: Mitch Flannery 2-72. P/C: Alex Udelhofen 3-98.