POTOSI – Similar to their regular-season meeting back on Sept. 1, the Potosi/Cassville football co-op scored early and often against River Ridge last Friday night in a 55-10 division 7 playoff victory.
Coach Mark Siegert’s squad improved to 8-2 on the season and moves on to face Wauzeka/Seneca (9-1) this Friday night in level 2 playoff action.
River Ridge concluded their season with an overall record of 4-6, after making the program’s first playoff appearance since 2010.
Friday night’s playoff opener saw Potosi/Cassville take a 22-0 lead early in the second quarter, and hold a 34-7 lead at halftime.
Coach Siegert’s squad then scored three unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 55-7 lead into the fourth, where the fast clock made for a quick half.
Potosi/Cassville did a good job of picking up substantial gains with their rushing attack, while sprinkling in a few passing plays that caught the Timberwolves on their heals.
On the ground, coach Siegert’s squad ran for 335 yards and four touchdowns on 29 attempts, giving them an impressive average of 11.6 yards per attempt.
Junior running back Ty Bausch, who had missed time this season with an injury, was back in action for the playoff opener, and wasted little time making an immediate impact.
On just 12 carries, Bausch ran through the River Ridge defense for 223 yards and two touchdowns for an average of 18.6 yards per carry. He scored on a three-yard run late in the second quarter to give his team a 28-7 lead, and then again on a 24-yard scamper early in the third to make it 48-7.
Also scoring two rushing touchdowns for Potosi/Cassville was senior Dylan Pluemer, who found the end zone from four yards out with 3:08 to play in the first quarter, and then again from three yards out with 4:05 to play in the third. On nine carries, Pluemer rushed for 47 yards.
Through the air, junior quarterback Will Bierman was nearly perfect, completing 7-of-8 passing attempts for 111 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Sophomore receiver Ryan Kruser led all receivers with five catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns, while junior Mason Infield had one catch for an eight-yard score and junior Brady Curtis came up with one grab.
Bierman first hooked up with Infield on an eight-yard score to give his team a 6-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
After Pluemer’s four-yard TD run on their next possession, Bierman then connected with Kruser on a 17-yard TD strike. Pluemer ran in the two-point conversion with 7:58 to play in the second quarter, giving his team a 22-0 lead.
River Ridge got on the board on their very next possession, getting a 72-yard TD run from senior halfback Tyler Millin. The extra-point kick by Kaine Baus pulled the Timberwolves to within 22-7 with 6:19 to play in the opening half.
After Bausch scored his first of two touchdown runs, Potosi/Cassville closed out the first-half scoring when Bierman and Kruser hooked up for their second score of the half, this one covering 60 yards and coming with 1:29 to play in the half.
After holding a 34-7 halftime advantage, Potosi/Cassville added six more points to their lead when junior linebacker Cyrus Siegert picked up a River Ridge fumble on the opening possession of the second half, and returned it for the score.
After touchdown runs by Bausch and Pluemer later in the third quarter, Potosi/Cassville took a 55-7 lead into the fourth quarter, where the only score was a 19-yard field goal by River Ridge kicker Kaine Baus.
The Timberwolves concluded the contest with 225 yards of total offense, all of which came on the ground.
Millin carried the ball 20 times for 152 yards and one touchdown, leaving him with 1,181 yards and 12 TDs on the season.
Junior Brett Moravits added 57 yards on 16 carries, bringing his season total to 340 yards and one TD.
Through the air, sophomore quarterback Connor Mumm attempted just two passes, which both fell incomplete.
Defensively for Potosi/Cassville, senior linebacker Logan Schmitz recorded a team-high 15 tackles, while Cyrus Siegert was close behind with 13 and Pluemer with 12. Jaydon Carbone forced one fumble and Mason Infield had the team’s only interception.
River Ridge’s defense was led by Blake Crubel and Colton Clark who each had nine tackles, while Millin wasn’t far behind with seven and Will Esser six.
Coach Wade Winkers loses just five seniors from this year’s River Ridge team that include: Ryan Redman, Tyler Millin, Aidan Morrow, Tyler Lansing and Camron Mish
“The five seniors we lose will be tough to replace due to all their experience and they were all great kids to coach,” Winkers said. “I’m glad they were able to play in the playoffs. They definitely deserved that opportunity.”
“It was a great opportunity for our kids to be in the playoffs,” added Winkers. “Our seniors took the next step for our program as leaders, and the next group needs to take the next step next year.”
For Potosi/Cassville, the next step involves a home game this Friday night against Wauzeka/Seneca (9-1), kickoff slated for 7 p.m.
Coach Siegert’s squad comes into Friday night’s contest averaging 46.9 points per contest, while giving up an average of 15.5 points to their opponents.
They have averaged 309 yards rushing per game and 111.1 yards passing, while holding their opponents to an average of 111.1 yards rushing and 52 yards passing.
Pluemer is the team’s leading rusher with 990 yards and 18 TDs on 83 carries, while Bausch has run for 905 yards and 13 TDs on 72 attempts.
Bierman has completed 58-of-101 passing attempts this season for 1,024 yards, 15 TDs and just five interceptions. Brady Curtis is the team’s leading receiver with 368 yards and three TDs on 11 receptions, while Alex Udelhofen has a team-high 21 receptions for 321 yards and five TDs.
Defensively for the co-op team, Cyrus Siegert leads the team with 127 total tackles and four sacks, while Pluemer has 111 total stops and Logan Schmitz 94.
Wauzeka/Seneca, champions of the Ridge & Valley conference, is coming off a 16-0 playoff-opening win over De Soto. They average 31.4 points per contest and have given up an average of 12 points per contest.
Wauzeka/Seneca has done most of their damage on the ground, averaging 221.6 yards rushing per game, compared to 102.7 yards passing. Defensively, they have given up an average of 121.3 yards rushing per contest and just 38.9 yards passing.
Potosi/Cassville 55, River Ridge 10
(D7 level 1 playoff game from Friday, Oct. 20)
River Ridge 0 7 0 3 - 10
Potosi/Cassville 14 20 15 6 - 55
P/C - Mason Infield, 8-yard pass from Will Bierman (kick failed)
P/C - Dylan Pluemer, 4-yard run (Jaydon Carbone run)
P/C - Ryan Kruser, 17-yard pass from Bierman (Pluemer run)
RR - Tyler Millin, 72-yard run (Kaine Baus kick)
P/C - Ty Bausch, 3-yard run (pass failed)
P/C - Kruser, 60-yard pass from Bierman (run failed)
P/C - Cyrus Siegert, fumble return (kick failed)
P/C - Bausch, 24-yard run (Bausch run)
P/C - Pluemer, 3-yard run (Siegert kick)
RR - Baus, 19-yard field goal
First downs - RR 11, P/C 14. Rushing - RR 47-225, P/C 29-335. Passing yards - RR 0, P/C 111. Passes - RR 0-2-0, P/C 7-8-0. Fumbles-lost - R 4-3, P/C 1-1. Penalties-yards - RR 1-5, P/C 5-40.
Rushing: RR: Tyler Millin 20-152; Brett Moravits 16-57; Will Esser 4-18; Blake Crubel 5-5; Connor Mumm 2-(-7). P/C: Ty Bausch 12-223; Jaydon Carbone 4-49; Dylan Pluemer 9-47; Will Bierman 4-16.
Passing: RR: Connor Mumm 0-2-0, 0. P/C: Will Bierman 7-8-0, 111.
Receiving: RR: None. P/C: Ryan Kruser 5-95; Mason Infield 1-8; Brady Curtis 1-8.