POTOSI — All season long, Potosi football coach Mark Siegert has been preaching to his team the importance of taking things one game at a time.
That mentality led the Chieftains to an unbeaten record in the Six Rivers Conference. That same mentality could get them to Madison come Nov. 15.
The Chieftains took one step closer to their ultimate goal by defeating North Crawford 54–24 in a WIAA Division 7 Level I playoff game.
Potosi was absolutely dominating in Friday’s playoff opener, rushing 27 times for 386 yards and five touchdowns, an average of 14.3 yards per carry.
Quarterback Tim Fritz completed 4 of 7 passes for 92 yards and three more TDs, giving the Chieftains a total of 478 offensive yards.
The Trojans gained just 127 yards rushing and 85 passing, most of which came in the second half with Potosi’s starters out of the game.
Potosi senior Jase Udelhofen led the Chieftains with 195 yards rushing and three touchdowns on only seven carries, nearly 28 yards per carry.
Udelhofen scored on runs of 33, 65 and 73 yards, gaining 171 total yards on just those three carries.
“He’s explosive, he really is,” said Siegert of the 5’8” dynamo. “The great thing about what we have going, is that if you commit too many people in the box to stop him, then we’ve got weapons at the perimeter that can shine too.”
Those weapons include seniors Hunter Leibfried, who had a 28-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter of the game; Mitchell Langkamp, who had two catches for 23 yards, including a 15-yard score in the second quarter; and Logan Udelhofen, who hauled in a 45-yard TD pass to start the third quarter.
Fritz also had a 29-yard TD run midway through the first quarter, and made four extra-point kicks.
Potosi’s final score of the game came from junior Trevor Ehlen on an 18-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
Also contributing to Potosi’s offensive success was senior running back Alex Wright, who finished with 87 yards on six carries.
Potosi’s starters played just one series into the third quarter, and scored six touchdowns on only 17 total plays, before leaving the game with a 42–0 lead.
“There’s always work to do,” said Siegert. “I hope we’re not quite at our peak, because we want to just keep on climbing. I don’t know where our ceiling is at, but I know we haven’t gotten quite there yet. I just want to keep it going and see where it really is because it’s such a fun group and a great group of guys to coach, and I want to be around them for as long as I possibly can.”
Defensively, the Chieftains are equally as impressive, and owned the first half.
Leading the Chieftains in tackles last week was senior linebacker Spencer Hawes with 10 tackles, while fellow senior Alex Wright had nine and junior Travis Collins eight.
Collins also had one fumble recovery, while Mitchell Langkamp had three sacks and Hunter Leibfried one.
The Chieftains move on to Level II and host Highland Friday at 7 p.m.
Potosi wrapped up the regular season two weeks ago with a 47–2 beating of the Cardinals, but Siegert will be the first to admit that won’t matter Friday night.
Highland is coming off a 42–6 win over Ithaca, where the Cardinals compiled 364 yards of total offense and scored six touchdowns, while limiting the Bulldogs to 136 total yards of offense and one TD.
WIAA Division 7 Level I Playoff
Potosi 54, North Crawford 24
(from Friday, Oct. 19 @ Potosi)
8) No. Crawford 0 0 8 16 — 24
1) Potosi 20 15 13 6 — 54
P: Hunter Leibfried 28 pass from Tim Fritz (Fritz kick)
P: Fritz 29 run (Fritz kick)
P: Jase Udelhofen 33 run (kick failed)
P: J. Udelhofen 65 run (pass from Alex Wright to Mitch Langkamp)
P: Langkamp 15 pass from Fritz (Fritz kick)
P: Logan Udelhofen 73 run (kick failed)
NC: McDaniel 29 pass from Childs (J. Baumeister run)
P: J. Udelhofen 73 run (kick failed)
NC: J. Baumeister 1 run (pass Hershberger from Childs)
NC: J. Baumeister 4 run (B. Baumeister run)
P: Trevor Ehlen 18 run (kick failed)
First downs: NC 14, P 18. Rushing: NC 45-127, P 27-386. Passing Yards: NC 85, P 92. Passing: NC 5-11-0, P 4-7-1. Fumbles–lost: NC 2-2, P 2-1. Penalties-yards: NC 3-15, P 7-65.
Rushing: NC: J. Baumeister 20-102; P: Jase Udelhofen 7-195. Passing: NC: Chileds 5-10-0, 85; P: Tim Fritz 4-7-0, 92. Receiving: NC: McDaniel 2-61; P: Logan Udelhofen 1-45.