SHULLSBURG – Pecatonica/Argyle’s rushing attack trumped Shullsburg’s passing attack on Homecoming Day at Badger Park on Saturday, Sept. 30.
The Vikings ran for four first-half touchdowns to jump out to a 33-0 halftime lead and held on for a 33-8 Six Rivers Conference victory over the Miners.
Pec/Argyle (5-2 overall, 4-2 SRC) finished with 226 rushing yards and zero passing yards in the game, while the Miners (1-6, 1-5) passed for school record 319 yards but were held to minus-13 yards rushing on the day.
The Vikings got off to a fast start against the Shullsburg back-ups, who started and played the first two series on offense and defense due to a team discipline decision.
Running back Mitch Flannery struck pay dirt from 15-yards out on the second play of the game to put P/A up 7-0; and then the Vikings forced a quick Shullsburg punt, which was blocked by Brent Ritschard and returned by Lucas Gilbertson to the Shullsburg 15-yard line.
Two plays later, quarterback Easton Schraepfer scrambled in from 11 yards out to extend the lead to 13-0.
“We had some issues, but I think they responded well. We spotted them some points when we started with the subs. When we made the switch, I thought we looked pretty good,” said Shullsburg head coach Andy Paulson.
Ritschard extended the Vikings’ lead to 33-0 midway through the second quarter when he sandwiched a pair of touchdown runs (13 and 10 yards) between another blocked punt, which he returned himself 27 yards for his third TD of the half.
Shullsburg finished the first half with 153 passing yards but had no points for those yards. The Miners added 166 more passing yards in the second half– while holding the Vikings to just 46 rushing yards over the final 24 minutes– however they could manage just one scoring drive as untimely penalties, a turnover and costly negative plays hurt several other drives.
“That’s our motto for the year– two steps forward then shoot ourselves in the foot,” quipped Paulson. “It’s the little things– a drop here, an unnecessary penalty there, these are mental things we need to work on.”
Starting at their own 5-yard line late in the fourth quarter, the Miners went on a six-play, 95-yard trek to get on the scoreboard.
Junior quarterback Jacob Berendes went 5-for-5 passing for 105 yards during the drive– he was also sacked once for a loss of 10 yards on the drive– which ended on a 31-yard touchdown pass to junior running back Oscar Oritz with 3:46 remaining in the game.
Berendes teamed with junior lineman Oren Charles on the conversion pass to make the final score 33-8.
Berendes finished 22-of-47 through the air for 314 yards with one TD and one interception. Junior Alex Wand hauled in six catches for 123 yards to lead the Miners’ receiving corp.
Junior Griffin Wiegel added two catches for for 51 yards, while Ortiz had three receptions for 50 yards and a score. Freshman Brandon Hoppman had five catches for 50 yards, and led the Miners with 14 rushing yards on 10 carries.
Ritschard ran 15 times for 130 yards and two scores to lead the Vikings.
Defensively for the Miners, Charles was in on 15 tackles and Ortiz on 11 tackles. Wand, Dylan Heim, Dakota McCallister and Kyle Klotz added eight stops apiece.
Shullsburg will step out of the league when they travel to Hillsboro to face the Tigers (4-3) in a non-conference affair on Friday, Oct. 6. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
“We’re excited for the drive up there. I think if we play (Friday) like we did today, it will reflect on the scoreboard,” Paulson said.
Pec/Argyle…… 19 14 0 0 – 33
Shullsburg…… 0 0 0 8 – 8
PA – M. Flannery, 15 run (Prust kick)
PA – E. Schraepfer, 11 run (kick failed)
PA – B. Ritschard, 13 run (run failed)
PA – B. Ritschard, 27 punt return (Prust kick)
PA – B. Ritschard, 10 run (Prust kick)
SH – Oscar Ortiz, 31 pass from Jacob Berendes (Oren Charles pass from Berendes)
Team Stats: First Downs– PA 11, S 14. Rushing– PA 49-226; S 19-(–13). Passing– PA 0-1-0, 0; S 23-50-2, 319. Fumbles-Lost– PA 0-0; S 0-0. Penalties- PA 6-33; S 4-43.
Shullsburg Individual Leaders: Rushing (Att-Yds-Td)– Brandon Hoppman, 10-14-0. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Td-Yds)– Jacob Berendes, 22-47-1-1, 314. Receiving (Cat-Yds-Td)– Alex Wand, 6-123-0.