SHULLSBURG – Senior Night was definitely a time for the Shullsburg seniors to shine.
Six members of Shullsburg’s talented senior class combined for seven first-half touchdowns to fuel the #10-ranked Miners’ 55-0 Six Rivers Conference victory over the visiting Belmont Braves at Badger Park on Friday, Oct. 7.
Senior quarterback Noah Wand tossed three touchdown passes– two to senior tight end Joey Meyer and one to senior wide receiver Hunter Matye– while senior running backs Lance Lierman and Ben Sigwarth each ran for a score to pace the offensive attack. Senior Nathan Wedige added a punt return for a TD on special teams, and Lierman returned an interception for a TD on defense for the hosts.
“I thought our seniors played great,” said Shullsburg head coach Scott Matye. “It was not a plan (to get them all to score), but nice to spread the scoring around.”
For the second week in a row, the Miners (8-1 overall, 6-1 SRC) took the lead for good on their first offensive play of the game. Wand hit a wide-open Meyer for a 48-yard scoring strike on the opening play from scrimmage, and the rout was on.
The Miners’ D forced a quick Belmont punt, which was returned 51 yards by Wedige for a TD and Matye booted the first of five extra point kicks to extend the lead to 13-0 just minutes into the contest.
Sigwarth added a 25-yard TD run with 5:42 remaining in the opening quarter and Meyer hauled in a 6-yard TD pass from Wand with 2:27 left in the stanza to make it 27-0.
Wand hooked up with Matye for a 5-yard score early in the second quarter, while Lierman raced in from 49 yards and returned an interception 25 yards for another score just minutes apart to put the Miners ahead 47-0 at the intermission.
Shullsburg sophomore Oscar Ortiz got into the scoring act with a 38-yard TD scamper in the fourth quarter. Jacob Berendes teamed with Nolan Strang on the conversion to make the final score 55-0.
The Braves (0-8, 0-7) managed to gain just 84 yards against the Miners’ D, who went on to post its second straight shutout and their fourth shutout of the season.
“Our defense is playing probably as well as any defense I have ever coached,” admitted Coach Matye.
The Miners rolled up 321 yards on the night after rushing 35 times for 249 yards and completing 6-of-10 passes for another 72 yards.
Lierman ran eight times for 131 yards and a score to lead the ground attack. Ortiz toted the ball 10 times for 78 yards and a TD, and Sigwarth carried it four times for 34 yards and a TD.
Wand went 3-for-6 through the air for 59 yards and three scores with Meyer catching two of his passes for 54 yards and two TDs.
Junior running back Jacob Wedig ran nine times for 20 yards and caught one pass for 12 yards to lead Belmont.
“On Friday night, our players had a chance to see how an experienced team operates. That game was another stepping stone for us to gain experience and we are just proud of the way that our guys kept playing until the final whistle,” said Belmont co-head coach Brandon Wiese. “Shullsburg is an exceptionally good team and they displayed that Friday night. We wish them the best of luck representing our conference in the playoffs.”
Defensively, sophomore Oren Charles registered nine tackles and a sack to lead the Miners, while seniors William Martin and Will Burgess tallied eight tackles apiece.
Lierman, Berendes and Zach Wiegel each had an interception for Shullsburg
J. Wedig and Jacob Amenda tallied seven tackles apiece for the Braves. Brady Wedig added five stops, while Dylan Runde and Ray Althaus each recorded four tackles.
The Miners will have a shot at earning a share of the Six Rivers Conference title when they head to Blanchardville’s McKellar Park on Friday, Oct. 14, to face the unbeaten and #4-ranked [in D6] Pecatonica/Argyle Vikings (8-0, 7-0) in a battle for the conference crown. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
“It is awful fun playing for the conference championship. Pec/Argyle is very good, but we are real excited to be in this game,” Matye stated.
Belmont is assured its first victory of the season this week since they will be receiving a forfeit from Cassville. The Braves close the regular season by hosting Ridge and Valley champion Ithaca (8-0) in a non-conference game at BHS on Friday, Oct. 14. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
“We plan to approach the game the same as we have all season, game-plan and try to put our players in the best position to succeed. Friday night is also our Senior Night, which is a time for us to show appreciation for our seniors who stepped up for us this year,” commented Wiese. “As a team, we get caught up in our record, but many of these seniors decided to come back out for football this year to allow us to have a varsity and a junior varsity football team and so we are grateful for them making that choice.”
Belmont…….. 0 0 0 0 – 0
Shullsburg…. 27 20 0 8 – 55
S – Joey Meyer, 48 pass from Noah Wand (run failed)
S – Nathan Wedige, 51 punt return (Hunter Matye kick)
S – Ben Sigwarth, 25 run (Matye kick)
S – Meyer, 6 pass from Wand (Matye kick)
S – Matye, 5 pass from Wand (Matye kick)
S – Lance Lierman, 49 run (Matye kick)
S – Lierman, 25 interception (kick failed)
S – Oscar Ortiz, 38 run (Nolan Strang pass from Jacob Berendes)
Team Stats: First Downs– B 4; S 14. Rushing– B 36-72; S 35-249. Passing– B 1-9-3, 12; S 6-10-0, 72. Fumbles-Lost– B 4-2; S 2-1. Penalties– B 4-25; S 2-15.
Leaders: Belmont– Rushing (Att-Yds-Td)– Jake Wedig, 9-20-0; Isaac Wiegel, 3-18-0; Connor Wiegel, 8-15-0. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Td-Yds)– Jacob Amenda, 1-8-2-0, 12. Receiving (Cat-Yds-Td)– Wedig, 1-12-0. Shullsburg– Rushing (Att-Yds-Td)– Lance Lierman, 9-131-1; Oscar Ortiz, 10-78-1; Ben Sigwarth, 4-34-1. Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Td-Yds)– Noah Wand, 3-6-0-3, 59; Jacob Berendes, 3-4-0-0, 13. Receiving (Cat-Yds-Td)– Joey Meyer, 2-54-2.