LANCASTER – On a wet and rainy night at Lancaster High School, it was Nic Wood’s time to shine; and shine he did.
In his first start at fullback, the 5’7”, 175-pound senior ran for 193 yards and six touchdowns in Lancaster’s 54-14 Southwest Wisconsin Conference opening win against Richland Center.
Wood carried the ball 14 times and scored on runs of 3, 4, 5, 11, 59 and 60 yards, and also caught one pass for 17 yards. On special teams, the human pinball also returned a kick for 49 yards, finishing with a total of 259 all-purpose yards.
Of course, anytime a running back has a big game, credit has to be given to the boys up front,
Mikhail Anderson, Will Uppena, Larry Moore Theron Schindler and Quienten Kreul opened up holes for Wood to run through, while downfield blocks by John Wagner, Tanner Reuter and Josh Hentrich allowed him open field at the second level.
Junior quarterback Drew Reuter also benefitted from nice blocks as well, scoring on a four-yard quarterback keeper early in the first quarter, and then on a one-yard plunge in the fourth as the back-up fullback to Wood.
“I think the offensive line did a nice job, but Nic has something that none of our other backs have,” said coach John Hoch. “He has a little more explosiveness and a little more power.”
“I think the O-line did a nice job of creating some seals and I think our quarterback felt a little more comfortable reading,” Hoch added. “When we do those things, our offense clicks a little better.”
In all, the Flying Arrows managed 247 yards rushing on 33 attempts for an average of 7.5 yards per attempt.
Following touchdowns by Reuter and Wood in the first quarter, Lancaster held a 14-0 lead going into the second, where Wood found the end zone three more times.
At the half, Lancaster held a 35-6 lead, and Wood opened it up in the third with two more scores.
The Hornets finished with the same amount of rushing attempts but were held to 107 yards for an average of 3.2 yards per attempt.
The Lancaster defense also stood strong Friday night, allowing just 139 total yards of offense and coming away with two turnovers.
Senior linebacker Joey Recker led the team in tackles with 7.5, while sophomore Garrett Birkett was in on six stops, junior Mac Mundy on 4.5 and junior Justin Allen and senior Dustin Reynolds each having four.
“We did some nice things defensively, and they got some yards at the end against our second stringers,” said Hoch. “What I liked was that our defense gave our offense great field position. We haven’t had that all year.”
Despite the wet weather, the Flying Arrows were also productive through the air, where Drew Reuter completed 3-of-7 passing attempts for 61 yards, including a long connection with Tanner Reuter to set up a score.
Sophomore quarterback Evan Straka completed his only pass attempt for an eight-yard gain to fellow sophomore John Wagner.
In all, the Flying Arrows had 316 yards of total offense on 41 plays, while Richland Center managed 140 total yards on 42 plays.
“It was a good win for us,” said Hoch. “It was just nice to have a weekend where you weren’t self-doubting some of the things that you’ve been doing.”
“Our kids played well. I know the competition wasn’t as tough, but we played well for the most part,” Hoch added.
On the injury front, a scary moment occurred in the second half when Lancaster senior Colton Argil was taken off the field on a stretcher. Reports after the game are that he suffered a concussion.
This Friday night, the Flying Arrows (1-0, 2-3) travel to unbeaten River Valley (1-0, 5-0), who escaped last week’s game against Dodgeville with a 21-17 victory.
It’s safe to say that the Blackhawks haven’t had as tough a non-conference schedule as the Flying Arrows, whose first four opponents have a combined record of 15-5 with Arcadia being 5-0 and Cuba City and G.E.T. both 4-1.
River Valley’s first four opponents have a combined record of 5-15, with Luther and Viroqua both being 0-5.
Richland Center 14
(from Friday, Sept. 18)
Richland Center 0 6 0 8 - 14
Lancaster 14 21 13 6 - 54
L - Drew Reuter, 4-yard run (Jack Schaffer kick)
L - Nic Wood, 59-yard run (Schaffer kick)
L - Wood, 3-yard run (Schaffer kick)
RC - Aaron Sanders, 20-yard pass from Noah Johnson (kick failed)
L - Wood, 4-yard run (Schaffer kick)
L - Wood, 11-yard run (Schaffer kick)
L - Wood, 5-yard run (kick failed)
L - Wood, 60-yard run (Schaffer kick)
L - Reuter, 1-yard run (kick failed)
RC - Johnson, 15-yard run (#12 kick)
First downs - RC 7, L 11. Rushing - RC 33-107, L 33-247. Passing yards - RC 33, L 69. Passes - RC 3-9-0, L 4-8-1. Fumbles-lost - RC 3-2, L 3-1. Penalties-yards - RC 8-55, L 5-45.
RC: Nathan Coleman 3-70, Carl Falk 7-37, Caleb Coleman 8-11, #9 12-(-11).
L: Nic Wood 14-193, Drew Reuter 6-33, Tanner Reuter 3-20.
RC: Noah Johnson 3-9-0, 33.
L: Drew Reuter 3-7-1, 61; Evan Straka 1-1-0, 8.
RC: Caleb Coleman 2-13, Aaron Sanders 1-20.
L: Tanner Reuter 2-44, Nic Wood 1-17, John Wagner 1-8.