CUBA CITY — Before Thursday’s game, Platteville coach Scott Statz said Holmen would be a good test for his football team.
The results of the test? Well, be happy school hadn’t started yet.
The Hillmen mustered just 130 yards of total offense, eight first downs and one brief trip to the red zone in losing to the Vikings 27–0.
Platteville also committed three turnovers and 16 penalties. That all contributed to advantageous field position for the Vikings, whose longest scoring drive was just 41 yards.
“For the second week in a row we got off to a poor start; this needs to get fixed as momentum early can be a key component of each game,” said Hillmen head coach Scott Statz. “We did not take care of the football and gave Holmen three short fields. Good teams will take advantage of that and Holmen did.”
The misadventures began when the first punt of the game was downed at Platteville’s 3-yard line. The ensuing three-and-out and a facemask penalty at the end of the punt return put Holmen at the Platteville 36. On the second play, Kyle Koelbl got the handoff and went down the left-side sidelines for a 32-yard touchdown run. Camryn Zimmerman’s extra point gave Holmen a 7–0 lead with 6:31 left in the first quarter.
Less than three minutes later, Seth Wilson intercepted a Blake Wagner pass and returned it to the Platteville 25. The Vikings needed four plays plus a Hillmen personal foul to go up 14–0 on Mitchell Dienger’s two-yard run with 2:11 left in the first.
Things went from bad to worse on the ensuing series when another three-and-out was followed by a bad punt snap, which was recovered at the Platteville 7. Koelbl opened the second quarter with a 5-yard touchdown run to put Holmen up 20–0.
Holmen’s last score came following a deep punt return somewhat negated by an illegal block penalty, putting the ball at the Platteville 41. Seven plays later, Koelbl had his third touchdown run of the game, matching his number with a 21-yard run to put Holmen up 27–0 with 2:01 left in the third.
Platteville’s defense didn’t play that badly given the field position into which turnovers and special teams put the Hillmen. But what worked on offense against Darlington one week ago generally did not against the quicker Vikings. Platteville reached the red zone once, the 18-yard line on a fourth-down conversion attempt that failed.
The Hillmen also were called for seven holding penalties, giving them 12 in the first two games, part of their 27 total penalties through two games.
Platteville finished the game with just 90 yards rushing on 41 carries. Senior Jacob Bernhardt led the Hillmen with 49 yards on 18 attempts. Senior quarterback Blake Wagner completed just 4 of 13 passes for 40 yards and was intercepted twice.
“Our offense struggled all night due to Holmen’s team speed, our slow start, and a lack of being physical up front,” said Statz. “Also, when we had a chance to make a play we would have one or two breakdowns that were costly. We need to take much better care of the football; we need to value it. Going forward we need to learn from our mistakes. Our pre-snap communication on both sides of the ball needs to improve.
“Some of the positives were that it is still early, Holmen is a very proven Division 2 team, and we now have a chance to improve in many areas,” added Statz. “We will need to do that to reach our team goals. We will get better; it just needs to happen quickly.”
Platteville (1–1) will host Viroqua this Friday at Potosi High School. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Holmen 27, Platteville 0
(from Thursday, Aug. 28 @ Cuba City)
Holmen 14 6 7 0 — 27
Platteville 0 0 0 0 — 0
H: Kyle Koelbl 32 run (Zimmerman kick)
H: Mitchell Dienger 3 run (Zimmerman kick)
H: Koebl 5 run (kick failed)
H: Koelbl 17 run (Zimmerman kick)
First downs — H 12, P 8. Rushing — H 40-200, P 41-90. Passing Yards — H 5, P 40. Passing — H 3-11-1, P 4-13-2. Fumbles–lost — H 0-0, P 0-0. Penalties-yards — H 12-140, P 16-147.
Rushing — H: Kyle Koelbl 9-58; P: Jacob Bernhardt 18-49. Passing — H: Camryn Zimmerman 3-11-1, 5; P: Blake Wagner 4-13-2, 40. Receiving — H: Mitchell Dienger 1-9; P: Mitch Knockel 2-25.