On paper, it appeared that the Union Grove High School football team would have its hands full with Elkhorn Friday night in the teams’ Southern Lakes Conference game at Union Grove.
The Elks were coming off a 535-yard team rushing performance the previous week during a victory over Westosha Central. And in the first week of the season, Elkhorn was a two-point conversion away from beating SLC power Waterford.
The advantage was only on paper, though. The Broncos used a solid game plan, and a huge night from senior running back Nick Williams, to stifle the Elks 34-6 on homecoming.
After not playing its first game of the season, against Wilmot, because of positive COVID-19 tests at Wilmot, Union Grove (2-0) has been solid. The Broncos beat Lake Geneva Badger 27-21 last week and outdid themselves this week against the much-improved Elks (1-2), who totaled 87 points in their first two games.
Union Grove coach Craig McClelland credited his assistant coaches with setting the right tone during practice this week.
“We prepped our defense and our coaches did an amazing job selling it,” McClelland said. “The kids bought into it, and it showed.”
The game was scoreless in the first quarter, but the Broncos offense got going in the second period. Williams began his big night — he ran for 223 yards on 24 carries, a 9.3-yard average per carry — with an inauspicious 1-yard touchdown run.
They added two more scores before halftime on touchdown passes of 22 yards to senior receiver Ryan Davis and 3 yards to junior tight end Luke Kokat from senior quarterback Nash Wolf, and led 20-0 at halftime.
Defensively, the linebacker quartet of juniors Gianni Scacco, Garrett Foldy, Jax Schiro and Parker Griffith, along with strong play by senior defensive end Trae Ford, kept Elkhorn’s Wing-T running game in check.
“Across the board, the defensive line was eating up double teams,” McClelland said. “The Wing-T is tough to defend, but we did a good job (filling the gaps).
“They got a couple big plays, but did not get to the edge much. We bottled them up inside.”
In what turned out to be the Elks’ only real highlight, Jake Rockweiler had a 43-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter following a Union Grove punt. The conversion failed and it was 20-6.
After that, it was all Broncos. The rest of the third quarter was scoreless, but McClelland said the momentum turned totally Union Grove’s way later in the period after Elkhorn quarterback Charles Hall fumbled and the Broncos recovered.
Williams turned it on in the fourth quarter, completing a three-touchdown night with scoring runs of 40 and 3 yards.
“Nick is a really patient runner,” McClelland said. “He is also able to put his foot in the ground and go north and south, and that’s a good combination to have. He’s a solid kid (5-foot-11, 184 pounds) and he can’t be brought down with arm tackles.”
Wolf went 9 of 14 for 113 yards and two scores. Davis caught four passes for 60 yards and Williams and Cody Cotton combined to catch four passes for 50 yards.
Defensively, Ford had six tackles and four assists, Foldy had four tackles, three assists, a sack and a tackle for loss, and Scacco had three tackles and five assists.
RACINE LUTHERAN 35, KENOSHA ST. JOSEPH 6: The Crusaders used a dominant performance in the trenches on both sides of the ball to beat the Lancers in a Midwest Classic Conference game Friday at Paddock Lake.
Lutheran (3-0 MCC) had 208 yards on the ground and got out to a quick start in the first half with rushing touchdowns from Terrence Suggs and Isaiah Folsom. The Crusaders pulled away in the third quarter behind three Nolan Kraus touchdowns.
Kraus scored his first touchdown on a 20-yard run and followed that up with an 8-yard touchdown carry. Later, Kraus caught a 27 yard pass from quarterback Camdin Jansen to put Lutheran up 35-0 heading into the final quarter.
“They have a good quarterback and we kept them off the field with our running game,” Lutheran coach Scott Smith said.
Defensively, the Crusaders did a good job of flying to the ball, Smith said, which limited the Lancers to 121 total yards of offense, with only 24 on the ground. St. Joseph didn’t score until four seconds left in the game.
Folsom and Kraus led the way for Lutheran on the ground with 95 and 79 yards, respectively. Suggs ran for 37 yards and Jansen threw for 30 yards.
CATHOLIC CENTRAL 36, SAINT FRANCIS 10: The Hilltoppers got their first victory of the season, with Max Robson accounting for three touchdowns, in a Midwest Classic Conference game Friday at Burlington.
Catholic Central (1-2 MCC) had a strong start, beginning with a goal-line touchdown run from Neal McCourt in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Robson threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Cal Miles to put the Hilltoppers up 14-0. After a Mariners field goal, Robson extended Catholic Central’s lead with a 12-yard touchdown to put the team up 21-3 at halftime.
“We were able to put together a few drives in the first half that really set the tone,” Catholic Central coach Tom Aldrich said.
In the second half, Robson scored his third touchdown on a 26-yard run to all but put the game out of reach. The Hilltoppers were able to run out the clock with a dominant rushing attack. Catholic Central gained 228 yards on the ground (6.3 yards per carry).
“I thought we did a great job of getting off the ball,” Aldrich said. “Our backs run hard and they carried out their fakes.”
On the defensive side, the Hilltoppers kept Saint Francis one-dimensional by holding it to just 27 yards rushing. The Mariners had just seven first downs.
“We beat them up front,” Aldrich said. “I thought we were very physical.”
To go along with his 74 rushing yards, Robson had 107 yards passing on 17.8 yards per attempt. Reid Muellenbach led the Hilltoppers in rushing with 105 yards Neal McCourt had a team-high 68 receiving yards.
MARTIN LUTHER 41, ST. CATHERINE’S 16: The Angels had nearly 300 yards rushing, but also had four turnovers in a Metro Classic Conference game at Greendale.
St. Catherine’s (1-2 MCC) scored midway through the first quarter on a 5-yard run by Demarion Cobb and a two-point conversion by quarterback John Perugini for an 8-0 lead.
After that, the Spartans (2-1) took the lead for good by scoring two touchdowns in a nine-second span. After quarterback Brady Hoppert scored on a 38-yard run, a turnover gave Martin Luther the ball back and Fred Guydon scored on a 1-yard run.
The Angels buckled down and kept the game scoreless until the Spartans scored on a 43-yard touchdown pass with 1:14 left in the half for a 21-8 lead.
The teams traded scores in the third quarter, with Hoppert throwing a 34-yard touchdown pass for Martin Luther and Cobb scoring on a 5-yard run and adding the conversion for a 28-16 Spartans lead.
Martin Luther put the game away in the fourth, with Sylvere Campbell returning an interception 80 yards for a score and later scoring on an 8-yard TD pass.
St. Catherine’s coach Dan Miller was disappointed in the loss, but not with the effort.
“I was really happy we continued to fight,” Miller said. “We continue to play Angel Strong football and I was happy the boys came together and played for four quarters.
“Martin Luther has a good team and they got the better of us today.”
Cobb finished with 85 yards on 20 carries, with Jameer Barker adding 65 yards and Perugini 61 on the ground.
“Demarion continues to run hard and Barker made some big plays on offense and was also locked up with their best receiver (on defense),” Miller said.
Martin Luther had 402 total yards, with Hoppert going 14 for 28 for 199 yards and three touchdowns through the air and adding 63 on the ground.
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