By David Keech
August 30, 2014
Wisconsin Rapids — In a game that was postponed until Saturday, with Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln leading DC Everest 12 – 7, Rapids dominated in the second half and cruised to a 32-7 victory.
The Raiders jumped out to an early lead with just four minutes gone. Quarterback Jayson Wiernik’s pass to Tom Olson gave the Raiders first and goal from the one yard line, folllowed by Wiernik’s one yard plunge.
In a game filled with big plays from the Red Raiders, a one-two big play punch from both sides of the ball were the first of many Raider big plays. Isaac Bauer picked off a pass from Evergreen quarterback Darren Sanchez at the Lincoln 42 yard line. On the ensuing play, Wiernik galloped for a 58 yard touchdown, giving Rapids a 12-0 lead.
Wiernik was quick to compliment the offensive line for their work. “We have to give credit to the offensive line. They did a great job opening up holes for us.”
Everest responded before the half, as they methodically marched down the field, led by the running of Sanchez. The Everest quarterback connected with tight end Jarett Peterson from 8 yards out to cap off a drive that saw Sanchez star as a runner, and Rapids led 12-7.
Just a few minutes into halftime, lightning caused the game to be postponed. Per WIAA rules, the game was halted until no lightning strikes were visible for at least 30 minutes. The wait was ended, however, when shortly after 10:40, it was announced the game would be resumed Saturday at 11:30.
When play resumed on Saturday, at the start of the third quarter, Everest took the kickoff and looked to gain their first lead. That plan, however, was foiled by another pair of big plays. Linebacker Jesse Gallager recovered an Evergreen fumble at the Everest 45 with 10:43 remaining, and then the Raiders scored on a big play from three seniors. Wiernik pitched to Jared Halbur, who then pitched to the trailing Logan Boettcher, who escaped outside for a 55 yard yard touchdown run. When Wiernik connected to receiver Dylan Schudy for the two point conversion, the Raider lead was a more comfortable 20-7.
The quick start on Saturday was something the Rapids coaching staff had talked about with the players, coming back onto the field and being ready to play following the unusual postponement of play. Defensive coordinator Steve Hepp explained. “We talked before the game how important it was to get off to a fast start and to keep that emotion going.”
Boettcher set up another Raider score when he tore through the Evergreen defense on a 17 yard run to the one yard line, and Wiernik’s touchdown plunge ballooned the lead to 26-7. Wiernik led all rushers with 183 yards on 17 carries, and Boettcher added 144 yards on 11 carries.
Wiernik wasn’t done, however. With just under three minutes gone in the fourth, his 54 yard scamper put the game out of reach, capping off a superb second half by the Raiders on both sides of the ball.
Wiernik again gave credit to his teammates. “Logan Wimme and Logan Boettcher did a great job all game long, pounding out gains of 3 and 4 yards, and sooner or later, we knew we were going to get some long gains.”
The offensive display was something Everest may not have been prepared for, but it was the Raider defense that was stellar after surrendering a lead at Wausau East in week 1. Hepp was proud of the defensive performance. “We had a really good week of practice. We cleaned up some of the mistakes we made last week, and we looked alot better last night and today.”
Linebacker Jeremy Statz was around the ball all game long, and noted the Lincoln defense may be undersized, but the Raiders’ team speed enables them to make plays. “As an overall defense, we’re not the biggest in the conference, but we have great team speed. We are going to be undersized in games, but team speed is so important, and we have plenty of that.”
Wiernik’s 4 TD’s and 183 yards rushing netted the LHS quarterback a nomination as a CWS Top Performer in Week 2.
|Wisconsin Rapids Rushing||Attempts||Yds||TD|
|Wisconsin Rapids Passing||Attempts||Comp||Yds||TD|
|Wisconsin Rapids Receiving||Catches||Yds||TD|