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Hodags Chop Down Lumberjacks 31-13
By Mark LaCrosse - Posted on 09/14/2019
Photo By Mark LaCrosse
Hodags Chop Down Lumberjacks 31-13

     In a clash between two unbeaten teams, the Rhinelander Hodags football team applied a stout run defense and powerful running game to down Wausau East in a non-conference game Friday night. Both teams entered the contest with a 3-0 record. Wausau East's last three win start was in 2004 and Rhinelander's last three win start was in 1974. Both teams entered the contest employing a "pound the ball on the ground"mentality. The game was a matchup between Lumberjack senior running back Donovan Leverette, and Hodag senior running back Drake Martin. Martin won the battle hands down - game over.
     The first quarter began with Rhinelander electing to kick to Wausau East. After three plays the Lumberjacks were forced to punt the ball. A short punt and 39 yards later, Drake Martin caught a Quinn Lamers 14 yard pass to the end zone for a Hodag 6-0 lead. Wausau East's second possession resulted in a turnover on downs and a Drake Martin 6 yard touchdown run to increase the Hodag's lead to 12-0. The Lumberjacks next possession resulted in an interception by senior defensive back Max Spaulding. The Hodags were not able to put together a cohesive drive and turned the ball over on downs. Wausau East then gave the ball to Donovan Leverette who ran the ball 9 yards to the end zone for six points. The Hodag's lead had now dwindled to 12-7. Rhinelander answered with another Drake Martin touchdown to end the first half with an 18-7 lead.
     The second half began with a Drake Martin 11 yard touchdown run to keep Rhinelander on top 25-7. Two possessions later, Wausau East's junior quarterback Matt Heinrich scored a touchdown on a one yard quarterback sneak. The Lumberjacks missed on the extra point attempt and the score was now 25-13. Rhinelander responded with another touchdown. Drake Martin ran the ball 4 yards to cap off the score at 31-13.
     Rhinelander offensively outgained Wausau East 327 to 222 yards. Drake Martin finished the game with 23 carries and two receptions, 176 yards and five touchdowns. Peyton Erickson quietly ran for 103 yards on only six carries. Quinn Lamers was 2 for 4 for a total of 36 yards passing.
     Wausau East's Matt Heinrich was 1 for 6 passing for a total of 18 yards and an interception, 84 yards rushing and a one-yard touchdown run. Running back Donovan Leverette who was averaging over 252 yards per game and 11 yards per carry, had 22 carries for 94 yards total.
     Although the Hodags are 4-0, they are just 1-0 in conference play and will face their toughest opponent next Friday against the Medford Red Raiders at Medford. There are four unbeaten teams in the Great Northern conference as of today. Rhinelander, Antigo, Medford,and Mosinee.
Hodags Battle Mosinee to 1-1 Tie
By Mark LaCrosse - Posted on 09/13/2019
Photo By Mark LaCrosse
     On a rain soaked and windy Mike Webster Stadium field, the Rhinelander Hodag soccer team battled the Mosinee Indians to a 1-1 tie Thursday evening. The match was originally scheduled to be played at Edgewood Park in Mosinee, but was moved to Mike Webster Stadium due to poor field conditions in Mosinee.
     The Hodags were hoping to take advantage of the home field, but Mosinee struck early just 1 min. and 26 seconds into the contest. Mosinee senior Duarte Pedro caught a long pass from the midfield and scored on a shot that went from left to right past Rhinelander goalkeeper Gavin Osterman. The next 15 min. of the first half, both teams struggled to possess the ball and create solid scoring opportunities. The wet turf and strong winds hampered any attempts to create any quick strike offense.
     At the 20 min. 49 second mark, freshman Braden Mork was able to steal the ball at midfield and send it ahead to junior Hugh Wiese. Wiese delivered a low shot that was bobbled by the Mosinee keeper and found the back of the net. After the tying goal was scored the Hodags built some offensive momentum.
     After the end of the first half the score was tied at 1-1. During the halftime thunderstorms and heavy rain moved into the area and forced the game officials to suspend the game. According to WIAA rules the officials have the power to rule the game over, or schedule a replay. The officiating crew decided to end the game as a tie.
     " I was really frustrated that we couldn't continue the game as we were really beginning to surge offensively towards the end of the first half" said Rhinelander head coach Nathan Bates.
The Hodags soccer team will play Shawano on Monday and then will return home for a game against Antigo on Thursday.
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