The Rhinelander High School football team's three-game winning streak was snapped on Friday night when they fell 14-7 to Tomahawk at Mike Webster Stadium. The Hodags started strong but the Hatchets would take control in the second half. RHS scored in the first three minutes of the contest before giving up a Tomahawk touchdown early in the second quarter. The Hatchets would score the game winning several minutes into the second half and held on to earn the non-conference win.
Rhinelander was looking to tack on their fourth straight win and were on the right track early in the contest. Senior quarterback Brock Lieder opened the scoring for the Hodags' on a 25-yard run on their first possession of the night only 2:17 into the game. RHS then would then force Tomahawk to punt on their first two drives of the night, but from there momentum began to swing to the Hatchets.
On a Tomahawk punt, Peyton Erikson fumbled the ball near midfield and the Hatchets were there to make the recovery. Tomahawk did not score on that possession but would use a 51-yard run from Max Bembinster to move into the red zone. Five plays later Cody Scholz scored on a one-yard run. The Hatchets missed the extra point, as Rhinelander still held a 7-6 advantage.
The Hodags' offense was unable to score after that, and was plagued by several penalties on the night. Both teams were penalized seven times for 65-yards on the night. Rhinelander had three personal fouls against them as well. One of the personal fouls gave the Hatchets a free first down in their own territory and another would eliminate a first-and-long (20 yards) situation. RHS also was called for a few procedure penalties as well.
Bembinster would score in what proved to be the game-winning touchdown later in the third quarter. The drive would be 17-plays long and would take up over nine minutes in the second-half. The Hatchets were up 14-7 after converting the two-point conversion. Although Tomahawk did not tack on anymore points they control possession and would have the ball for a majority of the remaining two quarters.
The Hatchets got the ball back and would take another seven minutes off the clock but turned the ball over on downs in the Hodags' red zone. RHS got the ball back on their 13-yard line with just over six minutes to play. The Hodags had a pair of 27-yard throws from Lieder to Conner Lund to get into the red zone but were unable to convert on a fourth-and-10 from the 13 with 1:24 left in the game. With no timeouts left, the Hatchets were able to take a knee and ran the clock out.
Bembinster led Tomahawk with 163 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. While Rhinelander was held to 190 yards on the night while the Hatchets finishes with 239 total yards in which all but six-yards were rushing. Lieder had 65 yards passing and one interception and went 6 of 19 passing. Lund had to receptions for 54 yards. Offensively Martin was held to only 49 yards on 18 carries but the led the defense with eight tackles on the night. Trevor Knapp added six tackles as well.
Rhinelander are now 1-1 overall and will travel to Thom Field to face Wausau West on Thursday night. The Lumberjacks are 0-2 to start the season.