The Rhinelander High School fooball team hosted their final home at Mike Webster Stadium against Ashland in a Great Northern Conference contest. The Oredockers earned a 28-6 win on the Rhinelander's homecoming game and senior night. Ashland advanced to 5-0 in the conference standings and 7-1 overall and clenched a share of the 2018 title.
It marked Rhinelander's seventh straight loss his season and they only have one contest left at Lakeland. The Hodags will look to break their conference losing streak Friday so they avoid their fourth winless GNC season in the past five years under head Coach Chris Ferge.
Ashland would score in the first three quarters including a opening kickoff touchdown from Justin Miller of 82 yards. The Oredockers would finish with 394 yards of offense compared to the Hodags 153 offensive yards. Ashland also had four players finish with 39 yards or more rushing on the night.
The field conditions were less then ideal and the muddy wet conditions would play a role throughout the night. Both teams combined for nine fumbles on the night. The Oredockers fumbled the ball five times but only lost possession once. While RHS committed four fumbles and lost the ball twice.
Justin Miller would give Ashland early momentum and would return the opening kickoff for an 82-yard touchdown with only 11 seconds off the clock. Quarterback Jordan Brennan would tack onto the Oredockers lead late in the first quarter and scored on a one-yard carry.
And after a Hodag turnover late in the second quarter, Ashland would take advantage and score in the final minute before the break. Billy Watland would score on a two-yard run to give the Oredockers a 22-0 lead at halftime.
Miller would score Ashland's final touchdown of the night midway through the third quarter to put them ahead 28-0. Miller finished the night with 61 yards on 12 carries. Watland led the Oredockers with 100 yards rushing on 11 carries. While Zach Cofland recorded 85 yards (13 carries) and Jordan Brennan added 39 yards (8 carries).
Junior Drake Martin proved to be Rhinelander's top offensive threat of the night and finished with 122 rushing yards on 22 carries including their only touchdown. With under two minutes left in the contest Martin broke loss after a block from Trevor Knapp to score on a 45-yard run. It also marked Martin's second straight year reaching the 1,000 yard milestone.
Sophomore Quinn Lamers went 4-10 passing for 53 yards after going in for senior Brock Lieder at quarterback midway through the first quarter. Lieder moved to wide receiver and still played defense after the move. And Lamers finished with two interceptions. Junior Peyton Erikson had to two catches for 45 yards and Lieder added one reception for 14 yards
Rhinelander also honored their 10 seniors in their final home game and included Lieder, Sam Tjugum, Josh Francisco, Isaiah Piosalan, Isaac Ratliff, Anthony Kowalski, Brandon Cox, Jeremiah Bellow, Grant LaBrasca, and Freddy Wisner.
The Hodags will close out their 2018 season on Friday night when they travel to Minocqua to face Lakeland in the Northwoods Axe Game. Rhinelander won the Axe last year with a 49-34 victory and are looking to end the season on a high note and break their conference losing streak.