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RHS: Football
Hodag Football OT 2011 - Week 6
By Adam Matyska | Published: 09/29/2011

     The RHS Football Team not only got a great defensive effort last Friday against Lakeland, they got a reason to believe that they can win going into this Friday's 77th playing of the Bell Game with Antigo. Our Adam Matyska breaks it down and contemplates the spelling of common sports terms in this week's Hodag Football OT (Zach Hext photo).

A win is a win is a win. The Hodags finally got off the “schnyde” (is that how you spell that? Am I even close? Well, you know what I mean) (Editor's Note: Sorry Adam, it's schneid. Word not found on Dictionary.com, but a quick Google search shows that to be the spelling) last Friday night, upending Lakeland 7-6. Let’s face it – it was ugly. Wet conditions helped the Hodags and Lakeland put the ball on the ground a total of 14 times. However, in the standings, it’s that much-needed, much sought after, hard-fought, defensive victory that the Hodags so desperately needed.

     We’ve mentioned it all season – the Hodags have been a better team than their record (and the scores) have indicated. They just hadn’t had that big turning point. That big play, that finish to a drive, that big score.

Now that have, and you can really, finally, see the guys starting to believe in their ability as individual players and as a team. So much of football is mental. Like I said, we’ve seen some flashes of ability this season several times, only to see things go south pretty quickly, when the heads start to hang, and at that point, you’re done.

The victory over Lakeland gives the Hodags a big boost of confidence going into a huge homecoming Bell Game matchup with Antigo, the 77th renewal of this classic. It won’t be easy. Antigo took last year’s contest, shaming the Hodags 41-0 on a rainy night at Schofield Stadium. This year, the game’s on home turf, and, just as they did last week, Rhinelander will be looking for revenge. It’s been a long time since the bell has been painted in Hodag green – the last victory over Antigo came in 2006. Antigo is 3-3 overall coming into the game, so they’re beatable.

This bell game is also homecoming, and boy has school spirit cranked up around the halls of RHS. Windows are painted in Hodag green and white. Doors are decorated. Students and staff have been participating in dress-up days. The weather washed out the spike volleyball game, but powderpuff was a huge success – a great game watched by a relatively full set of bleachers! Friday is the big pep rally, followed by the annual parade, and then the big tailgate party outside of Mike Webster stadium, bigger and better than ever!

The RHS student council, led by advisors Allie Johnson and Kay Coates, has really gone the extra mile in organizing the events of the week, plus the big dance on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Hodags have been working hard in practice, preparing for the big game. Expect a few new wrinkles and a mix of players and formations on the offensive side of the ball, much as we saw last week against Lakeland.

If they protect the ball, sustain drives, eliminate mistakes, and play stout defense, they’ll be able to break out the green paint once again.

Hope to see you all at the homecoming festivities and at the game!

As they say on Friday nights, “enjoy the game, and goooooooo HODAGS!”

Hodag Sports Library
09/30/2014 Unfinished Business - Hodags Win 14-7
09/27/2014 Hodags suffer 42-20 loss to Medford
09/20/2014 Letdown On Mutual Ground
09/13/2014 Game Slips Out of Hodag Hands
09/09/2014 Fan Bus For Friday's Football Game
09/06/2014 Blue Jays Fly Away with the Game 55-7
08/31/2014 Hodag Football ... Soggy and Unsettled
08/25/2014 2014 Football Outlook: New Coach, New Year
08/24/2014 Green with Envy
08/19/2014 Hodag Football final tune up

The Last Hoorah- Hodags lose to Mosinee 49-14 10/18/2014 It was a cold and windy night at Veterans Park in Mosinee as the Rhinelander Hodags were set to take on the GNC leading Indians.

The Hodags were quick to make their presence known with Jordan
Hard fought 24-21 Homecoming Loss Stings 10/11/2014 If you visited downtown Rhinelander recently, you may have noticed a large array of store windows painted green and white. This is one of the many signs that Hodag homecoming is underway. Since Monday
Ringing in the night- Hodags lose bell game 28-7 10/04/2014 It was a cold, wet, and windy night at Schofield Stadium in Antigo, with a wind chill of 25 degrees. It was senior night for the Antigo Red Robins, but much more was on the line in the October 3 match

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