Bonduel, Pulaski football teams clinch playoff berths

Shawano wins homecoming game
Dustin Riese

After slow starts, Bonduel and Pulaski football teams have clinched playoff berths.

On Oct. 5, Bonduel secured its spot with a 42-14 win over Peshtigo.

That 1-4 start by Bonduel seems like a distant memory as the Bears have turned their season around in a big way. The Bears knocked off the Bulldogs for their third straight win and clinched a spot in the 2023 high school playoffs. With the win, Bonduel is 4-4 on the season, but most importantly 4-2 in conference as they are guaranteed a winning conference season.

Wittenberg-Birnamwood 46, Shiocton 0

Coming off their first and lone loss of the season at the hands of Stratford the week earlier, the Chargers got back on track with a 46-0 victory over the Shiocton Chiefs. The win keeps the Chargers within one game of Stratford for the CWC-Large conference lead with one game remaining in their regular season.

Pulaski 46, Green Bay Southwest 14

Similar to Bonduel and its slow start to the season, the Pulaski Red Raiders have turned their season around and were within one win of clinching a spot in the 2023 playoffs. What better way to earn that spot than by taking down the Trojans of Green Bay Southwest in dominating fashion by a score of 46-14? It was all about the ground game as the duo of Spencer Hakes and Logan Schultz was too much for the Trojans to handle.

Hakes rushed for 94 yards on 10 carries with three first-half touchdowns while Schultz added 85 yards and two more scores to help Pulaski jump out to a 39-0 halftime lead.

Trevor Schuessler played a role in the early success for Pulaski, picking up an 11-yard TD run to open the scoring before hauling in an Ethan Schmidt pass later in the half. Both of the Southwest TDs came in the second half with Caleb Sprutles picking up a 59-yard TD run early in the third, while Jace Proski added an 8-yarder later in the game.

With the win, Pulaski improves to 4-4 on the season including 4-2 in conference play to once again earn a spot in the playoffs.

Oconto Falls 32, Crandon 20

When all is said and done, the 2023 season may go down as one of the best regular seasons in Panthers football history.

Already with a spot in the 2023 playoff field, the Panthers were just one way away from clinching at least a share of the Northwoods title and two wins away from claiming it outright. For that to happen, the Panthers would have to go through Crandon and Crivitz, but with their 32-20 win over Crandon, Oconto Falls has officially become the Northwoods conference champion for 2023.

With the score tied 6-6 in the second, Alex Haines took it upon himself to put the Panthers in front as his 49-yard touchdown gave the Panthers a 12-6 lead at the half. Haines continues to have a big year in the backfield as he added four more TDs to his total and 224 yards on just 23 carries.

Speaking of Haines, he put the team on his back during the second half as he scored not one, not two, but three more TDs. Oconto Falls would need all three of those as Crandon rallied to take a 20-18 lead midway through the third quarter before Haines scored the final two scores of the night. Oconto Falls rushed for 358 yards as a team with all five scores coming on the ground.

Tri-County 52, Marion/Tigerton 36

After a promising start to their season, things have gone south in a hurry for Marion/Tigerton as they have fallen to 0-3 in conference play, which officially eliminates them from playoff contention. That included their high-scoring affair with Tri-County on Friday where they fell by a score of 52-36.

Braxton Genskow continues to make this team go as he has now surpassed 1,400 yards of all-purpose offense this season. Along with that comes Parker Miller and his more than 700 yards of all-purpose offense as those two have shouldered a ton of the load this season on offense.

Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas 32, Gillett 0

Another week and another win for Lena/St. Thomas co-op team as they ran their season record to 7-0 and continue to lead the Peninsula Conference. This team has been on a mission since the beginning of the season, and it doesn’t appear that they will be stopped anytime soon.

As expected, it was the running game that got things going, but not at the same level as the past with Lena being held to 172 yards on 39 carries. They did manage to score three touchdowns, but it was Calvin Peters’ arm that made the difference as he tossed for 115 yards and an additional score.

For the first time this season, Peters had a difficult time establishing the run, but he isn’t the only one who knows how to carry the ball. That is where Logan Graef and Ty Shallow come in, as those two combined for all three rushing TDs while combining for 104 yards on 18 carries. Graef opened the scoring with a 4-yard TD run late in the first half while Max Peterson hauled in a 63-yard pass from Peters to end the first half and extended the Lena lead to 16-0 at the break.

As the second half got underway, it was the ground game that continued to make a difference with Shallow scoring from both eight and one yard out to cap off the scoring in the 32-0 win. Gillett was led by Jesse DeBauch and his 61 yards passing with Jackson Pecha picking up 39 yards rushing on 10 carries. Brandon DeBauch led all Gillett receivers with 44 yards on eight catches.

Wausaukee 50, Suring 0

With just one win this season, 2023 has been a challenging season for the Eagles and it only got worse Friday. Not only did Suring fail to score a point, but their defense surrendered 50 points in the loss to Wausaukee.

Montello 2, Menominee Indian 0

Montello earned a forfeit victory over Menominee Indian on Friday, which goes in the book as a 2-0 win for the Pioneers.

Shawano 34, New London 22

Although the Hawks may be out of the playoffs for 2023, they still had an opportunity to end the season on a positive note as they have a pair of winnable games remaining. That all started with their biggest rival in the New London Bulldogs, and it was the Hawks coming away victorious for their second win of the season 34-22 in Saturday’s homecoming game.

It was a close contest in the first half, with both teams scoring eight points in the first quarter and another 14 in the second quarter to make it 22-22 at the half.

New London’s scoring ended at that point, but the Hawks added six more in the third quarter and eight in the fourth for the 14-point win.

Jerzy Brocker led Shawano at quarterback, connecting on 10-of-20 for 200 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the ground game, picking up 147 yards on 20 carries, while Kaden Ewert had 102 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns.

Aiden Rasmussen pulled down 126 receiving yards on four catches. Alex Zierden also caught four passes for 71 yards, while Dylan Hodkiewicz caught two passes for three yards.

Shawano will close out its season Oct. 13 at Seymour.