Football: Early miscues hurt Hawks in loss to Phantoms

Shawano turns ball over twice in red zone
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

SHAWANO — Two early turnovers proved to be the turning point in the Shawano Community High School football team’s 42-0 home loss to West De Pere on Friday.

Getting off to a fast start against the reigning Bay Conference champions and last year’s Division 3 runner-up at state was something Shawano hoped to achieve. The Hawks looked to be on their way to doing just that after junior Gage Timm found sophomore Elliott Lowney for a 56-yard pass to set the hosts up inside the West De Pere 20 on the first drive of the game.

After the Phantoms stuffed a pair of runs, they picked off a pass on third down to end the promising drive.

Shawano’s defense also got off to a strong start, forcing a three-and-out. But on the ensuing punt, West De Pere forced a fumble, and three plays later, the visitors had a 7-0 lead.

“On the turnover in the red zone, we had a busted route and our guy was in the wrong spot and they intercepted it,” said Shawano coach Alan Tomow. “But when we turned it over in those two situations, on the punt and in the red zone, those were big…”

Lowney hauled in 35-yard pass from Timm on the second drive, but Shawano was eventually forced to punt.

West De Pere looked to be on their way to another scoring drive, but the Hawks recovered a fumble on a bad snap to end the drive.

The Hawks got a first down on the ensuing drive, but again had to punt. The Phantoms then marched 82 yards down the field to make it 14-0.

“It was just one thing after another and then things just kept tumbling and tumbling,” said Lowney of the momentum shifting after the two early turnovers.

The Phantoms capped the scoring in the first half with a 98-yard drive.

With the Hawks’ offense unable to sustain drives, their defense wore down in the second half. The Phantoms scored on their first two possessions of the third quarter to make it 35-0.

After being held in check for most of the game, Shawano senior Brayden Dickelman was able to bust free for a couple of long runs to get the Hawks onto the Phantoms side of the field about halfway through the third quarter. Lowney then hauled in a 24-yard pass to put the hosts inside the 10 for the first time.

West De Pere kept Shawano off the scoreboard by intercepting another pass. On the next play, the Phantoms rushed for a 41-yard touchdown to cap the scoring.

Despite what the scoreboard said, the Hawks took positives away from the game.

“Our confidence should be high after this,” said Timm. “We moved the ball pretty well. We had spurts in passing that we liked and then some in the running. I thought we did a good 50/50 (balance) like we wanted to this year. So we just have to keep that up.”

Shawano will hit the road Friday for a Bay clash with Waupaca.

West De Pere 7 14 21 0

Shawano 0 0 0 0

First quarter

WDP: David Vanderlogt 24-yard run (Sawyer Grovogel kick), 6:00

Second quarter

WDP: Sam Mommaerts 1-yard run (Grovogel kick), 7:26

WDP: Vanderlogt 12-yard run (Grovogel kick), 2:17

Third quarter

WDP: Josh Blount 25-yard run (Grovogel kick), 10:06

WDP: Blount 2-yard run (Grovogel kick), 8:10

WDP: Mommaerts 41-yard run (Grovogel kick), 2:05