Football: Shawano overpowers Seymour for Bay win

Hawks take advantage of Thunder mistakes
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

SHAWANO — The Shawano Community High School football team moved a step closer to locking up a postseason spot with a convincing 36-7 Bay Conference win over Seymour on Saturday.

The homecoming game win moved Shawano to 3-2 on the season, meaning the team must win one of its three remaining conference games to snag a spot in the playoffs.

Shawano’s offense took advantage of several Seymour miscues to pull away. Senior Brayden Dickelman finished with three rushing touchdowns to power the Hawks, while junior Gage Timm rushed for a score and also connected on a long touchdown pass with sophomore Elliott Lowney.

The Hawks’ defense honed in on Seymour’s running game, and aside from one touchdown drive near the end of the first half, made life miserable for the visiting Thunder. Senior Ben Carroll recorded a tackle for loss that resulted in a safety, while sophomore Andrew Popp made a couple of big plays to swing the game in Shawano’s favor.

“Seymour is a team that we have a ton of respect for,” said Shawano coach Al Tomow. “We respect their tradition and how well coached they are and how tough they compete every single year. That’s kind of the model of stability that we wanted to be, so to come in and beat these guys as convincingly as we did shows how hard our kids have worked and hopefully how far our program has come.”

The game got off to a wild start, as Timm hit Lowney for a long pass on the first play of the game to put the Hawks’ inside the Thunder 15-yard line. But Seymour’s defense held up, forcing a third-down incompletion that made Shawano settle for a field goal, which the visitors blocked. Seymour tried to recover the loose ball, and after failing to pick it up cleanly, Lowney fell on top of the ball to give Shawano new life.

Two plays later, Timm scored on a run to put Shawano up.

Both teams settled in, and the first quarter ended with the teams trading several punts.

The Hawks found their rhythm on their first drive of the second quarter despite several penalties along the way. Shawano was also helped out when Seymour was flagged for a late hit after making a stop on fourth down.

After a holding call pushed the ball back to the Seymour 15, Timm hit senior Chase Huntington with a pass to put the Hawks at the 2-yard line. Dickelman scored on the next play.

After Shawano’s defense forced a three-and-out, the snap went over the punter’s head, and Popp fell on top of the loose ball at the Seymour 5-yard line. Dickelman powered his way into the end zone on the next play.

“We lost two of our best offensive linemen coming into this game so we were a little wary, but I had all the faith in the world in those guys and I’m really happy we got things done in the red zone with those guys,” said Dickelman. “We just came out and took care of business, took advantage of Seymour’s mistakes and I’m really proud of the team today.”

On the ensuing drive, Seymour started to get things rolling a bit, but Popp came up with a big tackle for loss on a fourth-and-one play to snuff out the scoring threat.

A penalty put the Hawks in a tough position on the next drive and they were eventually forced to punt. Seymour got a big return, and two plays later scored its lone touchdown.

The Hawks’ defense bounced back in the second half, forcing a pair of punts, stopping a pair of fourth-down attempts and getting a safety on the tackle for loss by Carroll.

“The reason we are in the position we are (for the season) is because of the improvement of our defense, especially against the run” said Tomow. “Those guys brought it today. We had a great gameplan (stopping Seymour’s running game) by our defensive staff and the kids bought in. We knew if we could get them in pass mode that things were going to favor us.”

After the Hawks’ defense stuffed Seymour on fourth down, the offense took advantage of strong starting field position. Timm picked up a big third-down attempt with his legs before hitting Lowney to get the team inside the 10. Dickelman scored his third rushing touchdown to cap the drive.

While Shawano’s next offensive possession ended in a punt, Timm’s punt pinned Seymour at its own 1-yard line. On the next play, Carroll made a great defensive play to get the safety and give the ball back to the offense.

On third-and-11, Timm threw a perfect pass up to right sideline to Lowney, who made the grab and scored the game’s final points.

“Yeah, that’s really big,” said Timm of the offense taking advantage of the great positions the defense set them up in. “Especially when the defense creates turnovers for us and we can score right away on that drive. Those are big momentum shifters.”

The quarterback was thrilled with the balance the Hawks had on offense again, with he and Dickelman leading the ground game and setting up some long passes to Lowney. Timm said he is still confused as to how team’s have tried to defend Lowney this season.

“I don’t know why they haven’t double-covered our man yet,” said Timm with a chuckle.

After Shawano’s defense stopped a fourth-down attempt inside their own 10, the offense was able to run out the clock to seal the victory.

Shawano can lock up a postseason spot next Friday, but will have to knock off Xavier on the road to do so. Last year, Xavier handed Shawano a 41-28 homecoming loss.

Seymour 0 7 0 0

Shawano 7 14 6 9

First quarter

Sh: Gage Timm 5-yard run (Ethan Schwitzer kick), 9:49

Second quarter

Sh: Brayden Dickelman 2-yard run (Schwitzer kick), 6:00

Sh: Dickelman 5-yard run (Schwitzer kick), 4:53

Se: Samuel Palubicki 19-yard pass from Peyton VanDeHei (Joshua Molle kick), 0:43

Third quarter

Sh: Dickelman 5-yard run (kick blocked), 2:27

Fourth quarter

Sh: Safety, 9:17

Sh: Elliott Lowney 45-yard pass from Timm (Schwitzer kick), 7:37