Football: Shawano overpowers West, earns playoff spot

Dickelman breaks rushing record
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

SHAWANO — The Shawano Community High School football gave their seniors quite a treat on Friday. Not only did Shawano roll to a 42-7 Bay Conference victory over Green Bay West on senior night, but the win also made the team eligible for postseason play.

“It is a huge accomplishment for our team to become playoff eligible on senior night,” said senior Jagger Theis. “It means so much because we have grown so close as a team that I am proud to call every guy next to me family.”

The lopsided win pushed the Hawks’ conference record to 4-4, while moving the team’s overall record to 5-4.

Shawano was handed a No. 8 seed in Division 3, with a tough first-round matchup against top-seeded West De Pere, which is undefeated, won the Bay title and knocked off the Hawks 42-0 back in week one.

“The same is going to happen — stay focused, watch film and keep on practicing hard,” said senior Ethan Bolin before knowing the playoff opponent, on what it would take in the week of practice leading up to the playoff game to be prepared. “It doesn’t matter who we play. Everyone has a 0-0 record going to playoffs. Anything can happen.”

Knowing it needed a win to make the playoffs, Shawano started fast and dominated Green Bay West in the first half.

On the first offensive play of the game, senior Brayden Dickelman broke free for a 58-yard touchdown run to put Shawano ahead.

After the Hawks’ defense made a stop on fourth down, Dickelman carried the ball on each play of Shawano’s second drive before capping the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run.

Earlier in the drive, the senior eclipsed the school record for most rushing yards in a single season. Dickelman ended game with 1,326 yards, breaking Kory Hyvonen's mark of 1,255 rushing yards from 1994.

“It really means a lot,” said Dickelman of breaking the record. “I guess I could have had it a couple weeks ago, I’ve had some runs called back, but it means a lot more on senior night in front of all my family.”

Dickelman continued playing, but had his touches limited the rest of the contest. Instead, Shawano’s offense turned things over to junior quarterback Gage Timm and the passing game.

On the host’s third offensive possession, Timm connected with sophomore receiver Elliott Lowney three times and junior Kaleb Lowney once to move the ball down the field before Timm scored on a 2-yard run.

Despite West’s ability to move the chains a few times, Shawano’s defense always rose to the occasion to keep the visitors off the scoreboard.

After the Wildcats had moved the ball to midfield on the next drive, Shawano junior Nicholas Kohn registered a sack to push West into second-and-20. The visitors weren’t able to convert and had to punt the ball back to Shawano.

The first three plays of the ensuing drive — a pass from Timm to Elliott Lowney and runs from Dickelman and Kaleb Lowney ate up 49 yards to move the ball to the West 21-yard line.

After an incomplete pass, Timm raced into the end zone to make it 28-0.

West’s next drive was extended multiple times by fourth-down penalties by the Hawks, but Shawano forced back-to-back incompletions from the 7 to get the ball back with 1 minute, 39 seconds to go in the half.

It took Shawano just two plays and 41 seconds to move the ball 93 yards.

Dickelman busted free for a 48-yard run before Lowney scored on a 45-yard run.

The Wildcats only touchdown in the contest came on the first drive of the second half, but Shawano responded with another touchdown drive to seal the convincing win.

Kaleb Lowney did the heavy lifting on the drive, carrying the ball several times before punching the ball into the end zone from a yard out. It capped a strong day from the offense, which punted just once (on its final possession).

Shawano’s 5-4 overall record is a big improvement from a 2018 season that saw the team win just once.

“A lot of it is us working hard in the weight room and getting better as a team,” said Dickelman of the four-win improvement. “Some of the distractions we’ve had, we kind of just pushed them to the side. Last year, they got to us, but this year. we did a good job of playing hard, keeping our heads down and finishing games.”

“It’s special for our program and for our kids. To bounce back after the year we had last year where we were close in a lot of football games. To come out this year and be able to finish some of those close games and then to be able to qualify for the playoffs shows how far we’ve come as a program,” said Shawano coach Alan Tomow. “We’ve got some great kids that work hard, so it’s absolutely special to clinch (a playoff spot) on senior night.”

Green Bay West 0 0 7 0

Shawano 21 14 0 7

First quarter

S: Brayden Dickelman 58-yard run (Ethan Schwitzer kick), 11:43

S: Dickelman 4-yard run (Schwitzer kick), 6:36

S: Gage Timm 2-yard run (Schwitzer kick), 1:55

Second quarter

S: Timm 21-yard run (Schwitzer kick), 9:17

S: Kaleb Lowney 45-yard run (Schwitzer kick), 0:58

Third quarter

GBW: Damion Henrichs 34-yard pass from Jack Hemery (Andrew Hale kick), 8:05

Fourth quarter

S: Kaleb Lowney 1-yard run (Schwitzer kick), 9:40