Witt-Birn wins football season opener

Wittenberg-Birnamwood 56, Antigo 7

It has been a long time since the Chargers had a week one performance like last week, but after rolling Antigo 56-7 to open up their 2023 season, you have to wonder how good this team can be.

The Chargers scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and another three in the second quarter to lead 42-0 at the half. Wittenberg-Birnamwwood scored another TD in each of the third and fourth quarters, while the Red Robins’ only score came in the fourth quarter.

Nathan Waupekenay completed 10 of 16 for 213 yards and three touchdowns for the Chargers. Braeden Groshek led with 80 yards on the ground on nine carries. Marshall Fraaza caught five balls for 125 yards.

Already up by six touchdowns, Wittenberg-Birnamwood’s Bryson Schmid opened the second half with an 84-yard kickoff return for another score.

Notre Dame 35, Pulaski 14

No one said opening the season would be easy, but the Pulaski Raiders had an entirely different meaning to that as they took on Division 2 powerhouse the Notre Dame Tritons to open up their 2023 season.

Despite a rushing attack that put up better than 130 yards on the ground, the Tritons proved to be too much as a massive first and fourth quarter proved to be too much for the Raiders to handle.

The big problem for Pulaski was trying to contain running back Christian Collins, who rushed for 231 yards on just 13 carries with three scores. Two of those scores came in the first quarter as he raced in from 88 yards to give Notre Dame a 7-0 before adding a second TD run from 55 yards to put the Tritons in front for good 14-0.

Pulaski answered with a touchdown midway through the second quarter when Logan Shultz plowed in from six yards out to make things 14-7 at the half. Shultz led the ground attack for Pulaski as he finished with a team high 47 yards rushing on nine carries with one score.

As the second half got underway, it was the rushing attack from Notre Dame that continued to do the heavy lifting as Pulaski simply had no answers. Collins picked up his third TD of the nigh from five yards to make things 21-7 before Ian Blom added a touchdown minutes into the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 28-7.

Like in the second quarter, Pulaski wouldn’t go away quietly as Ethan Schmidt rushed in from five yards to pull the Raiders to within 28-14 before Blom capped off the scoring with the Tritons’ fifth and final TD en route to a 35-14 season opening win.