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Beavers Sports

Reedsburg Leaves Madison Edgewood behind with second-half run

Varsity - 2008 Season
Posted Sunday, November 09, 2008 by Bill Cooney
SUN., NOV 9, 2008 - 8:05 AM
WIAA football playoffs: Reedsburg leaves Madison Edgewood behind with second-half run

MIDDLETON — By the time Justin Huinker had surpassed 300 yards rushing Saturday night, his eyes were picking up more than dump truck-size holes to run through.

He could see fear.

"You can see it," the Reedsburg senior fullback said after his team scored touchdowns on all five of its second-half possessions in a 34-3 victory over Madison Edgewood in a WIAA Division 3 state quarterfinal football game.

"You look up, you look at those linebackers and they're kind of playing on their heels and not attacking as hard as they were. You can definitely see it."

Huinker scored three touchdowns and ran for 224 of his season-high 337 yards in the second half at Otto Breitenbach Stadium, putting the Beavers (9-3) into the state semifinals for the first time.

Reedsburg will face Wisconsin Lutheran next weekend for a berth in the state final.

"It means everything," said third-year Reedsburg coach Brian Pottinger, who has seen his veer option offense develop into a near-unstoppable force behind an average-sized, but quick offensive line, speedy running backs and 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior quarterback Tyler Mazur.

"I'm extremely happy for the kids. They're the ones that worked hard to get here. All the hours in the weight room in the summer. I'm just happy for them. It's an amazing group."

But in order to knock off the Crusaders (7-5) for the second time this season, Reedsburg had to overcome a 3-0 halftime deficit.

With just less than 3 minutes left before the break, Huinker busted loose for a 43-yard run only to get stripped on the way down by Edgewood's Connor Cosgrove.

Crusaders linebacker Scott Ransom recovered the loose ball and Edgewood marched down to the 2-yard line behind the running of junior back Mike Eshun (74 yards rushing) and senior quarterback Mario Minnaert.

With 8 seconds left, a false start penalty backed Edgewood up to the 7. Minnaert then missed an open Joe Curtin on a slant route, and the Crusaders settled for Minnaert's 24-yard field goal.

"That was huge," Pottinger said of holding the Crusaders to three points. "Just a big boost to us. A big boost of morale going into halftime."

Reedsburg came out with a different edge in the third quarter, taking a 7-3 lead via an opening four-play, 59-yard drive capped by Mazur's 9-yard score.

After forcing an Edgewood punt, the Beavers — who didn't attempt a pass in the game — capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive with Huinker's 31-yard TD scamper.

After a three-and-out by Edgewood, the Beavers pounded their way down the field again, behind a dominating line — one led by senior center Zach "Moose" Downing — and scored on a Huinker
1-yard plunge to cap a 20-point third quarter.

"They had gashed us a little bit (in the first half) — we were able to keep it away from them a little — but in the second half we weren't able to do that," Edgewood coach Al Minnaert said. "They're a good all-around football team. ... They just keep coming at you and keep coming at you."

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