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Beavers Sports

Beavers Fall in Opener

Varsity - 2009 Season
Posted Thursday, September 03, 2009 by Nick Zizzo



Beavers fall in opener

Nick Zizzo/Capital Newspapers

MONONA - Rain and lightning in the air caused a 1-hour, 40-minute weather delay that began moments after halftime began Friday night.

Thunder on the ground, before and after the break, caused another kind of natural electricity.

Those who hung around to the end of the non-conference, prep football season-opener - on wet, metal bleachers, nonetheless - were treated to smash-mouth running games by Monona Grove and Reedsburg.

And a nail-biter.

MG was able to sustain a final drive, chewing up the final 5:56 to preserve a 17-14 victory.

"We  just said, 'Hey, it's our time.' That's our saying in '09," MG quarterback Mike Percy said. "We just needed to buckle up the straps tight and just get it done because we knew what we needed to do."

Beau Goff's 36-yard field goal with 2:56 left in the third provided the final margin, but the Silver Eagles saw Reedsburg get to 17-14 when Ryan Matthews scampered in from 41 yards out just four plays after the field goal.

Both defenses held until MG got the ball back on its final series. And that came to be after MG returner Zach Zweifel was able to pounce on his own muffed punt at the Silver Eagles' 31-yard line.

"We moved the ball and moved the ball well, but we just weren't able to get it in the endzone. We bled them and bled them and bled them, but (Reedsburg) didn't give in," said MG coach Mike Stassi, whose team had four ball-carriers rush for more than 50 yards. Beaver coach Brian Pottinger said, "Defensively I thought we played pretty well overall. We gave up some rushing yards but they had to work for what they got. Our secondary did a nice job of coverage and didn't give up any big plays through the air."

MG moved the ball especially well in the first half, gaining 172 of their 300-plus rushing yards. After a 70-yard march - all the yardage came on the ground save for a 4-yard pass — ended on a missed 27-yard field goal on its first possession, MG answered after the Silver Eagles defense forced a three-and-out. Percy culminated the 53-yard drive by scoring on a 27-yard keeper with 10 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Silver Eagles, on their next series, took over on their 31 and scored six plays later. Ryan Roberts' 1-yard plunge came three plays after Goff's 31-yard burst to Reedsburg's 12.

Reedsburg, which made the WIAA Division 3 state football championship, got its powerful running game going behind quarterback Chad Mazur in the second quarter. The junior covered the entire 75-yard drive on six carries, and his 5-yard score brought the Beavers to 14-7 with 4 minutes, 40 seconds left in the game. "I give our offense credit for being patient and plugging away all night, but we need all eleven players to execute our adjustments better when teams show an usual scheme like we saw Friday," said Pottinger.

The Beavers almost tied the game one series later, but Matt Lennon's 75-yard punt return for a score was called back due to a penalty. Pottinger noted that, "All else being equal, if that TD counts we win. Also, the complexion of the game might be different too if Monona Grove is playing from behind. So yeah, that was a big play in the game."

"Sometimes I felt like we shot ourselves in the foot. We've got to clean those things up, but like I told my team, I think we're going to be fine," Pottinger said.

The Beavers will host their home opener Friday night when Fort Atkinson comes to Millennium Field for a Badger cross over game — and Reedsburg's annual cornfeast. The Blackhawks were hammered 41-0 in their opener against Waunakee last Friday, but return running back CJ Zimmerman who rushed for at least 160 yards four times last season and finished the season with 979 yards and a 6.1 yard per carry average. "We need to keep working on fundamentals, things like taking proper steps and angles," said the coach. "Also, at times we didn't give an all-out effort on every play so that will be addressed as well."

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.   


Monona Grove 17, Reedsburg 14


Reedsburg...........................................0    7   7    0 -  14

Monona Grove.....................................7    7    3   0 -  17


MG - Percy 27 yd run (Goff kick)

MG -  Roberts 2 yd run (Goff Kick)

Reedsburg - Mazur 5 yd run (Hayes kick)

MG - Goff fg

Reedsburg - Matthews 43 yd run (Hayes kick)



First downs - R 9, MG 21. Rushing (Att.-Yds.) - R 34-203, MG 50-305. Passing yards - R 0, MG 55. Passes (Comp.-Att.-Int.) - R 0-1-1, MG 8-13-0. Penalties-yards - R 8-65, MG 10-65.   


Rushing:  R - Mazur 14-96; MG - Roberts 20-89. Passing:  R- Mazur 0-1, 0; MG - Percy 8-12, 55. Receiving:  MG -   Zweifel 7-55

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