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Beavers Sports

Eagle Finally Meet Their Playoff Match

Varsity - 2009 Season
Posted Sunday, November 08, 2009 by Jeff Seisser
 11/8/2009 11:16:00 AM Email this article • Print this article 

LEAN ON ME — Jefferson seniors Tyler Tomczak and Lucas Smillie console one another following the Eagles’ 27-14 loss to Reedsburg in Saturday’s WIAA Division 3 quarterfinals. Jefferson had its second-highest win in program history total going 10-2. — Daily Union photo by Jeff Seisser.

Eagles finally meet their playoff match

Bigger, faster, stronger Reedsburg wins 27-14

 

By Jeff Seisser

Union sports editor

 

JEFFERSON - The Jefferson High School football team knew after its opening drive in the Saturday's WIAA Division 3 Level 3 playoff game it was going to be a tough night against Reedsburg.

 

After gaining 9 yards on the first play from scrimmage, the defending State runner-up Beavers (9-3) flexed their muscles by not allowing the Eagles another yard forcing them to punt on their first series.

 

"We were scrambling right there," said Jefferson coach Steve Gee.

 

 

 

It would only be the beginning of what turned into a season-ending 27-14 loss in one of the more storied years in Jefferson football history, one that saw the Eagles (10-2) finish as the second-winningest program.

 

"I was impressed with their team's strength and speed and how well they execute. When you have those three things, the result is obvious," said Gee of the Beavers, who held the Eagles to a season-low 211 rushing yards. "I was very impressed."

 

The Beavers did their homework holding Linse to 40 yards on 15 carries, well below the senior's 148 yards/game average.

 

"They play their techniques very well and their coaches put together a great game plan," said Linse. "We didn't have an answer for it."

 

"Thirty (Reedsburg linebacker Shane Rockweiler) stayed right on Pete and did a good job of jamming up our running lanes," said Gee of the Beavers' only two-way player.

 

After the Beavers stopped Jefferson on its first series, they put points on the Jefferson Athletic Field scoreboard on their initial possession as quarterback Chad Mazur got loose for a 48-yard touchdown. The quick four-play, 60-yard drive gave Reedsburg a 7-0 lead just 3 minutes, 39 seconds into the game.

 

The two teams traded possessions before Reedsburg struck again with a 17-play drive, which began in the first quarter and ended 4:44 into the second that was finalized by a 1-yard Ryan Matthews run. Michael Hayes' extra-point kick gave the Beavers a 14-0 advantage with 7:16 to go in the first half.

 

Reedsburg was driving again just before halftime, but Jefferson came up with a big play forcing a turnover.

 

After Mazur completed a 23-yard pass to Matt Lennon, Eagle senior linebacker Lucas Tabor hit Lennon right between the numbers jarring the football loose. Junior linebacker Matt Vogel fell on it at the Jefferson 19-yard line with 2:06 remaining.

 

"I was a little disappointed with how we lost our heads a little bit in the first half, and that was the first part of what we talked about at halftime," said Gee, referring to two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties issued to his team. "The second part was how we still had a half of football left."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reedsburg took the opening kickoff and drove right down the field, and the Eagles were in jeopardy of going down three scores when Mazur completed a fourth-and-11 pass to Rockweiler at the 1-yard line.

 

On the very next play, however, Lennon went airborne and was met by a wall of Jefferson players that forced a fumble, which was recovered by senior Tom Scherer at the 2.

 

The Eagles then proceeded to make their most significant dent in Reedsburg's armor driving into Beaver territory for only the second time all night.

 

But that momentum faded moments later when on first-and-10 from the Reedsburg 41, Eagle senior quarterback Lucas Smillie threw into double coverage intending a pass for Tyler Tomczak, only to have it intercepted by the Beavers' Grant Rudolph at the 5-yard line.

 

"It seemed every time we got a big play or a turnover, we were just not in good enough field position or something went wrong," said Linse. "It just wasn't our night."

 

Four plays later, Lennon exploded off of the right tackle and raced 75 yards to paydirt giving Reedsburg a 21-0 advantage, all but sealing the Eagles' fate.

 

Jefferson ended the Beavers' shutout bid as Vogel scored on a 16-yard run in the fourth quarter, bringing the score to 21-7 with 8:07 left.

 

Reedsburg answered less than 3 minutes later as Lennon raced in from 25 yards giving the Beavers another three-score lead, 27-7.

 

Lennon finished with 217 yards on 13 carries, while Mazur added 102 as the Beavers rushed for 404 yards, the most given up by an Eagle defense that was holding team to less than 80 yards per game.

 

Linse added a 3-yard TD run in the game's final minute, his team-high 21st of the season and ninth of the playoffs.

 

Despite being held to a season-low rushing total, Linse finished his record-setting year with 1,667 yards, the single-highest total in Jefferson football history.

 

Smillie led the Eagles with 62 yards on six carries.

 

Vogel and junior Max Adkins finished with 10 and nine tackles, respectively, to lead the JHS defense.

 

"When the hurt of this game is over and they have a chance to look back, they're going to realize what a special group of guys they are and what a special team this is," said Gee.

 

The game was the last for 13 Jefferson seniors: Linse, A.J. Neils, Smillie, Sebastian Fortin, Mike Stellmacher, Tomczak, Vince Racanelli, Tabor, Jim Horn, Scherer, Deryk Toutant, Kaden Kabat and Lukas Hoffman.

 

"It's the group I came in with; I was new to the high school when they were new to the high school, so to me this will always be a special class," said Gee. "It's very rewarding to see what kind of football players they became."

 

Reedsburg continues its quest to return to the WIAA Division 3 State championship game facing Waukesha Catholic Memorial (9-3) in a semifinal game this weekend.

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