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Beavers Sports

No What-ifs This Time as Reedsburg Claims Title

Varsity - 2009 Season
Posted Saturday, November 21, 2009 by Benjamin Worgull
 Benjamin Worgull | bworgull@madison.com | Posted: Friday, November 20, 2009 7:15 pm | No Comments Posted

Reedsburg's Matt Lennon (25) cuts between West De Pere's Cody Van De Hei (44) and Ben Jensen during the first half of the Division 3 WIAA championship high school football game Friday.Andy Manis -- Associated Press

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View Capital Times photographer Michelle Stocker's images from Reedsburg's 34-27 victory over West De Pere in the WIAA Division 3 state football championship game Friday at Camp Randall Stadiium.

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Revisit each step of Reedsburg's journey to the WIAA Division 3 state football title.

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MADISON -- This time, there was no heartbreak, no what-ifs or how comes, and no somber bus ride back home to Reedsburg.

After all that happened to the Beavers football team since falling a yard short of victory in last year's WIAA Division 3 state championship game, junior quarterback Chad Mazur wasn't going to allow his team to go through the pain of coming so far, yet falling so agonizingly close.

"I don't get very nervous easily, but I woke this morning and I was shaking," Mazur admitted. "I was nervous and it was a good feeling. I was so ready to go. I wanted to step on the field and lead the team."

Mazur's leadership could be easily deciphered in the WIAA Division 3 football championship Friday at Camp Randall Stadium. Registering touchdown scampers of 59 and 66 yards after halftime, Mazur helped the Beavers' offense score 20 unanswered points to upend West De Pere 34-27 for the school's first football state championship.

"(Mazur) is so impressive," said senior captain Shane Rockweiler. "He's probably the smartest kid I know (running) the most complex offense."

With the teams locked in a 7-7 dogfight though 2 1/2 quarters, Mazur helped Reedsburg (11-3) exorcise its demons with two spectacular runs that spurned West De Pere (12-2).

Dropping back on third-and-10 and seeing nothing but a covered secondary, Mazur tucked the ball, broke a tackle before the first-down marker, split three Phantoms defenders and waltzed 59 yards into the end zone to give Reedsburg a 13-7 lead with 42 seconds left in the third quarter.

"That's just another part of our offense," Mazur said of improvising. "Every once in a while, I'll give coach an idea and he has so much faith in me that he tells me to go ahead and do it and we'll see what happens."

That principle manifested itself on the second TD in the form of a naked bootleg, something the Beavers hadn't even practiced during the season.

With his coach's blessing, Mazur ran the play to perfection on the next offensive series. He juked two Phantoms linebackers, ran with traffic to the 35, broke through two tackle attempts and then eluded a last ditch effort inside the 5 to score a momentous touchdown, putting Reedsburg in control at 21-7.

"That was his call," Reedsburg coach Brian Pottinger said. "We never practiced it before. We might have to put it in now."

After Mazur's scamper, Rockweiler registered his second touchdown with a three-yard dive, giving the Beavers more than enough cushion to withstand a futile Phantoms rally.

"This is 10 times better (than last year)," Rockweiler said. "We kept telling ourselves we were going to win it. We were going to win it."

"I can't say what it means to the town, but I know it means an awful lot (to the team)," added Pottinger. "They've been hungry for a championship for a long time."

After Reedsburg scored the game's opening touchdown, De Pere answered with an 11-play, 71-yard touchdown drive that tied the score at 7-all. The offense was never the same after that, as the combination of Mazur's runs and three second-half interceptions interrupted any rhythm.

"The quarterback was amazing," De Pere linebacker Ben Jensen said of Mazur. "He can scramble, he can throw, he can get off every single block. He (made it) really tough."

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