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Beavers Sports

The Jug Stays Here

Posted Wednesday, October 27, 2010 by Brady Ambrose

The Jug stays here


buy this photo Head coach Brian Pottinger addresses his team after the Beavers beat Baraboo 27-7 Wednesday night, ending the season 2-4 in the conference and 4-5 overall. Brady Ambrose photo

 
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It wasn't a repeat state championship this time, but winning the Old River Jug gave the Reedsburg football team a reason to end its season with a smile Wednesday night.

And fittingly, it was the outgoing seniors who put the points on the Millennium Field scoreboard in the Beavers' 27-7 victory over Baraboo in the annual battle for the Jug - and area bragging rights.

Quarterback Chad Mazur rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown and threw a pass to Matt Lennon for another score as Reedsburg missed qualifying for the WIAA state playoffs with a 4-5 overall record (2-4 in the Badger Conference North).

Michael Hayes, Clint Newell and Jordan Gauf - all seniors - also put points on the board for Reedsburg.

"It was a difficult season from a coach's perspective because at times we didn't perform to our potential," Reedsburg coach Brian Pottinger said. "We made mistakes that championship teams don't make, and we were too inconsistent in a lot of areas.

"But as tough as it was we were this close to being in the playoffs, and feeling like we could compete with a lot of the teams that did make it."

After a disappointing 35-34 loss in overtime at Mount Horeb last week, the Beavers rushed for 232 yards and passed for 49 more. The defense held Baraboo (0-6 in the Badger North), to just one touchdown, scored by quarterback Sean McGann with 7 minutes left to play.

The Beavers drew first blood on a 32-yard field goal by Michael Hayes less than a minute into the second quarter. The kick capped a drive that started at Reedsburg's 49-yard line and ate 8 minutes off the clock.

Reedsburg took a 10-0 lead on its next possession. Austin Westerwelle started the 44-yard touchdown drive with an eight-yard run on first down. On third and five at the 31, Lennon gained 5 yards to the 26. Later, a false start pushed the Beavers into a fourth-and-nine situation from the 29, but Mazur hit Lennon with a crisp pass over the middle and Lennon rumbled into the end zone with 4:13 left in the first half.

Baraboo drove deep into Reedsburg territory on its next possession, but the Thunderbirds fumbled the ball away to Matt Archambo on the Reedsburg 10 and the Beavers ran out the clock.

Reedsburg - and Mazur -- cranked up the offense to start the third quarter, thanks in part to great field position. A short Baraboo punt gave Reedsburg possession on the Thunderbirds 39.

Mazur picked up 15 yards on first down. On a second-and-six play from the 20, he broke loose for a touchdown run, finishing with a highlight-reel move. He leaped over Baraboo's Will Hart near the goal line, leaving the bewildered defender wondering what had just happened.

The run gave Reedsburg a 17-0 lead with 9:15 left in the third quarter, and the Beavers made it 24-0 shortly after Chase Fearing intercepted a McGann pass at the Baraboo 25. On a third-down play, Mazur pitched to Newell, who then tossed a perfect halfback option pass to Gauf for a 24-yard score with a little more than 6 minutes left in the quarter.

With its back against the wall, Baraboo put together its best drive of the night. Starting at the T-Birds 20, McGann rumbled 30 yards to midfield, Baraboo added another first down to the Reedsburg 36 and Pottinger had to call a quick time out to settle things down.

The Beavers regrouped in time: On a fourth-and-one play at the 27, McGann was stopped short and Reedsburg took over with 5:49 left in the quarter.

Reedsburg ate up the rest of the third quarter and more with a long drive to the Baraboo 28. On a second-and-five play, Lennon picked up 11 yards to the 17. Three plays later, Mazur sent a pass toward Nick Christensen in the end zone, and the penalty flags flew: Baraboo was called for pass interference and the Beavers were whistled for holding.

Austin Westerwelle picked up eight yards on a third-and-12 run, and Hayes then connected on his second field goal of the game, this one from 26 yards to give the Beavers a 27-0 lead with 9:31 remaining.

The Thunderbirds then picked up their only score of the night with a 64-yard drive. McGann and Adair Ebright got Baraboo to the 47 with two runs, and after an incomplete pass, McGann hit Caleb Leonhardt with a strike to the Reedsburg 35. McGann delivered runs of 5 and 8 yards to the Reedsburg 22, then passed to Michael Bostwick for a 16-yard completion to the 2 and scored on the next play.

The teams traded possessions and Reedsburg took over with 56 seconds left. Chad Mazur then took a knee to run out the clock.

The victory puts an end to the high school football careers of 16 Reedsburg seniors, who finished fifth in the Badger North.

"It's always nice to end the season with a win, especially for the seniors," Pottinger said. "I wasn't sure about their mood before the game, because they're a hard team to read sometimes. I know they felt after the game that they were ready for more. After the game the seniors thanked all their teammates and then just spent some time by themselves on the field.

"As a coach, you look at the seniors graduating and every year you ask yourself the same question: How are we ever going to replace them? But every year, the next group steps in and becomes those seniors.

"It's especially hard, though, when you have players who have been on the varsity for three or four years and a group of seniors who contributed to winning conference and state championships."

TEAM STATISTICS

First downs - B 7, R 14. Rushing (Att-Yds.) - B 31-134, R 55-232. Passing Yards - B66, R 49. Passes (Comp._Att.-Int.) B - 7-12-1, R 2-6-0. Fumbles-lost - B 1-1, R0-0. Penalties-Yards - B-4-10, R 3-10.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTIS

Rushing: B - McGann 16-68, R - 21-116. Passing: B - McGann 7-12-1. R - Mazur 1-5-0 29, Newell 1-1-0 20. Receiving: B - Kowalke 3-34; R Lennon 1-29, Gauf 1-20.

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