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Beavers Sports

A Homecoming Heartbreaker for Reedsburg

Posted Thursday, October 06, 2011 by Brady Ambrose

FOOTBALL: A homecoming heartbreaker for Reedsburg

buy this photo Colton Brott (45) heads down the sideline after scooping up a Milton fumble Friday night. Brott would rumble 75 yards for a touchdown that would get the Beavers within one point with 1:15 left in the first quarter.

Freshman quarterback Tyler Westrick hit senior Riley Kovars with a 43-yard touchdown pass with 9 minutes 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter to propel the Milton Red Hawks to a 14-13 victory over Reedsburg Friday night at Millennium Field.

The Red Hawks handed the Beavers their fifth straight loss of the season on Homecoming.

Westrick passed for 262 yards, completing 14 of 26 passes, with Kovars catching a pair of touchdown passes. The first was for 69 yards.

After facing the likes of Waunakee and DeForest, Reedsburg looked to Friday night's game to get back on track, but failed to take advantage of several opportunities and also gave up several big plays on defense as the Red Hawks picked up their third win of the season.

"Our defense played well overall, but we gave up a couple of big plays at critical times in the game," Reedsburg coach Brian Pottinger said.

Milton scored less than 2 minutes into the game on its opening possession when Westrick hit Kovars with a 69-yard touchdown pass with 10:36 left in the first quarter to give Milton the lead at 7-0.

Reedsburg, with Wyatt Ernstmeyer at quarterback for the first time this season, started at its own 32 but lost four yards on three plays and was forced to punt. The Red Hawks started at their 26 and on second down Westrick hit Kovars with a 37-yard completion to the Beavers' 32.

Kovars then hauled in another pass for 12 yards to the 15, but the Reedsburg defense rose up and stopped Milton on downs.

Starting at the Reedsburg 12-yard line, Weston Ernstmeyer picked up 13 yards to the 25. But again the offense sputtered, as Austin Westerwelle was tackled for a 5-yard loss and Wyatt Ernstmeyer fumbled, forcing a third and 15 and a Reedsburg punt from deep in its own territory.

The Red Hawks took over at midfield as time ran out in the first quarter. Milton was forced to punt and the Beavers took over at their own 20. Colin Scanlon picked up a first down at the 32, but an incomplete pass and an illegal procedure call pushed Reedsburg into a third and 18 at its 24, where Ernstmeyer's pass to Alex Stolte fell incomplete, forcing another Reedsburg punt.

After the defense held Milton without a first down, Reedsburg started at its own 15 with 8:03 to play in the first half. On first down, Reedsburg fumbled and the Red Hawks recovered at the Reedsburg 10. But the Beavers defense came up with another big play when Trae Finnegan intercepted a Westrick pass in the end zone and returned it out to the 5-yard line.

An offside call on Milton gave Reedsburg a first and five from the 12, but Ernstmeyer was sacked at the 3-yard line by Brandon Tornow and A.J. Natter on second down and Ernstmeyer was tackled for no gain on third and 12. Reedsburg punted from the back of its end zone.

With the score still 7-0, the Red Hawks started at the Beavers' 35-yard line, where Westrick connected with Devon Hartman for a 9-yard completion. On the next play Josh Kummer picked up four yards to the 20. A holding penalty pushed Milton all the way back to the 35-yard line but Westrick completed two passes in a row to give Milton a first and goal at the 8-yard line.

But on the next play, the snap from the Milton center sailed over Westrick's head and Reedsburg's Colton Brott scooped up the loose ball at the 25 and rumbled 75 yards for a touchdown to get the Beavers on the board.

However, the extra-point attempt was no good after a penalty on the Beavers for a false start pushed the Beavers back 10 yards.

"The defense had their backs against the wall two or three times in the first half and didn't give up a score," said Pottinger. "That's what kept us in the game, because we weren't moving the ball at all."

The Beavers got a break on the kickoff when Milton fumbled and Reedsburg's Nick Christensen recovered. Westerwelle picked up three yards on first down but the Beavers threw two incomplete passes, forcing a fourth and seven.

Tyler Arneson missed a 32-yard field goal attempt, and Reedsburg had failed to capitalize on yet another chance.

Milton took over at its own 20 and took a knee as the first half ended with the score 7-6.

"We were too inconsistent in our execution," Pottinger said. "It's almost like we go one step forward, two steps backward at times."

Reedsburg opened the second half at its own 36, where Weston Ernstmeyer picked up seven yards on first down and 23 more on the next play to put the Beavers in business at the Milton 30. Reedsburg drove to the 15 but a false-start penalty pushed the Beavers back five yards, and on the next play the Beavers fumbled and the Red Hawks recovered at their own 32.

But the Reedsburg defense rose to the occasion one more time, holding Milton to a three-and-out. Luke Bjorklund returned the punt to the Reedsburg 42, then took over at quarterback and picked up eight yards on his first carry, to the midfield. Bjorklund picked up a first down on the next play, but Westerwelle was tackled for a 5-yard loss to force a second and 15. Reedsburg gained four yards to bring up a third and 11, but Bjorklund was tackled for a 1-yard loss and the Beavers were forced to punt again.

Milton then went three-and-out on its next possession and the Beavers took over at their 42, where they fumbled on first down and the Red Hawks recovered at Reedsburg's 39.

Westrick picked up eight yards and Kummer added a four yard run to the 27. On first down, Westrick took off on a draw play for 10 yards to the 17. Kummer fumbled on first down, but gained three yards as he recovered the ball at the 14. Then Kummer rumbled to the 5 on the next play. On the next play, Milton lost three yards, and then the Red Hawks missed a field goal wide and Reedsburg, having dodged a bullet, took over at its 20.

Weston Ernstmeyer, who rushed for 112 yards on the night, picked up a big chunk of that total on first down with a 55-yard gallop to the Milton 25. Wyatt Ernstmeyer gained nine yards to the 16 and the Beavers rushed to the 1-yard line. On first and goal from the one, the Beavers were called for illegal procedure, pushing them back to the 6. Colton Brott than scored on the next play, but the score was waved off when the Beavers were called for holding - pushing them all the way back to the 15. Westerwelle picked up nine yards on the next play and the third quarter ended with the Red Hawks leading, 7-6, and the Beavers threatening.

Milton then jumped on the next play to put the Beavers at the 3-yard line and Brott scored on the next play to put the Beavers up, 13-7, just 10 seconds into the fourth quarter.

With the offense still looking to find its identity, Pottinger said putting Brott on the offensive side of things would provide a spark.

"I like to give the defense a different look, especially if we're struggling, so we went to a double-tight full bone backfield with Colton because he does some explosiveness when he runs," Pottinger said.

But the lead would be short-lived as on its next possession, Milton started a 76-yard scoring drive. On first down, Westrick hit Kovars with a 26 yard completion to the 50, and on fourth and three, Westrick tossed the game-winner to Kovars, who scored from 46 yards out to put Milton up, 14-13, with 9:25 to play.

The teams then traded punts on their next possessions, and the Beavers took over at their own 12 with 3:05 left to play. Brott picked up 13 yards to the 25 on first down, but Ernstmeyer was sacked for a 2-yard loss on the next play. With the clock running at the 1:53 mark, Weston Ernstmeyer rushed for four yards to the 28 to force a fourth and seven with 1:33 to play.

After a time out, the Beavers came up short when Ernstmeyer's fourth-down pass attempt to Scanlon fell to the ground and the Red Hawks took over with 1:28 to play. The Red Hawks then ran out the clock to hand the Beavers a tough, one point loss.

The Beavers will face a similar offense Friday when they travel to Mount Horeb to take on the Vikings. Pottinger says the Vikings will be another tough task to handle.

"Playing similar offenses in back to back weeks makes it a little easier to prepare for, but there are big differences, too. Mount Horeb probably has better personnel and they like to run the ball more than Milton."

Weston Ernstmeyer rushed for 112 yards on just nine carries. Caleb Senzig recorded 15 assisted tackles and two tackles for loss to lead the defense. Also, Nate Runde had 10 assisted tackles, one solo tackle and one tackle for loss and a quarterback sack.

MILTON 14, REEDSBURG 13

Milton: 7-0-0-7 - 14

Reedsburg: 0-6-0-7 - 13

Scoring

Milton: Kovars 69 pass from Westrick (Westrick run), 7-0.

Reedsburg: Brott 75 fumble return (kick failed), 7-6.

Reedsburg: Brott 3 run (Arneson kick), 13-7.

Milton: Kovars 43 pass from Westrick (Westrick kick) 14-13.

Team Statistics

First downs: M 9, R 8. Passing: M 14-26-2 262 yards, R 0-6-0 0 yards. Rushing: M 31-82, R 41-151. Penalties: M 12-63, R 7-40. Turnovers: M 3, R 3. Fumbles-lost: M 3-2, R 4-3.

Individual statistics

Passing - Milton: Westrick 14-26-262 yards-2 TD-1 INT. Reedsburg: Ernstmeyer 0-6-0-0-0.

Rushing - Milton: Krummer 18-45-0. Reedsburg: Ernstmeyer 9-112-0.

Receiving - Milton: Kovars 7-201-2 TD.

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