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Beavers Sports

The Struggles Continue for Reedsburg

Posted Thursday, October 13, 2011 by Brady Ambrose

FOOTBALL: The struggles continue for Reedsburg

The Reedsburg Area High School football team has one game left. And even though the Beavers enter the season finale with a six-game losing streak, to them, the finale will be huge.

Reedsburg will close its season at 7 p.m. Friday with a home against the winless Portage Warriors (0-8 overall, 0-5 Badger North Conference).

For coach Brian Pottinger's Beavers, it's a chance to earn one last reward for the work they put in to what has been a difficult season - and finish anywhere other than last place in the final Badger North Conference standings.

"There should be plenty of motivation, being the last game of the year, the last game for the seniors, and a game that keeps the winner out of the conference basement," Pottinger said.

The Beavers' struggles continued on Friday, as yet another powerful Badger North opponent outdueled them. Mount Horeb's spread offense caused havoc for the Reedsburg defense, as the host Vikings built a 40-0 lead before taking a 40-14 victory.

Mount Horeb senior running back Justin Martig rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns, and quarterback Matt Fargo rushed for 135 yards and two scores and threw for another TD.

The Beavers (1-7 overall, 0-5 Badger North) had trouble finding an answer for Fargo, who completed four of six passes for 65 yards as the Vikings (6-2, 4-2) guaranteed themselves a berth in the WIAA playoffs.

Mount Horeb drew first blood less than 90 seconds into the game when Fargo hooked up with Jerin Schubert for a 27-yard touchdown pass at the 10:32 mark of the first quarter. The Vikings took a 14-0 lead on a 48 yard run by Martig with 2:30 left in the quarter.

The Vikings added a third score on a 4-minute, 76-yard drive in the second quarter. The first big play came when Fargo hit Sam Nechkash for 27 yards to the Reedsburg 46. On third and four, Martig rumbled 37 yards to the 21. Five plays later Fargo scored from 1 yard out to make it 21-0.

The Beavers fumbled on their next possession, with Mount Horeb taking over at the Reedsburg 16 with 4:11 left before halftime. Four plays later, Martig scored from 4 yards out for a 27-0 lead with 3:19 before halftime.

The Beavers punted on their next possession, but stopped Mount Horeb when Matt Olson picked off a Fargo pass attempt at the Reedsburg 37.

"They had a really nice mix of good skill players and good linemen," Pottinger said of the Vikings. "We knew their runners were going to be shifty and tough to contain in the open field, and their line did a nice job of opening running lanes."

Reedsburg started the second half with its best drive of the night. Starting at the 20, Wyatt Ernstmeyer picked up five yards and Austin Westerwelle tore off 10 more for a first down at the 35. Colin Scanlon picked up six yards over the next two carries, then Colton Brott got the Beavers into Mount Horeb territory with an 11-yard gain to the 48.

Brott picked up 10 more yards on a third-and-nine play from the 35. But the drive stalled when Weston Ernstmeyer picked up just a yard on a third-and-five play at the 21and Westerwelle was tackled for a five-yard loss on fourth down.

With 2:39 left in the third quarter, the Vikings started another touchdown march. Fargo picked up 13 yards on first down, and after a 2-yard run by Martig, Fargo rambled for 20 yards to the Reedsburg 32. On the very next play, Fargo broke loose for a 31-yard gain to the 1. He scored on the next play, making it 33-0 with 46 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Beavers fumbled again on its first possession of the fourth quarter, and Mount Horeb recovered at the Beavers' 21. It took just one play for Martig to score, making it 40-0.

"That's been their thing all year: spread out and run the ball," Pottinger said. "Whether you're running or passing out of the spread, the concept is the same: make your opponent defend a lot of space."

The Beavers got on the board with 10:07 left in the game, when Westerwelle broke loose on a 75 yard run.

The teams traded possession for most of the fourth quarter, before Westerwelle broke free for a 12-yard scoring run with 31 seconds left for the 40-14 final.

Westerwelle finished with 130 yards on 17 carries. Scanlon added 47 yards on 10 carries.

On defense for Reedsburg, Aaron Lopp had 12 assisted tackles and one solo stop, and Caleb Senzig had a pair of solo tackles and seven assists.

"I'm proud of the way our players keep battling, no matter what the scoreboard said," said Pottinger. "It's just unfortunate they didn't get rewarded more for their hard work."

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