Merrill gridmen dominate Red Robins
The ‘War on 64’ turned out to be more of a massacre in 2014.
The Bluejay football team crushed Antigo 35-7 on the road Friday, and the only points it allowed came in the final three minutes against the second string defense.
Merrill improved to 3-0 in the GNC football conference – tied for first with Mosinee – and is 4-1 overall heading into Saturday’s Homecoming contest with Ashland (0-2, 1-4).
“The kids played well,” MHS coach Nick Sturm said. “Whenever you get a fast start, it makes it difficult for the other team. The kids for the most part were well-focused until we made a couple of mental errors.
“We’re just a better team. They’re very good at the lower levels, so they’ll be better in a couple of years. That’s the ebb and flow of high school football.
“Hey, a win is a win and we’re happy to have another one. We could make those mistakes against Antigo and come out ahead. We can’t make those down the road.”
The Bluejays built a 20-0 lead by the 11:25 mark of the second quarter on a trio of Mason Rein?hardt rushes. He blasted in from two yards with 4:03 left in the first, then blocked a punt and converted from 8 yards with 2:30 remaining in the first. His third came just three minutes later when he dashed the final 11 yards.
“Mason is doing a great job in all facets of the game – offense, defense and special teams” Sturm said. “He can do it all. I especially appreciate his leadership. He’s taken hold of that and is pulling the team along with him.”
Quarterback Drew Hoff hit Jake Anderson for a 49-yard strike another three minutes later and the rout was on at 27-0.
“Jake is always a threat,” Sturm said. “He not only catches well, he does a great job blocking on the perimeter. He’s a true team player.”
Reinhardt covered the final four yards for his fourth touchdown with 8:34 left in the third quarter. Merrill punched in a two-point conversion with Adam Lee.
Antigo’s Will Dixon scored from one yard out with 2:40 to go on a running clock against Bluejay defensive reserves.The defense allowed 220 total rushing yards and no passing yards.
“Jake Nohr is the leader on defense,” Sturm said. “He’s a tackling machine. Both Dustin Dengel and Christian Kleinschmidt do a nice job up front. Ty Butler is really starting to come on at safety, too.”
The defense was paced by: Nohr (5 solos, 4 assists, 2 TFL); Trey Stevenson (6 S, 1 TFL); Jake Collinsworth (2 S, 1 A, 2 TFL); Butler (5 S, 1 A); Scott Arneson (4 A, 1 int.); Adam Messerschmidt (3 S); Kleinschmidt (1 S, 1 A, 1 TFL); Seth Tautges (1 S, 1 A, 1 TFL); Reinhardt (2 S); Chaz Mootz (2 S); Brian Timm (2 S); and Steven Fehlberg (1 S, 2 A).
The Jays rang up 293 rushing yards with Drew Hoff (7-90), Reinhardt (10-72, 4 TDs), Collinsworth (8-55), Lee (7-49), Austin Reissmann (3-21) and Trey Seubert (2-6). Hoff completed 5-of-10 passes for 67 yards with a TD and 2 ints. His receivers included, Anderson (2-57, 1 TD), Reinhardt (1-8), Mootz (1-7) and Lee (1- -5).
Merrill will host Ashland at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.