Friday night lights cut short by weather
By Jared Schmeltzer
On Friday night the Merrill football team hosted Kewaskum in a non conference game. Merrill would take an early two touchdown lead, however would later lose the lead before the game was called off due to lightning. The coaches from Merrill and Kewaskum would later decide to call the game complete and Merrill would take the 21-14 loss.
“We called the game really out of respect for Kewaskum.” Explained Merrill head coach Rob Klug, “It was almost 10 p.m. and there was still lightning, so after stretching and warming up we probably wouldn’t have been playing again until 11 p.m.”
In the first quarter Merrill would strike for a touchdown on a 29 yard pass and catch between Quinn Steckbauer and Holden Smith. The PAT (point after touchdown) was no good as Merrill would hold a 6-0 lead. It took Merrill only two minutes to strike again as Chase Bonnell would scoop up a Kewaskum fumble and take it to the house for a touchdown. Merrill would attempt a two point conversion and convert on a two yard pass from Steckbauer to Piersen Pyan, giving Merrill a 14-0 lead.
In the second quarter Kewaskum would fight back into the game, scoring their first touchdown on a 22 yard pass and catch, to bring them within a touchdown of the Jays. A couple minutes later Kewaskum would recover a Merrill fumble and run it into their endzone for six points. Following the PAT Kewaskum had the game tied at 14-14. A 15 yard passing touchdown with four minutes left in the first half would give Kewaskum a one score lead going into the final half.
No score in the third quarter would take the game to the fourth, where due to lightning the game would be suspended and ultimately cancelled, giving Merrill a 21-14 loss.
“We showed a lot of improvement which was nice to see.” Added coach Klug,
“We dominated in every stat expect two of the most important ones, which are turnovers and the score. Our offensive line did a really great job, even with a couple of the kids playing on the defensive side of the ball as well. We need to take care of the ball and we will be okay.”
Merrill’s offense moved the ball well on the ground, racking up over 200 rushing yards as a team. Quinn Steckbauer led the way with 101 rushing yards on 18 carries. Dominic Leistikow also had a solid day, running for 98 yards on 17 carries.
Merrill’s defense was led by Kole Meyer who tallied seven and a half tackles, including two and a half sacks. Caleb Timm came away with six tackles, Quinn Steckbauer had five tackles and Piersen Pyan had four. Chase Bonnell had three tackles to go with a forced fumble and fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Merrill will travel to Mosinee on Friday for their first conference match up of the year, with kickoff at 7 p.m.