Central Wisconsin Bandits late rally falls short versus Tri-City

Bandits defense forces an incomplete pass. Rick Argall photo.

BY RICK ARGALL
MMC STAFF

The Central Wisconsin Bandits hosted the Tri-City Bulldogs in a Northern Lights Football League (NLFL) game on Saturday, June 1, 2024, at Jay Stadium in Merrill. In what turned into a defensive battle for both teams, the Bandits could not reach the end zone on the game’s final play of regulation, as their fourth down pass was intercepted at the goal line, resulting in a tough 12-6 loss.
“We had some tough plays on offense after our quarterback went down and had to play our backup, but all in all, we played a tough game,” said Bandits co-owner and defensive end Jeremie Writz. “Our backup quarterback stepped in and played well without knowing the whole playbook,” Writz said.
The game was marred by a lot of penalties, not one bigger than when Central Wisconsin picked up a fumble and rambled 70 yards late in the fourth quarter for a touchdown that would have at least tied the game, but was called back by an illegal block during the return.
“There was a lot of talking going on by Tri-City and we tried to keep it cool and have some fun, but we were instigated into some retaliation-type penalties that really hurt us,” Writz said.
“Our defense played really well, and we had many opportunities to win the game had our quarterback not gotten hurt,” he said, while referring to the injury of starting quarterback Dylan Zanders.
After trailing 12-0 at halftime, the Bandits came out and played solid defense, forcing a turnover at the Bulldogs’ 20-yard line. A quick-scoring strike put Central Wisconsin on the board with a 20-yard touchdown pass with 9:42 left in the fourth quarter. The two-point conversion failed, and the lead was closed to 12-6, but the Bandits were unable to convert on several opportunities late in the game.
Central Wisconsin saw their Conference record drop to 0-2 after the loss and will host the Chippewa Valley Phoenix at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, again at Jay Stadium in Merrill.

Box Score:
Tri-City Bulldogs 12 @ Central Wisconsin Bandits 6

Touchdown Bandits! Rick Argall photo.

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