Panthers cruise to third straight win

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


BRAD TRAKEL, Plymouth senior running back, tries to a break a tackle by a Sheboygan Falls defender en route to a 19-yard gain in Friday night’s EWC football game. Blocking for Trakel are Matt Olig (62) and Luke Held (76). — Review photo by Greg Ceilley BRAD TRAKEL, Plymouth senior running back, tries to a break a tackle by a Sheboygan Falls defender en route to a 19-yard gain in Friday night’s EWC football game. Blocking for Trakel are Matt Olig (62) and Luke Held (76). — Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH — A swarming defense and outstanding balance on offense sparked the Plymouth Panthers to a 42-0 pummeling of arch-rival Sheboygan Falls in Eastern Wisconsin Conference football action Friday night at Finke Field.

The Panthers, 2-0 in the EWC and 3-1 overall, ran their winning streak to three. PHS is tied for the league lead with Kewaskum. The Falcons dropped to 0-2 in the EWC (1-3 overall).

“Overall, we played really well. It was a great, overall team win. Anytime it’s Sheboygan Falls, we’re happy to win,” said Panther head coach Dan Knaus.

“We were 1-0 this week and that was our goal.”

“We were all in rhythm working together on both sides of the ball,” said PHS senior fullback-linebacker Tyler Willeford. “This was a great team effort.”

Junior wide receiver Zac Cain stepped up big-time for the Panthers with eight receptions for 151 yards (18.9 average per catch) and three touchdowns – all career-highs for one game. Senior quarterback Kollin Neils had an outstanding game with three TD passes, all to Cain, and 12- for-14 passing for 175 yards and no interceptions.

Senior running back Brad Trakel spearheaded the Panthers’ strong ground attack with a personal-best 133 yards, including a 90-yard TD run, on only six carries. The Panthers’ strong running game, which Falls defense had to key on, opened up their passing attack and the Neils- Cain combination took advantage.

The first of Cain’s TD catches was on a 70-yard laser from Neils with 2:45 left in the first quarter which gave PHS a 14-0 lead. Cain made a nice catch near midfield as he reached high to snag the ball over a defender and then raced to the end zone.

The Panthers built a commanding 22-0 halftime lead after Neils’ 7-yard TD pass to Cain in the second period, followed by a safety in which PHS senior defensive lineman Luke Held tackled Falcon quarterback Nick Peterson in the end zone.

Neils’ other scoring pass was on a 42-yard strike to Cain with 9:32 remaining in the third quarter . The TD was set up by Panther linebacker Izack Ohman’s fumble recovery at the Falls 42 on the previous play.

The Panthers’ offense rolled up 447 yards and their defense smoth ered

Falls’ attack as it surrendered a measly 78 yards and only five first downs.

PHS set the tone from the getgo – taking the opening kickoff and marching 61 yards in 10 plays, climaxed by sophomore running back Samuel Staehling’s 5-yard TD on an end run. Jack Heginbottom’s PAT gave PHS a 7-0 lead with 6:51 left in the first quarter.

“It was very much a team effort,” said Cain. “We controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and that’s what wins high school games.

“I have a really good quarterback and the [offensive] line gave him time to throw. This was probably my best game. Once I get the ball in my hands, I just try to make them miss and I try to make a play.

“It’s nice to be 1-0 for the week and nicer to beat Falls,” Cain said.

“Zac had a great game tonight. Kollin threw the ball really well,” said Knaus. “We picked up their pressure well and gave Kollin time to throw.

“All of our backs ran well. Tyler really stepped up on both sides of the ball. We played really well on the edges [on defense] because they like to run sweeps,” Knaus said.

“Plymouth is a very athletic team and we didn’t match up well,” said Falcon head coach Brian Berlin.

“In the second half we fought back and played better. We were missing key players and it was hard with younger players in key positions.

“It now comes down to one game at time to finish the season well, starting with Campbellsport next Friday,” said Berlin.

SHEBOYGAN FALLS 0

PLYMOUTH 42

SF PLY
First downs.….........................................................................…5 12
Rushing Yards…........................................................................49 272
Passing Yards............................................................................29 175
Comp-Att-Int……...................................................................4-14-0 12-14-0
Penalties-Yards........................................................................6-37 7-75
Fumbles-Lost…...........................................................……...…..2-1 1-1

Score by Quarters
SheboyganFalls....................................................................00 00–0
Plymouth…..........................................................................14 8 13 7 – 42
Scoring
Ply – Samuel Staehling 5 run (Jack Heginbottom kick)
Ply – Zac Cain 70 pass from Kollin Neils (Heginbottom kick)
Ply – Cain 7 pass from Neils (kick failed)
Ply – Safety, Nick Peterson tackled in end zone by Luke Held
Ply – Cain 42 pass from Neils (kick failed)
Ply – Brad Trakel 90 run (Heginbottom kick)
Ply – Jake Schneider 38 run (Jared Weinbauer kick)
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Rushing – Sheboygan Falls, Eric Klemme 12-37. Plymouth, Brad Trakel 6-133..
Passing – Sheboygan Falls, Nick Peterson 4-14-0-29. Plymouth, Kollin Neils
12-14-0-175.
Receiving – Sheboygan Falls, Sean Mattek 1-13. Plymouth, Zac Cain 8-151.


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