Panthers clinch share of second straight EWC title

¦ Defense plays key role in decisive win
by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


BRAD TRAKEL, Plymouth tailback, follows his blockers en route to a 10-yard touchdown run in the second quarter of Friday night’s EWC football game versus Campbellsport. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley BRAD TRAKEL, Plymouth tailback, follows his blockers en route to a 10-yard touchdown run in the second quarter of Friday night’s EWC football game versus Campbellsport. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley CAMPBELLSPORT — Plymouth had a shaky start but then rolled to victory, 32-14, over Campbellsport here Friday night to wrap up no worse than a share of its second straight Eastern Wisconsin Conference football title.

The Panthers improved to 6-0 in the EWC (7-1 overall) and can clinch the outright crown with a victory at Kewaskum Friday night. Two Rivers, which beat Kewaskum, 35-14, Friday night, is in second place in the league at 5-1.

Campbellsport fell to 3-3 in the EWC (5-3 overall).

PHS, ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press medium school division poll last week, has won seven in a row.

“We are still focused on one game at a time. Our only goal is to beat Kewaskum, and if we accomplish that goal we will not have to share [EWC title] with anyone,” said Panther head coach Dan Knaus.

The Panthers lost fumbles on two of their first three possessions which gave the Cougars the ball at midfield. Plymouth’s defense rose to the occasion and forced Campbellsport to punt after going three-and-out following both turnovers.

“The defense came up huge in the first quarter. Once we got the offense rolling, it was five straight touchdowns.”

PHS kicked its offense in gear at the end of the first quarter and it carried over into the second. The Panthers exploded for 20 points in the second period to build a 20-0 halftime lead.

Plymouth’s first scoring drive began late in the opening period and covered 58 yards in seven plays, capped off by tailback Brad Trakel’s 3-yard plunge into the end zone. Jared Weinbauer booted the first of his three successful PATs which gave PHS a 7-0 lead with 10:54 left in the second quarter.

The key play in the possession was quarterback Kollin Neils’ 19- yard pass to fullback Tyler Willeford on third down and 16 which gave PHS a first down at the Cougars’ 10-yard line.

Campbellsport went three-andout on its next possession and PHS took over at its 41 following a punt. The Panthers marched 59 yards in nine plays, resulting in a 10-yard TD run by Trakel which made it 14-0 midway through the second quarter.

The key plays which led to the score were an 11-yard pass from Neils to tight end Ben Albers and Neils’ 13-yard scramble. Neils’ run was on a third-and-13 play which gave PHS a first down at the Cougar 15.

Neils’ 21-yard TD pass to wide receiver Zac Cain with 54 seconds remaining in the second period put PHS up 20-0 at halftime. The scoring drive was 49 yards. An 11-yard run by Neils and a 12-yard Neilsto __Cain pass sparked the series.

The Panthers blew the game open by scoring TDs on their first two possessions in the third quarter as they mounted a 32-0 lead. The first score came on a razzle-dazzle play in which Neils fired a 42-yard strike to a wide-open Cain on a doublereverse pass.

Plymouth’s other TD in the second half came on a 27-yard gallop by Trakel.

The Panthers dominated the game – outgaining the Cougars 405-164 in total offensive yardage, includ-

PLYMOUTH 32

CAMPBELLSPORT 14

Ply Camp
First downs.….................14 8
Rushing Yards…............164 119
Passing Yards................241 45
Comp-Att-Int…….....16-20-0 2-6-0
Punts-Averages.............4-33 8-34
Fumbles-Lost……….......3-2 2-1

Score by Quarters
Plymouth…................0 20 12 0 – 32
Campbellsport..........0 0 77–14
Scoring
Ply – Brad Trakel 3 run (Jared
Weinbauer kick)
Ply – Trakel 10 run (Weinbauer kick)
Ply – Zac Cain 21 pass from Kollin
Neils (kick failed)
Ply – Cain 42 pass from Kollin Neils
(kick failed)
Ply – Trakel 27 run (kick blocked)
Camp – Shaun Beisbier 12 run
(Trenton Buerger kick)
Camp – Beisbier 4 run (Buerger
kick)
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Rushing – Plymouth, Brad Trakel
13-85, Kollin Neils 9-56. Campbellsport, Spencer Johnson 15-81.
Passing – Plymouth, Neils 16-20-
0-241. Campbellsport, Shaun Beisbier
2-6-0-45.
Receiving – Plymouth, Zac Cain
5-128, Ben Albers 2-35, Tyler Willeford
5-30. Campbellsport, Ty Schmidt 2-45.

ing a 241-45 advantage in passing. Plymouth’s defense stymied the Cougars’ triple-option running attack most of the game.

“On defense, our kids performed exactly the way we told them to. We were awesome against it [triple-option], and were disciplined which is what you have to do against an offense like that,” Knaus said.

Neils was an excellent 16-for- 20 passing and his favorite receiver was Cain who caught five passes for an impressive 128 yards (25.6 average per catch). Trakel led Plymouth’s ground attack with 85 yards on only 13 carries (6.5 average per carry).

“Brad and Tyler ran hard and blocked well for each other,” Knaus said.

“It was a total team victory. I’m happy to get out of here with a win, anytime you are on the road.”


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