Trick play gives Tigers Homecoming win

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


JAKE FRITZ of Howards Grove looks for running room behind blocking by his teammates in Friday’s football game versus North Fond du Lac. Fritz gained 11 yards on the play to help key the Tigers’ game-winning touchdown drive. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley JAKE FRITZ of Howards Grove looks for running room behind blocking by his teammates in Friday’s football game versus North Fond du Lac. Fritz gained 11 yards on the play to help key the Tigers’ game-winning touchdown drive. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley HOWARDS GROVE – The Howards Grove Tigers went to their bag of tricks and it paid off big-time in their 7-6 Homecoming win over North Fond du Lac in a thrilling nonconference football game Friday night.

Trailing 6-0 and facing fourth down and 6, the Tigers perfectly executed a reverse pass for the tying touchdown with 1:21 left in the game. Running back Jake Fritz took a pitch and swept around the left end and then handed the ball to tight end Zac Stauss on a reverse.

Stauss then hit a wide-open split end Josh Scheuren down the right sideline for a 34-yard TD. Fritz added the extra-point kick which gave HGHS a 7-6 lead.

The win was the second straight for the Tigers who im- proved to 2-5 on the season. The Orioles fell to 0-7.

The Orioles took a 6-0 lead with 5:56 remaining on a 2-yard TD plunge by running back Caleb Catt. The extra-point kick was no good. The eight-play, 64- yard scoring drive came after the Tigers were unable to attempt a 39-yard field because of a low snap which gave the Orioles the ball at their 36-yard line.

The key plays in the drive were a 29-yard keeper up the middle by quarterback Hayden Reitz to the HGHS 18 and Catt’s 13-yard burst to the 2.

The Tigers took the ensuing kickoff and drove 76 yards in 11 plays, capped off by the TD pass. Fritz sparked the possession with 39 yards rushing on eight carries, including runs of 11 and 13. A huge play in the series was a 3-yard quarterback sneak by Travis Stanczyk which gave the Tigers a first down at the Oriole 38 on a fourth-and-2 play.

The Orioles were unable to gain a first down from their 30 after HGHS scored. Two quarterback sacks by linebacker Micah Rautmann helped seal the win.

“It wasn’t very pretty but we pulled out the win. We made plays at the end when we needed them,” said Tiger head coach David Schmid.

“Our kids never gave up. They showed a lot of heart and resiliency. The defense played another amazing game and the offense came through when we needed it.

“The reverse pass was our trick play of the week. We had been running a lot of run-toss and I figured they thought we would run it, and it was a fake off of that,” said Schmid.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Scheuren about catching the TD pass. “We all work hard and we all stayed together. I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help.

“It was a great pass. I was not going to drop it,” said Scheuren, a junior.

“I’m so proud of the team. That was a heck of a win,” said Fritz who led HGHS in rushing with 116 yards on 26 carries.

“In the second half, they [offensive linemen] made perfect holes for me.”

The Tigers’ defense held the Orioles to only 154 yards in total offense.

“The defense was phenomenal,” said Schmid.

“We have a lot of mistakes to clean up but the Tigers never gave up and the seniors took us to victory.”

HGHS missed an opportunity to take a halftime lead when it lost a fumble at the Oriole 25, recovered by Catt, a linebacker, with 48 seconds left. The Tigers had moved the ball from their 26 before the turnover, keyed by a 24-yard pass from Stanczyk to Stauss to the Oriole 27.


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