Indians roll past PHS, seize ECC crown

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


BRANDON THULL, Kewaskum running back, tries to elude Plymouth’s Derek Novotny (21) and Samuel Staehling in Friday’s ECC football game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley BRANDON THULL, Kewaskum running back, tries to elude Plymouth’s Derek Novotny (21) and Samuel Staehling in Friday’s ECC football game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley KEWASKUM – Kewaskum dominated on both sides of the ball en route to a 38-0 trouncing of the Plymouth Panthers here Friday night which gave the Indians the undisputed and first East Central Conference football title.

The Indians, ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press medium-division poll last week, finished ECC play at 7-0 and posted a 9-0 record for the regular season. The Panthers, who needed a win to earn a share of the league crown with Kewaskum and Berlin, ended up third in the ECC at 5-2, with Berlin taking second at 6-1.

PHS takes a 5-4 overall record into the Division 3 state playoffs. The Panthers are seeded No. 8 and play at No. 1-seeded Appleton Xavier in the first round Friday at 7 p.m.

“It was disappointing that we came out flat. I thought our kids were ready, but we weren’t, and I take blame for that,” said Panther head coach Dan Knaus.


DEREK NOVOTNY, Plymouth running back, picks up a nice gain against the Kewaskum defense in Friday’s ECC football game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley DEREK NOVOTNY, Plymouth running back, picks up a nice gain against the Kewaskum defense in Friday’s ECC football game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley “I’m not sure why but we seemed to play timid.”

Star running back Brandon Thull started the game with a bang for Kewaskum when he raced 79 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. Thull took a handoff, cut to the outside and then sped down the left sideline to the end zone. Cade Peterson added the first of his five extra-point kicks which gave the Indians a 7-0 lead before the fans had barely settled into their seats.

After PHS failed to gain a first down on its first possession after Derek Novotny had returned the ensuing kickoff 32 yards to midfield. Kewaskum took over at its 2-yard line following Gavin Falk’s 46-yard punt.

On third down and about a foot to go for a first at its 11, a bold Indian offense tried for the first down but Thull fumbled and Plymouth’s Zach Albers recovered at the Kewaskum 10.

The Panthers missed a golden opportunity to score. Tailback Samuel Staehling ran for 4 yards on the next two plays combined and then was tackled for a 2-yard loss on a pass from quarterback Gavin Falk which put the ball back to 8.

PHS went for a field goal on fourth down and Falk’s 25-yard attempt was blocked by Kewaskum’s Cole Rahlf who returned the ball to his 38. Suddenly the momentum shifted back to the Indians and they ran with it, literally. One play later, wide receiver Steven Nurkala gashed the PHS defense for 26 yards on a counter play to the PHS 35.

Thull then ripped off a 13-yard run to the 22, followed by quarterback Michael Prochnow’s 13-yard pass to wideout Eric Doll to the 9. On third and goal from the 1, Thull punched it across the goal line to give Kewaskum a 14-0 lead with 3:42 left in the first quarter.

The Indians scored on three of their next four possessions to build a stunning 31-0 halftime lead. Peterson kicked a 26-yard field goal, followed by Thull’s 43-yard TD scamper and Prochnow’s 6-yard run off a rollout.

Kewaskum made it 38-0 with 3:21 remaining in the third period on a 19-yard scoring dash by Nurkala.

“Kewaskum has a great physical team and we knew that going in. They played very well,” said Knaus. They outplayed us in all facets.”

“The kids played really well,” said Indian head coach Jason Piittmann. “Overall, I’m very pleased.

“The kids were very focused and came ready to play.

“It’s big to get off to a good start. It was a big play [the first TD] and then we kept rolling from there,” said Piittmann.

“Overall, we did a great job,” said Thull who rushed for a game-high 171 yards on only 16 carries.

“We’re really starting to connect as a team and I think we can make a deep run in the playoffs.

“I was impressed with our chemistry and intensity. I can always count on the offensive line. I did pretty well but it all starts with the O line,” said Thull.

Knaus is hopeful his team will bounce back in the playoffs.

“I told the guys, it’s times like this when champions bounce back and overcome adversity,” he said.

Kewaskum’s tough, physical defense held PHS to only 99 yards on the ground and 73 passing. Staehling, who had 970 yards rushing for the season coming in, was limited to just 43 on 11 attempts.


Most recent cover pages:













Poll
POLL: Do you think Elkhart Lake made the right decision in not allowing Strawberry the pot-bellied pig?:

Copyright 2009-2018 The Plymouth Review, All Rights Reserved

Contact Information

113 E. Mill St., Plymouth WI 53073
Local: 920-893-6411 Toll Free: 1-877-467-6591
Fax: 920-893-5505