Tigers’ defense roars in season-ending win

HOWARDS GROVE – The Howards Grove Tigers’ defense forced eight turnovers and scored one touchdown to spark a 20-13 win over St. Mary Catholic (Neenah) in a Big East Conference football game here Friday night.

The game was the season finale for both teams. HGHS, which won three of its final four games, finished 2-6 in the Big East and 3-6 overall. The Zephyrs ended at 3-5 in the league and 3-6 overall.

HGHS, which was outgained 381-160 in total offensive yardage, intercepted four passes and recovered four fumbles on defense. Tiger sophomore defensive back Eric Reinemann had three interceptions.

Tiger sophomore defensive lineman Joe Black returned a fumble 97 yards for a touchdown and quarterback Travis Stanczyk added a twopoint conversion run which gave the Tigers an 8-7 lead with 1:45 left in the second quarter.

On the fumble return, Zephyr quarterback Samuel Hoheisel tried to pass the ball under heavy pressure but as he was being tackled he threw the ball backwards and Black scooped it up and went the distance for the momentum-turning score.

Stanczyk’s 2-yard TD run with 3:59 remaining in the game gave the Tigers a 14-13 advantage. A twopoint conversion run failed.

The Tigers sealed the win when sophomore running back Jack Peterson dashed 48 yards for a TD which put HGHS up 20-13 with 1:05 left.

“Defense wins championships and won the game for the Tigers last night,” said Tiger head coach David Schmid.

“The seniors, playing their last game, clarified the Tigers all night. Thanks to their leadership we were able to walk off the field victorious.”

Peterson, starting for injured Jake Fritz, led the Tigers in rushing with 105 yards on 19 carries.

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Bitter Neumann