Falcons bow out to FVL

After undefeated regular season, Falcons fall in first round
by Steve Ottman Falls News Correspondent


SHEBOYGAN FALLS seniors Zach Timreck, Sean Mattek, Austin Elsing, Max Post, Josh Becker and Dustin Setzer console each other following a tough loss to Fox Valley Lutheran in a WIAA Division 4 Level I football playoff contest versus Fox Valley Lutheran in Sheboygan Falls Friday, Oct. 23. - Falls News photo by Steve Ottman SHEBOYGAN FALLS seniors Zach Timreck, Sean Mattek, Austin Elsing, Max Post, Josh Becker and Dustin Setzer console each other following a tough loss to Fox Valley Lutheran in a WIAA Division 4 Level I football playoff contest versus Fox Valley Lutheran in Sheboygan Falls Friday, Oct. 23. - Falls News photo by Steve Ottman The No. 7 seeded Fox Valley Lutheran football team rallied for 14 points in the fourth quarter to shock No. 2 seeded Sheboygan Falls 20-14 in a WIAA Division 4 Level 1 football playoff game Friday, Oct. 23, in Sheboygan Falls.

Falls took a 7-6 lead before halftime and led 14-6 early in the fourth quarter, before surrendering two costly fumbles that changed the game.

The Foxes (5-5) advance to play Wrightstown in a Level 2 playoff game Friday, Oct. 30.

The Falcons finish the season 9-1 overall.

“We shot ourselves in the foot with four costly turnovers in the second half,” said emotional Falcons’ head coach Brian Berlin. “The weather conditions were tough, but give credit to Fox Valley for making plays when they needed them. They come from a very tough conference that qualified five teams for the playoffs.”

Heavy rain throughout the first half made moving the ball difficult for both teams. Fox Valley gained only four first downs while Falls had six.

After the first series of the first quarter, the Falcons lost senior fullback and leading defensive tackler Dustin Setzer with an injury.

“We were already missing Beau Goudreau and then to lose another starter like Setzer made it tough for us,” remarked Berlin. “Our guys met the challenge and never quit.”

The Falcons seemingly gained an advantage with a late touchdown in the second quarter.

Falls senior quarterback Ryan Schmitt found senior Austin Elsing open in the end zone on a 14- yard touchdown pass.

An extra point by senior Tyler Beeck made the score 7-6 with six seconds left in the half.

Falls received the second half kickoff and dominated the third quarter with the defense recovering two fumbles.

Falls sophomore Bailey Fetterer recovered a fumbled punt and then another fumble recovery by sophomore Nathan Garczynski gave Falls the ball on the Foxes’ 28 yard line.

Falls senior Josh Becker then gained nine yards for a key first down at the 17 yard line.

Falls senior Sean Mattek made two carries for 12 yards to move the ball to the 2 yard line.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Mattek slipped into the end zone to score on a 2-yard touchdown run. Beeck added the kick to make the score 14-6 in favor of the Falcons with 11:55 remaining.

The Foxes came right back with a 14-play, 84-yard drive that consumed over five minutes in the fourth quarter.

Fox Valley quarterback Ethan Eisermann connected with Alex Gerhardt on a 15-yard touchdown pass to cut the Falcons lead to 14- 12.

Eisermann then converted a touchdown pass to Cole Barrington to tie the game at 14-14 with 6:13 left in the fourth.

On the first play after the kickoff, the Falcons fumbled the ball back to the Foxes at the Falcons’ 35.

A big fourth down conversion pass reception by Barrington of Fox Valley Lutheran moved the ball to the 21.

Fox Valley Lutheran running back Zayne Rodencal ran for 14 yards and fumbled into the end zone where the ball was recovered by Gerhardt for a touchdown. The ensuing two-point conversion run failed with 3:47 to go in the game.

With the Foxes ahead 20-14, the Falcons needed a big fourth quarter rally.

Schmitt successfully converted on two fourth down plays to move the Falcons to midfield.

Junior Lucas Kaland caught two passes for 38 yards to move the ball to the Falcons’ 48.

Faced with another fourth down, Schmitt couldn’t handle the snap and Fox Valley recovered the ball.

The Falls defense held the Foxes and forced a punt. However, time wasn’t on their side.

With 21 seconds left, Mattek tried a hail Mary pass that was intercepted.

“It felt like we took control in the third, however, we didn’t make the plays to finish the game,” Berlin stated. “This team accomplished more than wins and losses. You can’t put a value on that. It’s priceless.”

Berlin closed by commenting that while it was a tough loss to swallow, this year’s team brought pride and winning back to the Falcons’ football program.

Mattek finished with 33 carries for 107 yards and one touchdown.

Schmitt completed 8-of-18 passes for 89 yards with one touchdown. Lucas Kaland made three catches for 45 yards.


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