Plymouth runs over Falls to claim second straight outright EWC crown

by Steve Ottman

SHEBOYGAN FALLS – A workman-like performance mirrored a picture-perfect finish for the Plymouth Panthers football team as it posted a 49-6 win over the Sheboygan Falls Falcons in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference finale for both teams Friday night at Zell Field.

The Panthers opened the game by scoring six straight touchdowns on six possessions, and ran away from the Falcons to post their second straight undefeated Eastern Wisconsin Conference championship season. The

Plymouth completed the EWC season at 7-0 (8-1 overall) for the second year in a row and repeated as outright champions. The Panthers’ previous stretch of consecutive unbeaten EWC seasons was from 1994- 96 when they chalked up a combined 21-0 record.

The Panthers, who have won eight straight, open Division 3 state playoff action at home Tuesday, Oct. 26 against Whitefish Bay (5-4). PHS earned a No. 1 seed in its region and the Blue Dukes are unseeded. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Falls finished its season at 1-6 in the EWC (1-8 overall). It was the worst finish for the Falcons in over 30 years.

“Our goal was to repeat as conference champs, and as the season rolled on we felt that 14-0 for two seasons was attainable,” said Panther head coach Dan Knaus.

“The members of this team started believing in themselves from early on and I asked the seniors to step up. They willed themselves to their second straight title.”

The 1-2 Panther running tandem of Hayden Potts and Mitch Unger combined for 239 yards on the ground and six touchdowns in less than one half of play.

Potts scored on touchdown runs of 1, 7 and 55 yards, and had a 20-yard touchdown pass reception. Unger had touchdown runs of 43 and 41 yards to go along with a 20-yard TD catch.

The Panthers’ rushing game put up 402 yards on the Falcons defense, which was a season high in total yardage on both sides of the ball.

Potts finished with 11 carries for 138 yards and Unger added 101 yards to lead the team in rushing.

Panthers’ backup running back Luke Ohman scored from the 1-yard line, after an 11-play, 62-yard drive from the second-string unit made the score 49-0 to open the third quarter.

“We played this game as a possible trap game,” Knaus remarked. “Falls has struggled, but we respected that they could turn the game around like they did two seasons ago.

“We wanted to play this game as if it was the championship game.”

Knaus was referring to the 2008 meeting between the two squads, when a 1-4 Falcons’ squad upset a 4-1 Panthers team, 34-17.

Falls punted on its first four possessions and only had the ball for two plays in the third quarter. However, the Falcons were able to put together a nice drive in the fourth quarter to finish the game.

Falcons’ quarterback Jason Fenner engineered a 12-play, 76-yard touchdown drive, which feature a key 33-yard pass play to Nick Roelse to move the Falcons to the Panthers’ 1. Fenner scored from the 1-yard line on the next play.

Curtiss Humphrey led Falls with 34 yards rushing, while Matt Hasler ran six times for 27 yards.

“Our seniors wanted to go out on a better note than this,” said a disappointed Falcon head coach Mike Nikson.

“Plymouth had their A-game tonight and we didn’t play well from the start.”

Knaus sized up the playoff opener.

“Whitefish Bay has a solid team that plays good defense and has multiple backs that they utilize on offense,” he said.

“We will have to continue to run the ball well so that we can keep their offense off the field. Defensively, we will have to play our assignments to help contain their quick backs.

“We are very confident and are excited for the playoffs to begin,” Knaus said.

Ply SF
First Downs……………………...17 6
Rushing Yards ………………..402 109
Passing Yards…………………...71 33
Comp-Att-Int……………………3-4-0 1-5-1
Penalties-Yards………………...1-5 3-10
Punts-Averages…………………0-0 4-24
Fumbles-Lost……………………1-0 0-0
Score by Quarters
Plymouth………………….28 14 7 0 – 49
Sheboygan Falls.............0 0 0 6 -- 6

Ply - Hayden Potts 1 run (Aaron Cantleberry kick)
Ply - Mitch Unger 43 run (Cantleberry kick)
Ply - Potts 15 pass from Unger (Cantleberry kick)
Ply - Potts 7 run (Cantleberry kick)
Ply - Unger 41 run (Cantleberry kick)
Ply - Potts 55 run (Cantleberry kick)
Ply - Luke Ohman 1 run (Cantleberry)
SF - Jason Fenner 1 run (run failed)
Individual Leaders
Rushing - Plymouth, Hayden Potts 11-138, Mitch Unger 7-101, Eric Roberts 12-61, Luke Ohman 10-57. Sheboygan
Falls, Curtiss Humphrey 10-34, Matt Hasler 6-27.
Passing - Plymouth, Unger 1-3-33-0, Kollin Neils 1-1-38-0. Sheboygan Falls, Nick Roelse 0-2-0-0, Jason Fenner 1-5-
Receiving - Plymouth, Potts 1-15, Brady Peterson 1-38. Sheboygan Falls, Roelse 1-33.

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