NLS avenges loss to Foley
NEW LONDON -- Ten days in October made all the difference.
On the 15th, New London-Spicer lost to Foley 38-24. On Saturday night -- again on the Wildcats' own field --the results were reversed with NLS winning a Section 6AAA semifinal tilt, 31-10.
The big change over the 10-day spread was defense.
The Falcons piled up for 449 yards the first meeting but got just 241 yards this time.
The Wildcats (7-2) move on to play Albany (9-0) at St. Cloud State's Husky Stadium at 5 p.m. Friday. This, too, will be a rematch of West Central North foes. Albany won a Sept. 19 meeting with NLS, 8-7.
Foley led 7-3 at halftime, but the Wildcats dominated the second half.
"We just picked up the intensity and started hitting on all cylinders," said NLS senior running back Shawn Halliday about the team's second-half surge.
The defense held Foley (6-3) to three yards in three plays to start the third quarter.
Jay Moten returned Justin Wennerberg's punt 41 yards down the stadium side to the Foley 15. Four plays later, quarterback Jared Williamson carried six yards to the two. Fullback Taylor Dammermann burrowed in for a 10-7 Wildcat lead, after the extra-point by Caleb Friedrich.
The NLS kick coverage forced Kevin Grothis to fumble the kickoff and D.J. Rothwell recovered for the Wildcats.
On the first play, Halliday followed the blocking of left guard Tony Dauk, left tackle Jared Klever and fullback Dammermannn to run untouched to the north end zone. The two touchdowns just 11 seconds apart put NLS up 17-7.
In the fourth, Williamson carried nine yards to the Falcon 25 for a first down. Dammermann spurted to the one and Williamson snuck it in for a 24-10 lead.
Defensive tackle Rothwell, linebackers John Nething and Luke Reiter and end Justin Zylstra were a few of the Wildcats who kept the pressure on Wennerberg, also the Foley quarterback.
That pressure forced him into two interceptions -- the second by Sam Schmid was returned 46 yards with 7:31 left to punch the Wildcats' ticket to St. Cloud for the second time in three years.
"We knew we would be pretty good this year," said Halliday. "We knew we had a shot."
NL-Spicer 31, Foley 20
Foley 0 7 3 0 -- 10
NL-Spicer 3 0 14 14 -- 31
NLS - Caleb Friedrich 24 field goal
Fol - Jeremy Weber 2 pass from Justin Wennerberg (Travis Stuffert kick)
NLS - Taylor Dammerman 2 run (Friederich kick)
NLS - Shawn Halliday 24 run (Friederich kick)
Fol - Stuffert 32 field goal
NLS - Jared Williamson 1 run (Friederich kick)
NLS - Sam Schmid 46 interception return (Friedrich kick)
First downs: 11 ... Rushing: 43-130 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 10-23-111-2 ... Fumbles lost: 1 ... Penalties: 4-35
Rushing: Jeremy Weber 24-76, Kris Olson 1-2, Justin Wennerberg 13-34, Branden Seppelt 4-14, Tyler Lewandowski 1-4 ... Passing: Wennerberg 9-22-113-2, Leonard Gabbert 1-1-(-2)-0 ... Receiving: Matt Feuling 2-14, Babbert 4-30, Olson 2-62, Weber 1-7, Wennerberg 1-(-2) ... Punting: Wennerberg 3-30.0 ... Interceptions: none ... Fumble recoveries: Tyler Lewandowski, Brandon Seppelt
First downs: 11 ... Rushing: 33-140 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 8-15-49-0 ... Fumbles lost: 2 ... Penalties: 4-35
Rushing: Shawn Halliday 13-51, Taylor Dammerman 11-56, Derek Henle 1-2, Jay Moten 3-8, Jared Williamson 5-23 ... Passing: Williamson 8-15-49-0 ... Receiving: Chris Tobkin 4-37, Derek Dohmann 1-(-7), Henle 1-9, Moten 1-7 ... Punting: Tobkin 4-23.0 ... Interceptions: Sam Schmidt, John Nething ... Fumble recoveries: D.J. Rothwell ... Tackles (solo-assist): Sam Schmid 7-1, John Nething 7-3, Rothwell 7-1, Dammermann 6-2, Luke Reiter 4-5, Jake Essler 5-1, Austin WEntzlaff 2-4, Justin Zylstra 4-3, Kevin Groth 5-0 ... QB sacks: Reiter 1, Groth 1