A quick start – 15 points in less than six minutes – gave the Eau Claire Regis football team just the edge it needed in its Cloverbelt Conference showdown with Colby on Thursday night.
And after dominating for the first half of the game, the Ramblers, ranked second in Division 6 in the latest Wisconsin Football Coaches Association poll, beat the Hornets 29-15 at Carson Park in a battle of highly ranked teams. Colby entered the game ranked second in D5 in the latest Wisconsin Football Coaches Association poll.
Regis has gotten off to fast starts in all three games an that has been the Ramblers’ calling card this season.
On the second play from scrimmage the Rambers’ Victor Bourget returned an interception 25 yards to put Regis on the scoreboard 16 seconds into the game.
When the Ramblers’ offense got the ball back after a Colby punt, Sam Bachmeier bolted for 43 yards and gave Regis a 15-0 lead before the midpoint of the opening quarter.
“That was big to get an early lead against a team like Colby,” Regis coach Bryant Brenner said. “Victor was in the right spot at the right time and gave us a big boost. Then on our first possession we got a big run from Sam.”
Regis continued to dominate the game in the trenches, holding Colby to three total yards of offense in the first half.
“Getting down really hurt us tonight and Regis has been scoring quickly in all their games so far,” Colby coach Jeff Rosemeyer said. “They gained a lot of momentum with their two big plays, but I’m proud of how our team hung in there and battled.
“We did some good things tonight,” Rosemeyer added. “I was proud that we made some big plays and got some things going on offense.”
The Hornets’ offense began to settle into a groove late in the third quarter when Brandon Wickersham, all 5 foot-4 and 145 pounds of him, willed his way to Colby’s first touchdown.
Wickersham busted through the line for a 63-yard game and a horse collar tackle by the only Regis defender that had chance to tackle him, gave Colby a first-and-10 on the Regis 4-yard line. Wickersham took it the last four yards to narrow the gap to 15-7 with 3:10 left in the third quarter.
Regis took a 22-7 lead on Khadel Akindolire’s five-yard run, but Colby answered again.
A 34-yard pass play from quarterback Tyler Robida to Nathaniel Underwood set up Wickersham’s second touchdown, a 10-yard run.
“This was our first true test this season,” Bryant said. “The first two games things just happened for us, but tonight we had to fight.”
For good measure, Regis put seven more points on the scoreboard with 3:30 to play.
“I told our boys to keep their heads up and we can get a lot of positive momentum out of this game,” Rosemeyer said. “Regis is a good football team and they play physical and we hung in there with them.”
|Eau Claire Regis||15||0||0||14||—||29|
R – Victory Bourtget 25 INT return (Khadel Akindolire run)
R – Sam Bachmeier 43 run (Cameron Pedersen kick)
C – Brandon Wickersham 4 run (Tanner Gaetz kick)
C – Brandon Wickersham 10 run (Gaetz kick)
R – Akindolire 5 run (Pedersen kick)
R – Chris Pica-Anderson (Pedersen kick)
Rushing – C: Wickersham 16-93, McCoy Soppa 7-14, Nathaniel Underwood 1-(-1); R: Hayden Frey 10-58, Michael Maenner 7-28, Akindolire 11-96, Bachmeier 8-76, Pica-Anderson 13-69.
Passing – C: Tyler Robida 9-14-1-137; R: Adam Loftsgaarden 2-3-0-49.
Receiving – C: Underwood 6-90, Wickersham 2-32, Tanner Uhlig 1-15; R: Bourget 2-49.
Records: Eau Claire Regis 3-0, 2-0 Cloverbelt; Colby 2-1, 1-1 Cloverbelt.