Coming off a huge win against Fox Valley Lutheran, with a performance by Dylan Hecker that earned him Player of the Week honors from wissports.net, the Winneconne Wolves came into their homecoming contest hoping that it wouldn’t be the dreaded “trap game. The game that a team is supposed to win on paper, but turns in a less than stellar performance.
The Wolves didn’t need to worry.
With Hecker leading the way, the Wolves survived a valiant effort from the Ripon Tigers to post a 36-22 victory.
Ripon definitely put up one heck of a fight, holding a 14-7 lead at halftime and seemingly able to run the ball at will against the Winneconne defense.
“They were running the ball on us pretty well with that counter,” said Wolves head coach Clint Peters. “We adjusted in the second half, switching from a four man to a five man. That made the difference.”
Of course another difference was Hecker. The senior quarterback turned in a huge second half, rushing for 115 yards and two scores and throwing for a third TD. One rushing touchdown became a huge turning point in the game for the Wolves.
After a 28-yard scoring run by Winneconne’s Nick Vandenlangenberg made the score 28-14, the Tigers went on a nine-play drive that ended in an interception thrown by James Vander Galien. The Ripon defense held, though, forcing punts on the next two Winneconne possessions.
The second punt was blocked by Chase Niederkorn, who scooped the ball up and scrambled 10 yards for a touchdown.
With the score 29-22 and all the momentum on the Ripon side, Hecker broke free on the first play from scrimmage on the ensuing drive and sprinted 80 yards for a touchdown, effectively shutting down Ripon’s comeback effort.
“I saw a hole and I ran right through it and luckily no one came up to me,” Hecker said. “I saw the end zone and ran. My linemen opened a great hole for me.”
Hecker finished with 178 yards on 16 carries and three touchdowns on the ground, and went 9 for 17 for 84 yards and a score passing.
“Yes, he (Hecker) is a great football player, but it takes more than him to run the team,” said Ripon head coach Al Schraeder. “He made a couple big plays, but if our offense makes a first down when we needed, Dylan Hecker is not on the field. They are a good team.”