The Markesan High School football opener Friday had a little of everything: a fumble returned for a touchdown, an interception returned for a touchdown, plenty of turnovers and a 42-22 Hornets’ victory.
“It was probably a closer game than the score indicated,” said Markesan coach Kevin Wopat. “We left some opportunites on the field on offense, but our defense stepped up with two scores. I liked the way we flew around on that side of the ball; we were aggressive and set the tone for the way the game was going to be played.”
It was tied at 8-8 after the first period with Markesan’s TD coming by way of a Ryan Kelly 3-yard fumble return for a score.
Markesan opened up a lead with Logan Grahn and Kyle Jahnke runs for touchdowns to take a 22-16 halftime lead. Jahnke finished as Markesan’s leading ground gainer with 18 carries for 117 yards.
Andrew Gibbons threw two second-half TD passes to Adam Brown and totalled 127 yards pasing.
Matt Stensrud, a Markesan defesnive tackle, picked off screen pass and rambled 10 yards for a touchdown near the end of the third quarter. The Hilltoppers turned over the ball six times, losing 4 of 4 fumbles.
“I thought Ryan Kelly and Vince Stensrud did a great job helping set the tone. They did a great job to seal off the edge.”
Brookfield Academy 54, Oakfield 12
The Oaks led by two touchdowns after the first 12 minutes on their home field, but the Blue Knights scored five touchdowns in the second quarter with the help of two turnovers.
“We came out real quick and the momentum switch and we couldn’t get it back,” Oakfield coach Tim Sievert said.
Back to back interceptions in the second quarter got returned to inside the Oaks’ 5-yard line and were converted into touchdowns.
Oakfield’s Taylor Schaefer had an 8-yard run for the game’s first score, then returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown late in the opening quarter. But that’s when Brook Academy got going to take a 33-12 lead into the half.
Dominic Rieci, the Blue Knights’ quarterback had a huge night. He ran for five touchdowns, threw for another and finished with over 100 yards both passing and receiving. In the air he went 11-for-17 for 171 yards.
“He’s talented and the player, and they have a real smart passing game with talented receivers around him,” Sievert said. “But as far as an atelte he’s a real good athlete.