Prep football: Roncalli advances in D4 playoffs

Prep football: Roncalli advances in D4 playoffs

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Prep football: Roncalli advances in D4 playoffs

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MANITOWOC

The No. 3 seeded Roncalli football team defeated No. 6 Edgerton in the WIAA Division 4 Level One football matchup on Friday at Ron Rubick Municipal Field in Manitowoc.

The Jets potent rushing attack led by Alex Katz, who garnered 106 yards and 2 touchdowns, bowled over an outmatched Crimson Tide squad en route to the 27-8 win.

Roncalli got the game started fast, recovering the opening kickoff on a squibbed kick no one on the Edgerton team thought to grab. Colin Senglaub converted the miscue into a two yard Jets touchdown, their first of the night.

“We’ve actually struggled with out kickoffs all season,” said Roncalli coach Ray Baranczyk. “We just wanted to pooch the ball down and get our guys to cover. He (the Edgerton player) just made a bad mental mistake thinking the ball would roll out of bounds.”

Katz wasted no time on Roncalli’s second possession, taking the pitch on the left side 55 yards to the house. Once Katz got to the outside the Tide’s defense was no match for his speed as they chased in a futile attempt to bring him down.

“I was a little apprehensive going into the game,” Baranczyk said. “It’s not like a conference game because you don’t have a flavor for how the other team operates. We just ran our basic offense and things kept clicking.”

The rout was on.

A productive drive on Edgerton’s next possession was cut short on a fumble just as the Tide were entering the red zone.

The Jets recovered the second fumble of the game on the first play of the second quarter and turned it into Katz’s second touchdown on the night on fourth and goal from the five. Roncalli decided to forgo the short field go attempt to try and take further control of the game.

Roncalli quarterback Zach Slattery hit Katz, who showed he can be just as dangerous as a downfield threat, for a 74 yard bomb with just under four minutes left before halftime. The drive had started at the Jets own five, but Katz got behind the safety and Slattery threw an absolute dart 50 yards in the air.

The score at halftime was a perfect illustration of the game, with Roncalli up 27-0 as Edgerton would rarely pass midfield before committing one of three first-half turnovers.

With the game well in hand, the Jets decided to rest Katz in the second half. Roncalli’s offense kept rolling none the less with Roncalli starting a 70-yard clock eating drive which ended inside the Edgerton 10 but took over four minutes off the clock to end the third quarter.

Baranczyk said he wanted to keep Katz fresh for the next week since Katz had been nursing a high ankle sprain.

Roncalli wouldn’t score for the rest of the game, but the intention was more to shorten the game and get out with a win than to run up anymore points.

The Tide scored a late touchdown with 2:51 left in the fourth quarter but the game had been decided by halftime.

The Jets sported the best defense in the Olympian Conference and it showed, holding the Tide to under 200 yards of total offense.

“I’m just really proud of my team,” added Baranczyk. “Now it’s up to us to get ready for next week.”

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