The play was a simple hitch and the pass itself didn’t travel much more than 10 yards through the air.
But those details won’t matter too much to the Xavier football team. What will matter is Matt Ferris’ 42-yard touchdown completion to receiver Matt Kinderman will be known forever as the score that put Ferris alone atop the WIAA record book as the state’s top single-season passer.
Ferris threw six touchdown passes in the Hawks’ 50-18 victory over Berlin on Friday, including five to Kinderman, to set the state mark for touchdown passes in a season with 41.
“It feels really good,” Ferris said. “I don’t want to say I wanted to get this out of the way, but it was good to accomplish this before the playoffs.
“The mentality going into each game is to win that game and to get this out of the way was good for us as a team and good for me individually … and a good team effort going into the playoffs. Winning the game is the biggest thing on our minds.”
The play happened midway through the third quarter on a second-and-10 at the Berlin 42. Ferris rifled a pass to Kinderman on a comeback and Kinderman juked his defender to take it the rest of the way for the historic score.
“It starts with the guys up front making blocks,” Kinderman said. “Ferris put it right on me and I made one move and it was all green ahead of me.”
Ferris finished with 275 yards through the air on 21-of-31 passing. Kinderman had a sensational night, finishing with five touchdown catches, nine receptions and 151 yards.
Xavier coach Dave Hinkens was pleased with his team’s performance, especially coming off a disappointing 36-20 loss at Waupaca last week.
“We haven’t been faced with adversity yet,” Hinkens said. “So it was interesting to say, ‘Hey, we’re on the canvas. Do we get back up or stay on the canvas.’ The kids got back up and we’re fighting another round, so we’re very pleased at how we responded to failure.
“We’ve been good with success, so to answer the bell after, I thought we looked really good.”
Berlin (3-6 overall, 3-4 Eastern Valley) moved the ball well at times against Xavier and its junior quarterback Dakota Ross made several nice plays with his feet and displayed an accurate arm on several deep balls.
Xavier (8-1, 7-1) will now wait to see who it plays in the first round of the playoffs next week. The Hawks have been hit with the injury bug the last few weeks and hope to be relatively healthy during the postseason.
“We’re know we’re going to play a great football team next week,” Hinkens said. “I think we earned a home playoff game with an 8-1 record, so we’re going to have to play a great game next week because our opponent coming in here will be a northeast Wisconsin Division 3 team and they’re going to be for real. But I think we also have a very good football team.”
X – Michael Wolske 2 run (Wolske run)
X – Dan Reinhardt 12 pass from Matt Ferris (Reinhardt pass from Ferris)
B – Nick Reinsbach 7 run (run failed)
X – Matt Kinderman 2 pass from Ferris (Wolske run)
B – David Miracle 7 run (pass failed)
X – Kinderman 39 pass from Ferris (pass failed)
X – Kinderman 26 pass from Ferris (Ferris run)
X – Kinderman 7 pass from Ferris (pass failed)
X – Kinderman 42 pass from Ferris (kick failed)
B – Miracle 2 run (pass failed)
|Total net yards||302||425|
Passing – Xavier, Matt Ferris 21-31-0-275. Berlin, Dakota Ross 6-19-1-199.
Rushing – Xavier, Wolske 10-67, Ferris 4-32, Plamann 3-18, Zimons 4-16, Seidler 2-6. Berlin, Nick Reinsbach 8-27.
Receiving – Xavier, Kinderman 9-151, De Bruin 5-57, Wolter 3-42. Berlin, Ryan Viertel 2-77.
— Ricardo Arguello: 920-993-1000, ext. 558, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @PCRicardo