Cedarburg’s unique offense hadn’t scored less than 31 points in a game this season.
But the Bulldogs didn’t face Kimberly’s defense until Friday night.
The Papermakers stopped Cedarburg on eight straight possessions in the second and third quarters and forced three turnovers on the way to a 43-14 win in a WIAA Division 2 Level 2 playoff game at Papermaker Stadium.
Next up for Kimberly is a much-anticipated game against Homestead in a battle of the state’s top-ranked teams either next Friday or Saturday. Homestead beat Hamilton 28-20 on Friday.
To get to the third round of the playoffs, Kimberly had to slow down Hudson Walton and Cedarburg’s funky double-wing offense.
Although the Papermakers gave up 280 yards defensively, they didn’t allow Walton to take over the game. Walton, a fast yet strong senior, entered as the state’s seventh-leading rusher with 1,836 yards and added 131 yards on 22 carries.
“He’s a heck of a player,” said Kimberly junior defensive back Spencer Hermus. “We just had to swarm tackle and get everyone to the ball. We had excellent preparation starting Sunday night. We figured out our keys on Monday. We were just ready to go all week.”
Although Walton burst for a 32-yard touchdown late in the first quarter, Kimberly settled down defensively, allowing only one first down on the Bulldogs’ next five drives.
“We knew they were going to be physical and we just had to take it to them, be more physical on and off the ball, and we had to make them adjust to us instead of us adjusting to them,” senior safety/kicker Mitch Fisher said.
Papermakers head coach Steve Jones praised the work of his defensive assistants and players.
“I’m very impressed with our defensive game plan and how well our kids executed our game plan tonight,” Jones said. “That’s a tough offense to stop. I think our kids did a remarkable job, which allowed our offense to get things going.”
Kimberly’s offense got going in the second quarter by scoring on three straight possessions, breaking a 7-7 tie to take a 26-7 halftime lead.
Blair Mulholland started the streak by scoring the second of his three touchdowns, a 43-yard run on which he broke a tackle and outran the rest of the Bulldogs down the middle of the field.
The Papermakers’ next two scores came through the air as Jordan Janssen and Weston Guilfoyle caught touchdown passes from Scott Schreiber.
Kimberly also came up with an alert special teams play by recovering an onside kick by Cedarburg to open the second half. The Kimberly coaches were prepared because of the 19-point lead, lining up 10 players within about 20 yards of the kick.
“We knew that with the situation in the game, we had to be prepared for it,” Jones said. “Jack DeGroot really went up and got it and made a play for us.”
Although the Papermakers couldn’t take advantage of the great field position, they scored twice in the third quarter, on touchdown runs by Schreiber and Mulholland, to put the game out of reach.
“I feel like the coaches at halftime got us fired up and the line just clicked,” said Mulholland, who ran 18 times for 143 yards. “They were getting movement. Those guys make some big holes. It makes it easy. It’s fun running behind them.”
Even though next week’s game will draw statewide attention, Jones said he wasn’t worried about his team looking past the Cedarburg game.
“Not with the kids we have on this team,” Jones said. “Our kids knew that if we didn’t take care of business tonight, for some of them, their high school football careers would be over. And for our seniors, we knew that this would likely be their last game at Papermaker Stadium. We really practiced very well this week and came out and performed.”
K – Blair Mulholland 1 run (Mitchel Fisher kick)
C – Hudson Walton 32 run (Trevor Tegtmeier kick)
K – Mulholland 43 run (run failed)
K – Jordan Janssen 10 pass from Scott Schreiber (pass failed)
K – Weston Guilfoyle 30 pass from Schreiber (Fisher kick)
K – Schreiber 51 run (Fisher kick)
K – Mulholland 28 run (Fisher kick)
K – Fisher 26 field goal
C – Walton 6 run (Tegtmeier kick)
|Total net yards||280||434|
Rushing – Cedarburg, Walton 22-131. Kimberly, Mulholland 18-143, Schreiber 5-81, Sean Cohen 9-43.
Passing – Cedarburg, Mike Mojica 10-18-0-122. Kimberly, Schreiber 12-19-0-154.
Receiving – Cedarburg, Jonathan Stiever 6-90. Kimberly, Guilfoyle 4-70.