Prep football: Pittsville tops New Lisbon to reach state semifinals (With video)

Prep football: Pittsville tops New Lisbon to reach state semifinals (With video)

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Prep football: Pittsville tops New Lisbon to reach state semifinals (With video)

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NEW LISBON

A few plays into its first possession, it was clear to the Pittsville football team that they would need more than standout halfback Nathan Dupee to beat New Lisbon.

That was OK as far as the Panthers were concerned.

Sophomore fullback Alec Kolar scored five touchdowns and finished with 240 all-purpose yards to lead Pittsville to a dominating 39-20 victory over the Rockets Friday in a WIAA Division 7 state quarterfinal game.

Pittsville (9-3) takes on defending Division 7 state champion Glenwood City, a 30-8 winner over Pepin/Alma, in the state semifinals next week at a date and time to be determined.

The semifinal appearance is Pittsville’s second in school history, the other coming in 1990 when only 96 teams — conference champions and runners-up — made the playoff field.

“It’s an incredible feeling to be going to the state semifinals,” Kolar said. “We’ve been talking about it and it’s all coming together for us. I’m so proud of everyone on this team.”

Kolar’s running style is straight ahead and he bulled his way for 143 yards on 16 carries and added a 97-yard kick return that put the game out of reach with 6 minutes, 20 seconds left in the game.

The Rockets pulled to 33-14, when Kolar struck for his biggest play of the game.

After two bounces the ball died on the 3. Kolar picked up the ball, looked at the field and took off down the right sideline. By the time he reached the 20 there was nothing but open field in front of Kolar as he went the distance untouched to extend the Panthers’ lead to 39-14.

“Alec has been running hard all season for us and we knew that they would try to stop Nathan,” Panthers coach Dan Hahn said. “Alec comes off the ball so hard and had a great game. He’s one of those kids who plays full throttle on both sides of the ball.”

Alec’s older brother Kyle, scored Pittsville’s other touchdown, a 61-yard scoring strike from quarterback Brad Wesely in the second quarter.

“Our line really stepped up tonight,” Alec Kolar said. “They opened up holes and we were able to be successful on offense all night.”

Added offensive lineman Luke Hardinger, “It’s so much fun to block for a guy like Alec who can power right through. He runs so hard is just a bull up the middle. I wish I could run like that.”

The Panthers rolled up 191 yards on the ground and another 158 through the air for an impressive 349. New Lisbon managed 191 in total offense.

The Rockets’ dual-threat quarterback Cullen Pedersen, who averaged 144 yards per game rushing and 88 passing during the regular season, was held to 79 yards on 28 carries and 50 yards passing.

Pittsville’s defense forced three turnovers, a pair of fumbles and an interception and scored 13 points off those extra opportunities.

“The whole team performed well tonight,” Hardinger said. “It’s a great feeling and we’re excited to be playing in the state semifinals.”

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