Prep football: Roncalli beats Brillion for 1st time in 5 tries

Prep football: Roncalli beats Brillion for 1st time in 5 tries

Video

Prep football: Roncalli beats Brillion for 1st time in 5 tries

By

With both sides entering the contest ranked by the Associated Press and WisSports.net, respectively, the battle between the host Roncalli football team and Brillion appeared to be a heavyweight bout.

It turned into a Jets rout.

Roncalli ended up winning going away 34-7 to prove deserving of its No. 10 ranking in the Associated Press’ medium division. It was also the Jets first win over the Lions in five tries.

“This feels great,” said Roncalli defensive back Alec Salutz. “There’s no better feeling than this right now.”

Jets coach Ray Baranczyk says the winless streak against Brillion was something him and his staff mentioned but wasn’t a main priority.

“We talked a little about it,” Baranczyk said. “This is the legacy of the seniors. Bottom line is it doesn’t matter what we’ve done in the past, it’s about what we can do this year.”

With the sweltering heat playing a factor for both sides, Roncalli never let off the gas after drawing first blood. Joey Macdonald capped a long drive with a two-yard plunge in which the Jets moved the ball seemingly at will on the left side of the Brillion defense.

“We didn’t plan to run towards the left side to start the game,” Baranczyk said. “It just so happened our first run to the left got us 11 yards, so if it works go back to the well again.”

For the game, Macdonald finished with a game-high 180 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries despite being affected by the heat.

“(The heat) was a big factor,” Macdonald said. “We’re not used to that, I’m just glad we only play one game on a Saturday in the heat.”

“It was awful,” added Salutz. “It’s just something you have to adjust to.”

It was the type of fast start Baranczyk was looking for after needing nearly the first half to find the end zone last week against New Holstein.

“I have confidence in the leadership on this team,” Baranczyk said. “I knew we’d come out here and play with the type of intensity we needed.”

Macdonald mentioned facing Brillion is a week-long affair.

“Monday practices is when gametime starts (for Brillion),” Macdonald said. “Everytime we’ve played Brillion we’ve had mental mistakes. We had to be prepared and avoid mistakes.”

The Jets continued to have their way with the Lions’ defense in their second drive, as Alex Deetz almost fell into the endzone from one yard out. After a successful two-point conversion, Roncalli led 14-0 with 3:16 left in the first quarter.

Brillion got its offense going at the end of the first, gaining a couple first downs before Salutz intercepted a pass to end the threat.

“Right before (the interception) I told the guys we needed to do something to make a stop,” Salutz said. “I almost got caught up thinking it was a sweep but luckily I recovered in time to make the play.”

After a holding call ended the previous drive, Roncalli once again forced a turnover, recovering a fumble on the Brillion 42-yard line. The Jets though, were unable to capitalize.

A second consecutive fumble recovery by Roncalli put the Jets just outside the redzone. The third time would be the charm, with Roncalli converting the Lions’ miscue into a Deetz two-yard score for a 21-0 advantage.

Macdonald then leaped in from a yard out to give the Jets a 28-0 lead just before halftime.

Roncalli dominated on both sides of the ball in the first half, running at will while limiting Brillion’s offense to short gains and three turnovers. This was by design, as the Jets like to control the ball offensively while flying to the football on the defensive end.

“Our offense is predicated on attacking the defensive end,” Baranczyk added. “We were really able to confuse the defensive end, he didn’t know which way we were coming.”

The start of the second half was more of the same for the Jets, a steady dose of the running game culminating in a Macdonald five-yard touchdown and 34-0 lead.

Each side kept the clock moving the rest of the third quarter, with Roncalli methodically moving the ball down the field. Roncalli racked up 365 yards rushing as a team, compared to 25 passing. The Jets also garnered 25 first downs to the Lions’ five, slowing eating away bit by bit with 5-10 yard runs.

Brillion’s 75-yard touchdown pass to start the final frame from quarterback Max Scharf to Riley Eichorst ended a streak of 11 quarters of shutout football for the Jets.

“I have to give (defensive coordinator) Scott Senglaub a lot of credit,” Baranczyk said. “He puts in a lot of work scrutinizing where we can attack and the kids just come out executing the gameplan he devises. The kids are having a fun time just flying to the ball.”

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports