After putting up 48 points last week, the Oshkosh North Spartans didn’t go into Friday night’s home opener looking to put big numbers up on the scoreboard again.
They had one goal: Play hard and hopefully that would mean they’d notch another mark in the win column.
The Spartans (2-0) did just that, knocking off Appleton West (0-2) 63-8 Friday night at J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium.
“I was expecting our kids to play hard to the whistle and whatever they gave us, that’s what I was expecting,” Oshkosh North coach Chris Kujawa said. “I don’t ever expect X amount of points. I want them to play hard every single play, play like it’s their last play and we got that. Whatever the score gives us, it gives us.”
For the Spartans, who are off to their first 2-0 start since the 2008 season, the hard effort and scoring came fast and often.
After throwing an interception on the opening play of the game, senior quarterback Nate Neveau scored touchdowns on the teams’ next two possessions, giving the Spartans a 15-0 lead with 5:04 remaining in the first half.
Sophomore quarterback Ethan Herbst hoisted a 79-yard touchdown pass to senior Matt Reader with 4:12 remaining in the first quarter to pull the Terrors within 15-8 after Dominick Thompson hauled in the catch on a two-point conversion. It was as close as they would get.
The Spartans scored 42 unanswered points to finish the game.
Neveau was 4-for-8 for 90 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the air in the first half and ran the ball for 89 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries. Junior running back Alex Hintze ran for 91 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns. He also caught a 12-yard pass from Neveau.
The one-two punch from Neveau and Hintze was tough for the Terrors to handle.
“It starts with the O line up front and they gave us a good push,” Neveau said. “We read the defensive end and if he takes Alex away, then I get the ball and if he takes me away, then Alex gets the ball. We work together well and we’ve been having success with it so far.”
Junior Kobe Schmitz tallied a 9-yard touchdown run with 8:18 remaining in the second quarter and senior Robert Phillips had a 27-yard touchdown with 3:08 left in the second quarter.
Senior Parish would finish the night with two touchdowns – a 33-yard reception from Neveau in the first quarter and a 40-yard interception returned for a touchdown to open second half scoring.
Senior Dong Hoon Im finished the scoring for the Spartans with a 7-yard touchdown run with 7:30 left in the game.
While things we were working for the Spartans, Kujawa said there were still things his team need to work on as they prepare for Wisconsin Rapids next week, including cutting down on the number of penalties, but he said he believed his team would be able to respond and fix the mistakes in the coming weeks.
“We’ve got a lot of little things we need to fix, but their effort and response to adversity, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
App. West…8 0 0 0 — 8
Osh. North…22 27 7 7 — 63
ON — Nate Neveau, 20 run (Neveau pass to Dong Hoon Im).
ON — Neveau, 8 run (Turner Geisthardt kick).
AW — Matt Reader, 79 pass from Ethan Herbst (Herbst pass to Thompson).
ON — Alex Hintze, 6 run (Geisthardt kick).
ON — Kobe Schmitz, 10 run (conversion failed)
ON — Hintze, 7 run (Geisthardt kick).
ON — Robert Phillips, 27 run (Geisthardt kick).
ON — Cameron Parrish, 33 pass from Neveau (Geisthardt kick).
ON — Parrish, 40 interception return (Sam Herkert kick).
ON — Im, 7 run (Herkert kick).
First downs 6 16
Total yards 156 403
Rushing 27-3 34-293
Yards passing 153 110
Comp.-Att-Int 12-23-4 5-8-1
Fumbles 0-0 0-0
ON — Alex Hintze 12-91, Nate Neveau 7-89, Dong Hoon Im 5-41.
Passing: AW — Ethan Herbst 12-23-4-153. ON — Nate Neveau 5-8-1-110.
Receiving: AW — Matt Reader 6-130. ON — Turner Geisthardt 1-47, Cameron Parrish 1-33.