MARATHON — A motivated Edgar team is a dangerous one to face in the postseason.
The Wildcats controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and got a pair of touchdown runs from both Matthew Urmanski and Alec Hafferman in a 36-6 win over Marathon in a WIAA Division 6 Level 2 playoff game Friday.
The win avenges the Wildcats loss to Marathon earlier this month in a Marawood Conference matchup in Edgar.
“We just played with a chip on our shoulder because we kind of felt they took the (first) game from us,” said Hafferman, who rushed for 121 yards on 29 attempts. “We wanted to prove that we were the better team and we definitely took that (attitude) into practice and practiced hard. It showed on the field tonight.”
Marathon (9-2) fumbled three times in a span of four plays early in the fourth quarter, the final one coming on first snap after the Wildcats Wylie Frahm was stopped at the Raiders 1.
Edgar turned two of the fumbles into touchdowns to build what was a nine-point lead at the break into a 29-6 cushion.
“They kind of got us on our heels a little early and then it never works when you are trying to play catch up against them,” Marathon coach Todd Stoffel said. “That seems to be the history. When we’ve got to play catch up, that’s when they’ve got us in situation where they can press and force you to make some turnovers. That’s what they did. It got us in a hole and it snowballed.”
Edgar outscored Marathon 21-0 in the second half with Urmanski scoring on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter to cap a 15 play, 74-yard drive.
Wylie Frahm, who was injured for Edgar’s earlier game with Marathon also had a 1-yard touchdown. The Wildcats faced Saint Mary’s Springs in a Level 4 matchup next week
Frahm added 107 yards as the Wildcats (9-2) totaled 244 yards on the ground. Marathon was held to nine yards rushing and 84 yards of total offense.
Hafferman scored on Edgar’s opening two drives as the Wildcats built a 15-0 lead. Edgar dominated the opening period, running 18 plays to Marathon’s nine and outgaining the Raiders 123-12.
“We changed some things up offensively from what we did last time, personnel-wise and formation-wise,” Edgar coach Jerry Sinz said. “I thought Al Hafferman and Wylie Frahm really ran the ball hard. We kind of put the game on their back and they carried it.”
Frahm broke his hand in a win over Tomahawk the week before the Marathon game, and then cracked the cast in the matchup against the Raiders to sideline him.
Marathon took advantage of a short field in the second quarter after an Edgar personal foul on a Raiders’ punt return. Alex Robbins scored from the 3 to cap the 29-play drive which was aided by a 18-yard reception by Spencer Krautkramer on a fourth-and-4.
The Raiders had an opportunity to get closer as they were inside Edgar’s 40 after a fumble recovery and interception on consecutive Wildcats possessions. Marathon came up empty twice and lost quarterback Kellen Vetter on the first opportunity as the senior was injured recovering a Raiders fumble and did not return to the game.
Sophomore Donavan Free took over for Vetter and went 7 of 14 for 49 yards.
Edgar also nearly gave Marathon a golden opportunity in the waning moments of the second half while punting deep from its territory. The snap went over the head of Edgar’s Shawn Bunkelman, who was able to track the ball down and then get a kick off while being swarmed by Marathon’s defense.
“We just didn’t capitalize on a couple turnovers in the first half, and when we look back, that will probably be the one thing that haunts us,” Stoffel said. “You have to make plays. We had our chances but just didn’t quite do it tonight.”
E-Alec Hafferman 1 run ( Austin Borchardt pass from Hafferman), 7:21
E-Hafferman 4 run ( Hugo Calderon), 2:15
M-Alex Robbins 3 run (run fail), 8:06
E-Wylie Frahm 8 run (Calderon kick), 8:39.
E-Matt Urmanski 1 run (Calderon kick), 4:34.
E-Urmanski 1 run (Calderon kick), 6:58