By Steve Pilz
SPENCER – Since the blustery weather conditions didn’t favor the passing game in Central Wisconsin Friday night, the usually well-balanced Spencer/Columbus Catholic offense reverted to the next best thing and bludgeoned the Arcadia Raiders to the tune of 420 yards on 46 tries on the ground in a 40-8 drubbing at Ted Fritsch Field in a WIAA Division 5 Level 1 football playoff game.
The Rockets’ defense was equally impressive, holding the Raiders’ running game to minus-13 yards on the ground in 22 attempts.
The Rockets took about seven minutes to score before Carson Hildebrandt crashed in from three yards out for a 7-0 lead.
But then the floodgates opened and the Rockets scored in bunches.
Austin Bacon put the cap on a six-play drive when he scored from eight yards out at the 10:14 mark of the second quarter. Hildebrandt went for 44 yards on just three carries in the drive and the Rockets were up 14.
Jarred Mandel hit Hayden Bauman on a screen to the left on the next drive and the speedy junior took it 37 yards for another score.
With 1:38 left in the half it was Bauman again, this time from 27 yards out, to make it 26-0 at the half.
“We were able to run the ball on the outside pretty well,” said S/C coach Jason Gorst. “We ran the ball inside equally as well. That being said, our defense was phenomenal. There are just no words to be had there. We played very well tonight.”
Bauman left a vapor trail on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, bolting off right tackle and then to the edge for 67 yards.
Mandel hit Ethan Meece with a five-yard TD pass five minutes later and sophomore Eden Jacobson did his best Bauman impersonation, sprinting 55 yards for the Rockets final score making it 40-0.
Bauman finished the game with 146 yards on just eight carries. Hildebrandt, the steady senior, pitched in with 112 yards on 13 carries. Bacon just missed the century mark on 98 yards on 11 totes.
So, with a running clock the Rockets reserves got some valuable playing time, allowing the Raiders only score of the game when Logan Slaby barreled in from the one to give the visitors at least a moral victory.
“It certainly helps when you play error free for the most part, which we were close to tonight,” added Gorst. “We’re playing pretty well. We just got to go back to work, get ready for the next team and go from there.”
The Rockets improved to 9-1 and will play Bloomer in a Level 2 game at Spencer High School next Friday, Oct. 26.
Rockets 40, Raiders 8
Arcadia 0 0 0 8 – 8
Spencer/Columbus Catholic 7 19 14 0 – 40
S/C – Carson Hildebrandt 3 run (Even Dieringer kick), 4:50.
S/C – Austin Bacon 8 run (Dieringer kick), 10:14.
S/C – Hayden Bauman 37 pass from Jarred Mandel (kick failed), 6:46.
S/C – Bauman 27 run (kick failed), 1:38.
S/C – Bauman 67 run (Dieringer kick), 11:39.
S/C – Ethan Meece 2 pass from Mandel (Dieringer kick), 6:13.
S/C – Eden Jacobson 55 run (Dieringer kick), 1:52.
A – Logan Slaby 1 run (Mac Huebner run good), 7:36.
First downs: A 4; S/C 19.
Rushing (att.-yards): A 22-minus 13; S/C- 46-420.
Passing (comp.-att.-yards-int.): A 6-14-119-1; S/C 3-8-46-0.
Total yards: A 106; S/C 486.
Penalties (no.-yards): A 4-17; S/C 5-40.
Fumbles (total-lost): A 2-1; S/C 2-1.
Rushing: A, Huebner 5-15, Tyler Klar 3-5, Slaby 2-0, Tanner Klar 2-minus 2, Joseph Rivera 2-minus 2, Michael Schweisthal 2-minus 2, Chase Patzner 3-minus 21. S/C, Bauman 8-146, Hildebrandt 13-112, Bacon 11-98, Jacobson 1-55, Will Gorst 4-18, Mandel 4-minus 13.
Passing: A, Patzner 2-6-63-1, Tanner Klar 4-8-57-0. S/C, Mandel 3-8-46-0.
Receiving: A, Tyler Klar 2-63, Ben Teske 2-24, Erik Guenther 1-26, Slaby 1-6. S/C, Ethan Meece 2-9, Bauman 1-37.
Fumble recoveries (defense): S/C, Bauman.
Interceptions (defense): S/C, Meese.
Records: Arcadia 5-5; Spencer/Columbus 9-1.
Steve Pilz writes for MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to focusonmarshfield.com.