Spartans defeat Chippewa Falls 42-34The Spartans snapped a two-game losing streak and will enter next week’s WIAA playoffs with records of 7-2 overall and 5-2 in the Big Rivers Conference.
The Superior High School football team wrapped up its regular season with a 42-34 win over the Chippewa Falls Cardinals Friday night at Dorais Field in Chippewa Falls.
The Spartans snapped a two-game losing streak and will enter next week’s WIAA playoffs with records of 7-2 overall and 5-2 in the Big Rivers Conference.
The Cardinals, who needed to win to qualify for the playoffs, saw its season end with records of 3-6 and 3-4.
Prior to Friday night’s game, the Spartans were projected to be the largest school (enrollment size) in the Division 2 tournament. The official list of teams and divisions should be known around midnight and the actual seeding meeting will be Saturday afternoon.
The Spartans trailed 14-7 after the first quarter, but then scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter for a 28-14 halftime lead.
Chippewa Falls roared back and tied the game with two touchdowns in the early part of the third quarter, but the Spartans regained a 42-28 lead with short touchdown runs of 4 yards by Ross Kennelly and 5 yards by Nick Mehlum.
The Cardinals scored the final touchdown of the game with 6:38 remaining, but the missed the extra point, leaving the Spartans with the eight-point lead.
Superior then ran out the clock to win its second straight game over Chippewa Falls. The Spartan also defeated the Cardinals 28-8 last season, but trail the series 13-8 since 1973.
The Spartans’ well-balanced offensive attack was led by Ross Kennelly, who rushed for 123 yards on 27 carries, and Nick Mehlum, who connected on 14-of-18 passes for 224 yards. Mehlum also rushed for 36 yards, including touchdown runs of 1, 9 and 5 yards.
Addison Schwarz was Mehlum’s main target, catching five passes for 90 yards. He also caught a touchdown pass, but it was from Jake Libal on a 14-yard option play.
For Chippewa Falls, Justin Ignarski rushed for 125 yards and Kyle Webb 104. Quarterback Tony Blair was 6-of-15 passing for 147 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Chippewa Falls scored on its first two possessions of the game, on 77-yard run by Justin Ignarski and a 66-yard pass from Blair to Drew Steinmetz.
In between, Superior’s Wes Larson took a pitch from Mehlum and scored from 5 yards around the right end. The eight-play 72-yard drive ended with Schwarz kicking the extra point.
The Spartans outscored the Cardinals 21-0 in the second quarter to 28-14 lead into halftime.
The first of the second-quarter touchdowns came at 48 seconds when Jake Libal took a pitch from Mehlum and threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Schwarz. Superior actually lined up to attempt a 32-yard field goal on fourth down, but after calling a time out, changed its mind and the move paid off.
The Spartans took a 21-14 lead when Mehlum dove over the pile from less than a yard out with 2:13 left in the second quarter. The go-ahead touchdown was set up by Beau Reder’s fumble recovery at the 36-yard line. Mehlum’s touchdown came on a fourth-down play from about the two-inch line.
It went to 28-14 just 51 second later on Mehlum’s 9-yard touchdown run. The one-play drive was set up when Superior’s defense forced a punt, the snap went over the punter’s head and the Spartans tackled him at the 10-yard line.
With 1:22 still remaining in the first half, the Spartans’ defense came through again and forced the Cardinals to punt after three plays.
Superior ran out the final 30 seconds to take a 14-point lead into the intermission.
The Cardinals stormed back in the second half and tied the game at 28-28 with touchdowns on their first two drives.
On the first drive Chippewa Falls got within 28-21 on Blair’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Olson. The score came on a fourth-down play and wrapped up a drive that went 64 yards in 3:24.
The Cardinals tied it up two minutes later on Ignarski’s 24-yard touchdown, which came three plays after an interception gave them the ball at midfield.
Superior regained a 14-point lead on the Kennelly and Mehlum touchdown runs. Chippewa Falls wrapped up the scoring with Webb’s 14-ayrd run with 6:38 remaining.
SPARTAN SPIN. … Hudson defeated Menomonie 28-10 to win the Big Rivers Conference championship. Hudson has defeated the Mustangs six straight times. … Jesse Polson led Superior with 11 tackles, including eight solo. Andrew Roske was in on eight tackles and Kennelly and Will Stream had seven apiece. … Amos Mayberry led Chippewa Falls with 13 tackles.
Superior 7 21 7 7 — 42
Chippewa Falls 14 0 14 6 — 34
CF—Justin Ignarski 77-yard run (John Strand kick), 7:27.
SHS—Wes Larson 5-yard run (McKenzie Schwarz kick), 4:27.
CF—Drew Steinmetz 66-yard pass from Tony Blair (Strand kick), 3:37.
SHS—Jake Libal 14-yard pass to Addison Schwarz (M. Schwarz kick), 11:12.
SHS—Nick Mehlum 1-yard run (M. Schwarz kick), 2:13.
SHS—Mehlum 9-yard run (M. Schwarz kick), 1:22.
CF—Blair 6-yard pass to Jacob Olson (Strand kick), 8:36.
CF—Ignarski 24-yard run (Strand kick), 6:18.
SHS—Ross Kennelly 4-yard run (M. Schwarz kick), 2:17.
SHS—Mehlum 5-yard run (M. Schwarz kick), 9:39.
CF—Kyle Webb 14-yard run (kick wide left), 6:38.
First downs 23 12
Total Net Yards 460 395
Rushes-yards 50-222 33-248
Passing Yards 238 147
Comp-Att-Int 15-19-0 6-15-0
Punt Returns 0-0 0-0
Kickoff Returns 6-54 5-120
Sacked-yards loss 0-0 0-0
Punts 0-0 3-61
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-1
Penalties-Yards 6-34 7-55
Time of Possession 30:06 17:54
RUSHING—Superior, Ross Kennelly 27-123; Nick Mehlum 11-36; Jake Libal 6-30; Grant Hanson 4-17; Wes Larson 2-16. Chippewa Falls, Justin Ignarski 10-125; Kyle Webb 15-104; Kyle Bowe 3-13; Tony Blair 2-6; Trent Hinke 1-5; Aaron Knez 1-8; Nate Kalien 1-(-13),
PASSING—Superior, Mehlum 14-18-224-0; Libal 1-1-14-0. Chippewa Falls, Blair 6-15-147-0.
RECEIVING—Superior, Addison Schwarz 5-90; Hanson 4-56; Carter Anderson 2-34; Libal 2-35; Tyler Anderson 2-23. Chippewa Falls, Drew Steinmetz 1-66; Ignarski 1-38; Webb 1022; Kolton Hebbring 1-9; Jacob Olson 1-6; Kalien 1-6.
Jesse Polson 11 8 3
Andrew Roske 8 7 1
Ross Kennelly 7 3 4
Will Stream 7 4 3
Sam Freeman 4 3 1
Carter Anderson 2 2 0
Beau Reder 3 0 3
Nate Sanders 2 2 0
Morgan Johnson 2 2 0
Alex Dzidonski 2 2 0
Adam Amys 3 3 0
Taavi Mattson 1 0 1
Matt Little 1 1 0
Total 54 37 17
Amos Mayberry 13 11 2
Zach Slowiak 2 2 0
Jackson Hines 3 3 0
Tony Blair 5 4 1
Shane Jaquish 3 3 0
Kyle Zerbian 3 3 0
Kyle Webb 1 1 0
John Strand 5 4 1
Drew Steinmetz 1 1 0
Bailey Decker 4 3 1
Preston Kromrey 1 0 1
Drew Lahr 1 1 0
Parker Levine 5 3 2
Doug Schneider 4 3 1
Brendan Maul 3 3 0
Cody Weiland 4 4 0
Total 70 57 13