Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

Superior wins battle of the Spartans

Superior High School's Luke Drougas (8) scampers in for a fourth-quarter touchdown Friday night at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)1 / 9
Superior High School's Max Plunkett (12) returns a kickoff 82 yards in the second quarter of Friday night's game at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)2 / 9
Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com3 / 9
Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com4 / 9
Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com5 / 9
Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com6 / 9
Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com7 / 9
Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com8 / 9
Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com9 / 9

If you like a lot of scoring in football, the NBC Spartan Sports Complex was the place to be Friday night.

While the Spartans from Superior and Somerset High Schools combined to score 16 touchdowns and pile up more than 800 yards, it wasn’t until Devin Smarzia’s fumble recovery with 44 seconds remaining secured a 62-50 victory for the hometown Spartans.

“We knew it was going to be a tough, hard-fought physical battle and they were going to fight until the final tick of the clock,” DeMeyer said. “I’m also proud of our boys, we fought too. Somerset has been one of the best programs in the state for many, many years. It was a tough high school football game, we were fortunate to come out on top.”

Superior quarterback Luke Drougas had a huge game for Superior, rushing for 193 yards on 13 carries and completing 5-of-7 passes for 110 yards.

The senior also had a hand in five of his team’s nine touchdowns. He threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Max Plunkett and had four long TD runs, including a pair of 65-yarders.

Plunkett also returned a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown; Gunnar Gronski rushed for 126 yards, including touchdown runs of 9 and 10 yards; Conner Fonger chipped in with a 20-yard touchdown run; and Dominic D’Auria kicked eight extra points.

“Luke is a kid that can do it all,” SHS coach Bob DeMeyer said. “He takes care of the football, makes good throws, makes good decisions and he’s obviously very explosive and that’s why he earned the job.

“He does things that a lot of other kids over a lot of years haven’t been able to do. We’ve had great throwers and great runners, but right now he’s developing every day and he’s pretty special in both worlds.”

Jack Peterson did most of the damage for Somerset, rushing for 147 yards and six touchdowns. He had one TD run of 43 yards, while the remaining five TDs totaled just 8 yards.

The hometown Spartans were clicking on all cylinders, especially on offense, as they scored on all six of their first-half possessions and returned a kickoff for a touchdown to open up a seemingly comfortable 42-12 lead.

But Somerset’s Peterson scored with 27 seconds remaining in the second quarter and again late in the third quarter to get Somerset within 42-28.

Superior got that score back two plays into its next drive when Drougas ran through the middle and outran two Somerset defenders on his way to a 35-yard touchdown and a 49-28 lead.

Peterson’s third 1-yard TD, three plays into the fourth quarter, cut Superior’s lead to 49-34.

Drougas answered again with a 24-yard TD run, but a failed conversion made the score 55-34 with 6:39 remaining.

Things then got even more interesting when Peterson scored from 3 yards out and then on Superior’s next play Somerset’s Hayden Kelly recovered a fumble at the 23.

“It was a fake handoff and it just hit him (the running back),” Drougas said. “All I thought was ‘ugh.’”

Six plays later it was 55-50 on another Peterson 1-yard touchdown, and his two-point run, with 3:10 remaining.

Drougas made up for his fumble and allowed Superior to exhale a bit when he ran up the middle, bounced outside and scored from 26 yards out with 1:18 remaining for a 62-50 lead.

Somerset didn’t quit and moved the ball to the 10-yard line in two plays, but Smarzia’s fumble recovery with 44 seconds left sealed the victory for Superior.

“They were a tough, physical football team and were fighting right until the end,” Smarzia said. “We knew we had to make a play and my buddy, Max Plunkett, stripped the ball and I was all over it. That was a great feeling. They were running down our throats but it’s a great feeling to come out with the win.”

The Spartans started fast with Gronski’s 9-yard touchdown just 1:55 into the game, followed by Drougas’ 32-yard touchdown pass to Plunkett.

Somerset cut the lead to 14-6 when quarterback Bennett Baillargeon faked a handoff and ran untouched from 46.

Superior took a 21-6 lead with 1:37 left in the first quarter when Drougas rolled right, cut back across the middle and ran untouched down the left sidelines for 65 yards.

Somerset answered with Peterson’s 1-yard TD run, but Superior countered that when Plunkett returned the kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown and a 28-12 lead.

Two plays after forcing a punt, Gronski scored from 10 yards out. The TD was set up with a 36-yard pass from Drougas to Plunkett.

Superior’s Willy Flynn recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and two plays later Fonger run untouched up the middle from 20 yards out to give Superior a 42-12 lead. The TD was set up by Drougas’ 39-yard pass to Cayden Laurvick.

Superior finished with 446 yards, including 336 rushing. Somerset had 412 yards, including 351 on the ground.

“Knowing we had to defend that option, especially as well as Somerset runs it, our defensive guys didn’t sleep all week,” DeMeyer said. “I think our scheme was sound, we just made some fundamental errors.

“I give a whole lot of credit to them, they were very well prepared as we expected. They have a very good offensive line, their fullback is a beast and the quarterback they brought in the game made a difference in the second half.”

William Piletich, who took over at QB for Baillargeon, rushed for 99 yards and was 4-of-5 passing for 61 yards. Baillargeon also had 81 yards rushing on eight carries.

“It all came together for us on offense,” Drougas said. “The 0-line was doing their part tonight, it was the greatest thing ever. And Gronk was lead blocking for me, everybody was getting their blocks, it was amazing.

“I didn’t get on ‘D’ this game, which is a bummer, but everybody did their part on ‘D’ also.”

Superior (2-0) plays at Eau Claire Memorial at 7 p.m. Friday.

“Obviously we want to get better at tackling and we will,” DeMeyer said. “There were enough times when we had guys get to the football, but we just didn’t make the tackle.

“Now we need to have a good week at practice and get ready for Eau Claire.”

SPARTAN SPIN: Peterson also recovered a fumble for Somerset. … The Spartan twirlers performed before the game and all branches of the military were honored prior to the game and the Duluth-Superior Harbor Masters singing group sang the national anthem and performed during halftime.

Somerset............... 6.... 14     8     22     —      50

Superior.............. 21.... 21     7     13     —      62

First Quarter

Sup—Gunnar Gronski 9-yard run (Dominic D’Auria kick), 10:05.

Sup–Luke Drougas 32-yard pass to Max Plunkett (D’Auria kick), 5:34.

Som—Bennett Baillargeon 46-yard run (run failed), 3:46.

Sup—Drougas 65-yard run (D’Auria kick), 1:37.

Second Quarter

Som—Jack Peterson 1-yard run (run failed), 10:36.

Sup—Plunkett 94-yard kickoff return (D’Auria kick), 10:19.

Sup—Gronski 10-yard run (D’Auria  kick), 7:34.

Sup—Conner Fonger 20-yard run (D’Auria kick), 7:06.

Som—Peterson 4-yard run (Roy Hale run), 0:27.

Third Quarter

Som—Peterson  1-yard run (Ethan Wegsecheider run), 3:32.

Sup—Drougas 65-yard run (D’Auria kick), 2:54.

Fourth Quarter

Som—Peterson 1-yard run (run failed), 10:40.

Sup—Drougas 23-yard run (run failed), 6:39.

Som—Peterson 43-yard run (Justin Rivard run), 5:20.

Som—Peterson 1-yard run (Peterson run), 3:10.

Sup—Drougas 26-yard run (D’Auria kick), 1:18.

TEAM STATISTICS

                                               Som            Sup

Total Plays............................. 71              46

Total Yards............................ 412            446

Passing Yards....................... 61             110

Rushing Yards...................... 351            336

First Downs............................ 20              18

Third Downs.......................... 8-14            4-6

Fourth Downs......................... 2-3             1-1

Turnovers................................ 2                1

Fumbles Lost ......................... 2                1

Penalties.............................. 7-30          10-80

INDIVIDUAL STATS

RUSHING—Somerset, Jack Peterson, 27-147; William Piletich, 20-99; Bennett Baillargeon, 8-81; Rylen Weaver, 2-16; Ethan Wegscheider, 2-12; Justin Rivard, 1-3; Jared Grahovac, 1-(-7). Superior, Luke Drougas, 13-193; Gunnar Gronski, 15-126; Conner Fonger, 4-20; Devin Smarzia, 1-(-3).

PASSING—Somerset, Piletich, 4-5-1-61. Superior, Drougas, 5-7-0-110, Spencer Udeen, 0-2-0-0.

RECEIVING—Somerset, Garret Hecht, 2-30; Roy Hale, 1-17; Rivard, 1-14. Superior, Max Plunkett, 3-66; Corey Sanders, 1-24; Cayden Laurvick, 1-20.

DEFENSE

Superior

                                              TK      Ast    TFL

Devin Samarzia..................... 6        6        0

Chase Summerfield............... 3      11        0

Drake Smarzia....................... 3        4        1

Gunnar Gronski...................... 2        5        0

Max Plunkett......................... 2        4        0

Gabe Sexton.......................... 2        3        0

Dylan Lowney........................ 2        2        1

Luke Persons........................ 2        2        0

Sam Oosten........................... 2        1        0

Logan Stone.......................... 1        7        0

Tradel Nickelson................... 1        3        0

Jarrett Gronski....................... 1        2        0

Nathan Anderson................... 1        2        0

Joe Carter.............................. 1        2        0

Cameron Borgh...................... 1        1        0

Nate Peterson........................ 1        0        0

Corey Sanders....................... 0        1        0

Cayden Laurvick................... 0        1        0

Trevor Dalbec........................ 0        4        0

Somerset — Peterson, 7; Tanner Miller, 6; Garret Hecht, 5; Hayden Berry, 3.

Big Rivers Conference

2017 Standings

Superior (2-0)............................................. 0-0

Menomonie (2-0)..................................... 0-0

Rice Lake (1-0)....................................... 0-0

Hudson (1-1)........................................... 0-0

River Falls (1-1)...................................... 0-0

Chippewa Falls (1-1)............................... 0-0

Eau Claire Memorial (1-1)....................... 0-0

Eau Claire North (0-2)............................. 0-0

Thursday, Aug. 24

Eau Claire Mem. 47, La Crosse Central 22

Friday, Aug. 25

Superior 62, Somerset 50

Ellsworth 13, River Falls 78

New Richmond at Rice Lake (cancelled)

La Crosse Logan 20, Eau Claire North 7

Menomonie 49, Holmen 14

Stevens Point 23, Hudson 21

Chippewa Falls 28, Medford 13

Friday, Sept. 1

Superior at Eau Claire Memorial, 7 p.m.

Chippewa Falls at Rice Lake, 7 p.m.

Eau Claire North at Hudson, 7 p.m.

River Falls at Menomonie, 7 p.m.

Advertisement