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Spartans' season ends with 28-6 loss at Chippewa Falls

The season came to an end for the Superior High School football team with a 28-6 loss to the Chippewa Falls Cardinals in a WIAA Division 2 playoff game Friday night at Dorias Field in Chippewa Falls.

The game was a rematch from Sept. 11 when six Spartan turnovers helped Chippewa Falls run away from Superior with a 39-7 victory.

Turnovers proved costly again for the Spartans, as two of their four turnovers were followed by Cardinal touchdowns. Superior also had two interceptions, including one in the end zone.

Both fumbles came in the first half as Chippewa Falls opened up a 21-0 halftime lead.

Superior opened up the second half with a 70-yard, 10-play drive that ended with Ross Kennelly running up the middle for a 4-yard touchdown. Sam Kline’s extra-point attempt was blocked, leaving the score 21-6 with 6:55 left in the third quarter.

Chippewa Falls got those points back, plus one, as Kyle Bowe’s 1-yard run and Christian Buckles’ kick made the score 28-6 with 3:38 left in the third quarter.

The game remained scoreless the rest of the way, and Superior’s season ended with a 6-4 record.

Chippewa Falls improved to 9-1 and advances to play at Menasha Friday in a Level 2 game. Menasha, last year’s Division 2 state champion, advanced with a 38-15 win over Hortonville.

The Spartans got the start they wanted Friday night by forcing the Cardinals to punt after just three plays on the first possession of the game.

Superior managed a first down and then completed a pass that would have given them another first down in Chippewa Falls’ territory. But as Beau Girard was fighting for extra yardage, he fumbled and the Cardinals recovered the ball at the 35-yard line.

Six plays later, all on the ground, the Cardinals took a 7-0 lead on Kole Mewhorter’s 10-yard touchdown run and Buckles’ extra-point kick.

Superior managed to move the ball once again on its next possession, and an 18-yard pass from Gunner Johnson to Girard gave the Spartans the ball on 24.

But after an incomplete pass, an 11-yard run by Johnson was sandwiched by two quarterback sacks and the Spartans turned the ball over on downs at the 40.

Twelve running plays later Chippewa Falls took a 14-0 lead when quarterback Justin Czech snuck over from 1 yard out and Buckles kicked the extra point.

Another Spartan fumble, along with a personal foul, gave the Cardinals the ball at Superior’s 26-yard line.

Four plays later Bowe plowed over from 2 yards out, giving Chippewa Falls a 21-0 lead with 8:33 left in the second quarter.

The Spartans had success moving the ball again on their next possession and eventually had a first down on the Cardinal 18-yard line.

But Superior committed its third turnover when Evan Spaeth intercepted a pass in the end zone.

After a holding penalty wiped out a 50-yard run by Mewhorter, Chippewa Falls ran out the final seconds of the half.

Chippewa Falls finished with 304 yards, including 294 yards rushing on 53 carries. The Cardinals attempted just five passes, completing two of them for 10 yards.

Bowe led the Cardinals with 111 yards rushing on 20 carries. Mewhorter added 90 yards and Aaron Knez had 88 yards.

Kennelly led Superior with 56 yards rushing on 12 carries. He also had a game-high 12 tackles on defense.

Johnson completed 16-of-28 passes for 166 yards. Girard was his top receiver with five catches for 71 yards. Mitch Anderson also had four catches for 45 yards; Brett Lozon caught three passes for 31 yards; and Sam Kline had 16 yards on two catches.

SPARTAN SPIN: Superior also got six tackles apiece from Anderson and Max Plunkett. … Jon Cronin recovered a fumble for Superior. … Johnson was sacked three times, twice by Jacob Johnson and once by Thomas Williams. … Sam Maybarry and Max Gibson recovered fumbles for Chippewa Falls. … Superior is 13-11 all-time in 12 WIAA playoff appearances. … Chippewa Falls leads the all-time series with Superior 17-14. ... According to the Cardinals’ radio team, Superior won the first meeting between the two schools 67-0 in 1906.

Superior........................... 0     0     6    0    —     6

Chippewa Falls................... 7    14    7    0    —    28

First Quarter

CF – Kole Mewhorter 10-yard run (Christian Buckles kick), 6:57.

Second Quarter

CF — Justin Czech 1-yard run (Buckles kick), 11:45.

CF — Kyle Bowe 2-yard run (Buckles kick), 8:33.

Third Quarter

SHS — Ross Kennelly 4-yard run (kick blocked), 6:55.

CF — Bowe 1-yard run (Buckles kick), 3:38.

Fourth Quarter

No Scoring

———

Team Stats

                                        SHS                 CF

Total Net Yards................... 281                304

Comp-Att-Int................... 16-31-2             2-5-0

Passing yards..................... 166                 10

Rushing........................... 30-115            53-294

First Downs........................ 17                  16

Punt Returns...................... 0-0                 0-0

Kickoff Returns................... 4-90              4-191

Sacks................................. 0                   3

Punts.............................. 2-34.0             4.39.5

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

Penalties-Yards.................. 4-45              13-90

Time of Possession:............ 18:44              29:16

———

Individual Stats

RUSHING — Superior, Ross Kennelly 12-56; Beau Girard 5-27; Mitch Anderson 6-20; Gunner Johnson 7-12. CF, Kyle Bowe 20-111; Kole Mewhorter 14-90; Aaron Knez 16-88; Codie Meinen 1-7; Justin Czech 2-(-2).

PASSING — Superior, Johnson 16-28-2-166. Girard 0-2-0-0. Kennelly 0-1-0-0. CF, Czech 2-5-0-10.

RECEIVING — Superior, Girard 5-71; Anderson 4-45; Brett Lozon 3-31; Sam Kline 2-16; Kennelly 1-(-1); Austin Sears 1-4. CF, Knez 1-5; Bowe 1-5.

DEFENSE — TACKLES

Superior, Kennelly, 12; Anderson, 6; Max Plunkett, 6; Garrett Hobson, 5; Donovan Luoma, 5; Josiah McDonald, 5; Harrison Doane, 5; Girard, 4; Corey Sanders, 4; Gunnar Gronski, 4; Zach Tharge, 2; Brendan French, 1; Christian Pettit, 1; Blake Graskey, 1; Nick Long, 1; Jack Sannes, 1.

CF (50 total), Evan Spaeth, 8; Max Gibson, 6; Jacob Johnson, 6; Thomas Williams, 5.

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