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Drougas does a little of everything in Superior's win over Merrill

Luke Drougas did a little bit of everything for the Superior High School football team Friday night at Jay Stadium in Merrill.

The senior rushed for two touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass in his quarterback debut on offense, while on defense he was in on eight tackles and intercepted a pass as the Spartans defeated the Merrill Blue Jays 20-10.

Drougas finished 4-of-6 passing for 86 yards and rushed for another 63 yards on nine carries. One of his completions was a 35-yard touchdown pass to Corey Sanders.

“Luke did a fantastic job in his first start at quarterback,” SHS coach Bob DeMeyer said. “He’d also be the first to tell you that his supporting cast played pretty darn well too. Someone has to block for him to throw those passes and make those runs and someone has to run good routes and catch his passes too.

“As with any team, the quarterback gets a lot of attention. However, he has some pretty special players around him and he knows that. He’s really gaining confidence each day and developing as a leader in that process and it’s cool to watch.

“Obviously, his value on defense and special teams is very high also.  What most people see are the big plays — the  interceptions, and returns. What may be most impressive is how disciplined he is playing in the secondary and how well he tackles.”

Senior Gunnar Gronski led the Spartans on the ground with 95 yards on 11 carries. Conner Fonger also had 52 yards on two carries, including a 45-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

“There were many positives to take away from this game,” DeMeyer said. “There were also many little things that need fixing, as is to be expected in game one.

“I was very pleased with the effort. Although we made our share of mistakes that kept us from potentially scoring more points, we give Merrill a lot of credit for how well they defended us.”

Chase Summerfield led Superior with 11 tackles, including seven solo.

“For a season opener, I thought our defense played very sound football,” DeMeyer said. “Of course we would like to improve our tackling and overall physicality, but, against a Merrill offense of this caliber, to hold them to only 10 points was an accomplishment we’re proud of.”

Drougas’ first touchdown run came on the first drive of the game. Superior took the opening kick, ran the ball nine straight times and took a 6-0 lead when Drougas turned a botched handoff into a 12-yard touchdown run around the left end. The 69-yard drive took just 4:46.

Merrill moved the ball into Superior territory on its first drive, but the Spartans got the ball back when Drougas intercepted a Zach Moots pass and returned it to the 45-yard line.

After the teams traded punts, Superior moved the ball to the Merrill 33. But the drive ended there when Drougas lost a fumble.

Merrill took over at its own 34 and ran 13 plays before Kole Meyer booted a 25-yard field goal with six seconds left in the second quarter.

The Blue Jays took the second-half kick and nine plays and 80 yards later took a 10-6 lead on Meyer’s 1-yard plunge up the middle. Meyer also booted the extra point.

Merrill’s lead didn’t last long as Drougas hooked up with Sanders on a slant pattern over the middle from 35 yards out. Dominic D’Auria kicked the extra point to give Superior a 13-10 lead.

The three-play, 65-yard drive also included a 7-yard run by Gronski and a 23-yard pass from Drougas to Max Plunkett.

The Spartans extended their lead to 20-10 on Drougas’ 2-yard keeper up the middle and D’Aura’s extra-point kick.

The four-play scoring drive included Gronski’s 45-yard run that gave the Spartans the ball on Merrill’s 2-yard run.

Superior’s defense took over after that, with Dylan Lowney recovering a Merrill fumble at its own 10-yard line, and then getting a third-down sack from Joe Carter with 7:11 remaining.

The Spartans followed with a 12-play drive that left Merrill with only 1:23 remaining on the clock.

Dominic Leistikow led Merrill with 101 yards rushing on 16 carries. Quarterback Zach Mootz was 4-of-8 passing for 22 yards and an interception.

Superior hosts Somerset at 7 p.m. Friday. Somerset opened with a 46-38 loss to Bloomer.

Superior............... 6     0    14     0     —       20

Merrill.................. 0     3     7     0     —       10

First Quarter

SHS — Luke Drougas 12-yard run (run failed), 7:14.

Second Quarter

M — Kole Meyer 25-yard field goal, :06.

Third Quarter

M — Meyer 1-yard run (Meyer kick).

S — Corey Sanders 35-yard pass from Drougas (Dominic D’Auria kick).

S — Drougas 2-yard run (D’Auria kick), 1:15.

TEAM STATISTICS

                                              S                M

Total Plays......................... 49               57

Total Yards........................ 371             226

Passing Yards.................... 92               22

Rushing Yards................... 279             204

First Downs......................... 15               14

Turnovers............................. 2                 2

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

Penalties........................... 5-41            7-54

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — SHS, Gunnar Gronski, 11-95; Luke Drougas, 9-63; Conner Fonger, 2-52; Corey Sanders, 4-36; Elijah Owens, 1-6. M, Dominic Leistikow, 16-101; Nevada Laabs, 8-43; Hunter Hintze, 8-39; Zach Mootz, 6-16; Kole Meyer, 2-5;

PASSING — SHS, Drougas, 4-6-0—86. M, Mootz, 4-8-1-22.

RECEIVING — SHS, Max Plunkett, 2-32; Sanders, 1-35; Owens, 1-19. M, Laabs, 2-12; Hintze, 1-7; Tyler Baade, 1-3.

 

DEFENSE

Superior

                                         Solo   Ast   Sck   TFL

Chase Summerfield.......... 7      4      0       1

Gunnar Gronski................. 5      3      0       2

Corey Sanders.................. 4      0      0       0

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

Luke Drougas.................... 4      4      0       0

Trevor Dalbec.................... 3      3      0       0

Joe Carter.......................... 3      2      1       1

Tradel Nickelson............... 2      1      0       0

DJ Martin........................... 1      0      0       0

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

Gabe Sexton..................... 1      3      0       0

Dylan Lowney................... 1      0      0       0

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

Logan Stone...................... 1      2      0       0

Merrill  — Isaiah Heyel, 8; Meyer, 5; Wyatt Koehler, 5; Cade Rajek, 5.

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