Updated: Sep 4
NEILLSVILLE – Andrew Brown kicked a 25-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Neillsville/Granton football team to a 15-14 win over Elk Mound in the Cloverbelt Conference opener for both teams on Thursday night at Neillsville High School.
After a scoreless first, the teams exchanged second-quarter touchdowns. Elk Mound quarterback Kaden Russo connected with receiver Ethan Johnson for a 31-yard touchdown pass with just under five minutes to go before halftime and added a two-point conversion to take an 8-0 lead.
Neillsville/Granton responded quickly with a 6-yard touchdown run by Micah Zoschke, but the two-point run failed and the Mounders led 8-6.
Elk Mound drove down the field and were poised to score just before halftime, but Jace Pekol picked off a pass in the end zone in the final minute to keep it a two-point game going into break.
Neillsville/Granton took its first lead of the game when Pekol took a short pass from quarterback Bryce Erickson on second-and-28 and raced 63 yards for a touchdown to give the Warriors a 12-8 advantage in the final minute of the third quarter.
Avery Kaanta had a 1-yard touchdown run to regain the lead for Elk Mound with 4:59 left in the game, setting up the Warriors' final drive that ended with the game-winning field goal as time expired.
Neillsville/Granton (1-1 overall, 1-0 Cloverbelt) will play a Cloverbelt Conference game at Durand on Sept. 10.
Warriors 15, Mounders 14
Elk Mound 0 8 0 6 - 14
Neillsville/Granton 0 6 6 3 - 15
EM – Ethan Johnson 31 pass from Kaden Russo (Ryan Bartig pass from Russo), 4:58.
NG – Micah Zoschke 6 run (run failed), 4:00.
NG – Jace Pekol 63 pass from Bryce Erickson (run failed), 0:22.
EM – Avery Kaanta 1 run (PAT failed), 4:59.
NG – Andrew Brown 25 field goal, 0:00.
First downs: Elk Mound 14; Neillsville/Granton 12.
Rushing (att-yards): EM 39-122; NG 32-94.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): EM 11-22-189-1; NG 7-17-165-0.
Total yards: EM 311; NG 259.
Fumbles (total-lost): EM 2-2; NG 2-2.
Penalties (no.-yards): EM 3-15; NG 8-50.
Rushing: EM, Avery Kaanta 27-91, Ryan Bartig 5-29, Carson Steinhorst 3-3, Kaden Russo 4-minus 1. NG, Micah Zoschke 6-49, Garrett Learman 8-25, Andrew Brown 9-14, Bryce Erickson 9-6.
Passing: EM, Russo 11-22-189-1. NG, Erickson 7-17-165-0.
Receiving: EM, Ethan Johnson 7-135, Bartig 2-20, Samuel Wenzel 1-23, Steinhorst 1-11. NG, Jace Pekol 4-87, M. Zoschke 2-36, Michael Byrne 1-42.
Records: Elk Mound 2-1, 0-1 Cloverbelt Conference; Neillsville/Granton 1-1, 1-0 Cloverbelt Conference.