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Spencer/Columbus running back Brock Bennington runs around the right end during the Rockets' win over Shiocton on Friday at Spencer High School. (Photo by Steve Pilz/For Zaleski Sports)

By Steve Pilz

For Zaleski Sports

SPENCER - The Spencer/Columbus Catholic football team punched its ticket to the WIAA playoffs by downing Central Wisconsin Conference Large Division foe Shiocton 17-6 on Friday night at Ted Fritsch Field.

The Rockets (6-4, 4-3 CWC Large) ran out to a 17-0 halftime lead and never looked back.

The one constant in the Rockets’ early scoring barrage was Brock Bennington.

S/C ran off a 10-play drive to open the game but handed it over to the Chiefs on downs. Three plays later, Bennington stepped in front of a pass in the left flat, picked it off and ran 35 yards for the first score at the 4:38 mark of the first quarter.

The Rockets didn’t dominate the first half, but they controlled it.

About a quarter later Bennington found paydirt again, this time from the 14, on a perfectly blocked burst off right end to take a 14-0 lead.

The Chiefs ran seven plays before handing it back to S/C at the 40. Eight plays later the Rockets were at their own 25 with 2.8 seconds in the half, and Bennington drilled the 42-yard field goal as the clock ran out putting S/C up 17-0.

Shiocton might have hoped that this game would be played on paper, since it won most of the statistical categories, except the ones that count, namely, the final score and turnovers.

The Chiefs did get the only score of the third quarter when Cade Stingl crashed in from the seven at the 8:25 mark. And, after S/C ran just four plays, the Chiefs went on another long drive before there was a mix-up in the backfield and Bennington recovered the fumble.

Shiocton went to its passing game from there, but the Rockets were up to the task turning the visitors away in what turned out to be an uneventful fourth quarter, sealing the win.

“Tonight, our defense was just phenomenal,” said S/C coach Jason Gorst. “It felt good to have a great night there. The coverage was fantastic. We didn’t allow them much for offense and I thought the special teams play was a big difference maker with the field goal and some of the punts that put them in poor field position.”

When asked about Bennington, Gorst replied, “He (Bennington) was great. He ran the ball extremely well even when there wasn’t a hole there. He broke some tackles and made some great plays.

“Our scout team did a great job of getting us ready tonight since we only had 21 players here.

Rockets 17, Chiefs 6

Shiocton 0 0 6 0 - 6

Spencer/Columbus Catholic 6 11 0 0 - 17

First Quarter

SC- Brock Bennington 35 interception return (kick blocked), 4:38.

Second Quarter

SC - Bennington 14 run (Bennington run), 4:27.

SC- Bennington 42 field goal, 0:00.

Third Quarter

SH - Cade Stingl 7 run (kick failed), 8:25.

Team Statistics

First downs: Shiocton 13; Spencer/Columbus 9.

Rushing (att.-yards): SH 28-137; SC 24-113.

Passing (comp-att-yards-int): SH 11-25-123-1; SC 2-5-13-0.

Total yards: SH 260; SC 136.

Fumbles (total-lost): SH 4-1; SC 0-0.

Penalties (no.-yards): SH 3-25; SC 3-25.

Individual Statistics

Rushing: SH, Stingl 23-119, Parker Moder 5-19. SC, Bennington 21-110, Will Gorst 9-35, Cole Timmler 6-17, Xane Adler 5-2.

Passing: SH Moder 11-25-1-123; SC Timmler 2-5-0-13.

Receiving: SH, Dawson Schmidt 3-39, Bennet Schmidt 2-35, Colten Schuh 2-31, Evan Leopold 2-16, Dylan Herb 2-4. SC, Bennington 2-13.

Interceptions: SC, Bennington.

Fumble recovery (defense): SC, Bennington.

Records: Shiocton 5-5 overall, 2-5 Central Wisconsin Conference Large Division; Spencer/Columbus 6-4 overall, 4-3 Central Wisconsin Conference Large Division.

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