By Paul Lecker For Zaleski Sports
STRATFORD – The Stratford football team scored on three of its first five offensive plays and continued its dominance on the defensive end, cruising to a 51-0 win over Spencer/Columbus Catholic in a WIAA Division 5 Level 2 playoff game Friday night at Tiger Stadium.
Stratford improves to 11-0 on the season and still has not given up a point. Spencer/Columbus came close, reaching the Tigers’ 17 late in the first half, but an interception ended the only threat the Rockets were able to muster.
No. 2 seed Stratford will play at No. 1 seed Northwestern (11-0) in a Level 3 game Friday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. The game will be live-streamed at zaleskisports.com/live-sports, and broadcast on WDLB-AM 1450 and wdlbwosq.com.
“There were a lot of explosive plays early in the game and that kind of took the sails out of them,” Stratford coach Jason Tubbs said. “The kids played hard and you can’t ask for anything else. It’s tough to run on us. They found a little bit of wiggle room with some draws and quarterback runs, so it’s good for us to have something to work on.
“We’ve got a long drive ahead of us next week. They (Northwestern) has a good team, they’re the No. 1 seed, so we’re the underdogs.”
Senior running back Teddy Redman scored from 39 yards out on the Tigers’ third offensive play, and added a 58-yard scoring run on their next play following a Spencer/Columbus punt. Redman finished with 167 yards rushing on just four carries.
After another SC three-and-out, Chase Flink returned a punt 39 yards and Matt Handrick plowed in from the 12 on the next play to give the Tigers a 23-0 lead 8:18 into the game.
“Teddy’s the type of guy that’s fun to watch with the ball in his hand,” Tubbs said. “And you forget about a guy like Beau Gross, who’s a big running back, and Matt Handrick, who’s all-conference. It’s a fun group to have right now.”
Quarterback Max Schwabe had a 1-yard sneak for a score early in the second quarter and Devin Dennee capped a 67-yard drive with a 4-yard TD run as the Tigers built a 38-0 lead.
A 22-yard pass play from Gage Stratman to Brett Kasch, and runs of 11, 5 and 5 yards by Stratman gave the Rockets a first-and-10 at the 17 with just under a minute left in the half. On the next play, however, Stratman was picked off by Schwabe in the end zone.
Beau Gross had a 15-yard TD run and Schwabe hit Chase Flink for a 19-yard scoring pass in the third quarter to end the scoring.
Spencer/Columbus managed 114 total yards on offense, the first Stratford has allowed more than 60 yards in a game this season. Stratman finished with 67 yards passing and 29 yards rushing. The Rockets finish the season with a 6-5 record.
“I’m proud of them, great effort,” SC coach Jason Gorst said. “We were definitely undersized and had a lot of injuries this year. I’m proud of their perseverance, they worked their tails off all year. Getting to Level 2 is certainly an accomplishment.”
Tigers 51, Rockets 0 Spencer/Columbus 0 0 0 0 – 0 Stratford 23 15 13 0 – 51 First Quarter ST – Teddy Redman 39 run (Devin Dennee run), 7:52. ST – Redman 58 run (Beau Gross run), 5:51. ST – Matt Handrick 22 run (Leo Franzese kick), 3:42. Second Quarter ST – Max Schwabe 1 run (Franzese kick), 10:25. ST – D. Dennee 4 run (Vaughn Breit pass from Schwabe), 2:33. Third Quarter ST – Gross 15 run (Franzese kick), 7:17. ST – Chase Flink 19 pass from Schwabe (kick missed), 1:59. Team Statistics First downs: SC 7; ST 11. Rushing (att-yards): SC 26-47; ST 28-349. Passing (comp-att-yards-int): SC 6-16-67-2; ST 6-8-77-0. Total yards: SC 114; ST 426. Fumbles (total-lost): SC none; ST none. Penalties (no.-yards): SC 2-10; ST 5-35. Punting (no.-avg.): SC 6-28.8; ST none. Individual Statistics Rushing: SC, Gage Stratman 6-29, Will Gorst 3-9, Hayden Bauman 6-4, Austin Bacon 6-2, Ty McDonald 2-3, Max McGiveron 2-1, Dominic Post 1-minus 1. ST, Teddy Redman 4-167, Matt Handrick 4-53, Devin Dennee 5-44, Chase Flink 2-19, Justin Schoenherr 1-8, Kainoa Gouveia 3-7, Karter Stuttgen 1-5, Chandler Schmidt 1-4, Raife Smart 1-2, Max Schwabe 2-0. Passing: SC, Stratman 6-16-72-2. ST, Schwabe 5-7-59-0, Schmidt 1-1-18-0. Receiving: SC, Bacon 3-29, Bauman 2-16, Brett Kasch 1-22. ST, Vaughn Breit 3-45, Flink 2-33, Redman 1-minus 1. Interceptions (defense): ST, Schwabe, Colten Schillinger. Punting: SC, Stratman 6-28.8. Records: Spencer/Columbus Catholic 6-5; Stratford 11-0.
Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Zaleski Sports.