AMHERST – With a one-point deficit after scoring a touchdown with less than two minutes to go, Wittenberg-Birnamwood took a time out to discuss the situation. Kick an extra point and try to hold on for overtime, or go for a two-point conversion and either win or lose it right there.
The Chargers decided to go for the two and it paid off as quarterback Ben Wesolowski scrambled out of trouble and threw a pass to Jack Fraaza into the end zone for the winning points as Wittenberg-Birnamwood defeated Amherst 29-28 in a WIAA Division 5 Level 3 football playoff game Friday night at Amherst High School.
Wittenberg-Birnamwood (10-3) moves on to a Level 4 matchup against undefeated La Crosse Aquinas (12-0) next Friday, Nov. 12, at South Wood County Stadium at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School. The winner moves on to the WIAA Division 5 state championship game at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on Thursday, Nov. 18.
Amherst finishes the season 12-1.
Wittenberg-Birnamwood has not made the state finals since 1997, when it won the Division 4 title in its only appearance. Aquinas also won a state title in its only appearance, taking the Division 5 crown in 2007.
Matthew Glodwoski scored on a 3-yard touchdown run and added a two-point conversion run to give Amherst a 28-21 lead with 3:19 left.
Wittenberg-Birnamwood took over at the 20 and used a 57-yard run by Fraaza to get to the 1. Wesolowski punched it in on the next play and the pass to Fraaza converted the two-point conversion to put the Chargers up by one with 1:26 left.
“Ben’s always been known to keep plays alive and we trust him, and he delivers,” Wittenberg-Birnamwood coach Bernard Holsey said. “He delivers all the time. That’s been a big part of this team, not just Ben, but all of the other guys.
“You keep fighting to the end because you never know what’s going to happen.”
Amherst had one last chance to at least get into field goal range, but were turned away Witt-Birn sacked Falcons’ quarterback Landon Moe on second and fourth downs.
Complete statistics were not provided. This story will be updated if stats are made available.