By Robert Whitmire
The SPASH Panther football players start their run for a WIAA division one state title Friday night when it plays host to Green Bay Preble at Goerke Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM.
The Panthers enter the tournament field as the No. 2 seeded team in the sectional having finished atop the Valley Football Association South Division with an 8-1 record. The Hornets, seeded No. 7 finished fifth in the Fox River Classic Conference with a 5-4 record.
The No. 1 seed is Bay Port, Fox River Classic Conference champions with a 9-0 record. They will face Appleton North at Bay Port Friday night. The winner of the Panther-Hornet match up moves on to face either Hudson or Chippewa Falls Friday, Oct. 28. The Bay Port – North winner will advance to face either D.C. Everest or Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln.
The Panthers lone loss of the season came at the hands of Lincoln Sept. 23.
Coy Wanner leads the Hornets under center completing 62 passes on 135 attempts for a 76.7 per game average through the air. Henry Geil leads the rushing attack rolling up a season total of 767 yards including 14 touchdowns and an average of 85.2 yards per game. Darionne Hughes rolled up 577 total yards on the season and eight touchdowns averaging 64.1 yards per game.
Cody Dietz hauled in 17 passes for 223 yards total and four touchdowns to lead the Hornet receivers.
Beau Rosenthal lead the Panther passing attack with 67 completions on 112 attempts for 971 total yards and 13 touchdowns. His favorite receivers were Joey Hauser, Eli Wachowiak and Gus Turner-Zick.
Hauser hauled in 19 passes for 280 total yards and 7 touchdowns. Wachowiak recorded 15 catches for 205 yards and Turner-Zick caught 9 balls for 193 total yards and three touchdowns.
Turner-Zick made his living on the ground, rushing for 934 total yards on 137 carries and lighting up the scoreboard with 12 rushing touchdowns.
SPASH begins tournament play fresh off a 17-7 win over Hortonville Friday, Oct. 14. Preble comes in having beaten Pulaski 28-21 to end its regular season schedule.
The WIAA Division I championship game is scheduled for Nov. 18 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. Kickoff is 4:00 PM.