ROSHOLT – After traveling a few hours to central Wisconsin for a Saturday afternoon football matinee in Rosholt, Boyceville made sure to give those fans that made the journey an entertaining and extended show.
In a hard fought and physical contest, it took a pair of overtime periods to finally determine a winner as the host Hornets, members of the Central Wisconsin Ten Conference, prevailed 20-14 in the non-conference duel.
Boyceville, who never trailed in regulation, was stopped for no gain on a fourth and three play in the second overtime to give Rosholt the victory after neither squad was able to score in the first overtime period.
“It was a very physical game,” stated Bulldogs’ head coach Brian Roemhild. “Rosholt is a great non-conference game for us because they play a tough schedule and battle hard.”
“We shut them down in the first overtime,” said Roemhild. “But we didn’t make any progress on our own opportunity.”
Boyceville’s second consecutive loss dropped the Bulldogs to 2-2 overall for the season. Rosholt improved to 2-2.
Overtime rules dictate that each team has an offensive opportunity in each overtime period. The ball is placed at the 25 yard line and the game continues until one team scores more points in any given overtime period than the other or a defensive score ends the game.
Neither offense found much success in the first overtime frame Saturday.
Rosholt first overtime foray was stuck in reverse. The Hornets went backwards as a pair of penalties and a Boyceville sack on fourth and 22 ended their first OT drive.
After the defensive stop, Boyce-ville’s offensive unit could have won the contest with either a field goal or touchdown. The Bulldogs could do neither as it gained just three yards in four plays to end the first overtime.
Rosholt once again was on offense to start the second overtime. Unlike the first OT frame, the Hornets found their sting behind running back Derek Check, who carried four straight times for a first down at the Bulldogs’ 12. Following a short gain on first down, Dathan Smerchek scored his second touchdown of the day on a ten-yard run. Boyceville stopped the Hornets’ two-point conversion run but now trailed 20-14.
Logan McAbee-Thomas ran for a pair of four-yard gains to open Boyceville’s offensive effort in the second overtime. Then on fourth and one, quarterback Brady Schutts ran for three yards and a first down at the 13. Devonta Anderson picked up seven yards on first down. A few plays later, however, Boyceville was faced with a third and seven after an illegal procedure penalty pushed them back five yards.
It proved to be a costly flagging. Logan McAbee-Thomas gained back four yards on a third-down run but the Hornets swarmed McAbee-Thomas on the ensuing fourth-down carry and stopped him for no gain, giving Rosholt the victory.
“We need to finish when we get inside the red zone,” Roemhild said. “But that is more my play calling than our athletes.”
“We will grow from this game and continue to get better each time we take the field.”
Boyceville started the game strong.
The Bulldogs advanced into Hornets’ territory on its first two offensive possessions. The first ended when Boyceville was forced to punt after losing eight yards on a second-down run and throwing an incomplete pass on third down.
A nice Brett Boda punt would pin Rosholt deep in its own territory. Tyler Draeger would throw Hornets’ quarterback Jarod Richter for a 10-yard loss on third down to force the Hornets to punt from their own six.
Boyceville would take over at the Rosholt 28 after a short punt sailed out of bounds.
The Bulldogs took advantage of the great field position and struck quickly.
Logan McAbee-Thomas reeled off a run for 14 yards on the first play from scrimmage. Tyler Draeger would carry for four yards and then McAbee-Thomas gained five. Draeger would again get the call and ran for two yards and the first down at the Hornets’ three. On first and goal and following the pattern, McAbee-Thomas received the handoff from Brady Schutts and drove into the endzone for six points. Draeger would run in the two-point conversion for an 8-0 Boyceville lead midway through the first quarter.
Boyceville would survive a turnover early in the second quarter when Rosholt intercepted a Brady Schutts pass but the Boyceville defense held and forced a punt.
The defense would again rise up and stop the Hornets on a fourth down play at the Boyceville 19. But Boyceville could not improve its field position and was forced to punt back to Rosholt.
The Hornets started at the Bulldogs’ 34 and needed just five plays to get into the endzone. On a fourth and one, Dathan Smerchek hauled in a 15-yard pass from Jarod Richter to bring the Hornets within two at 8-6. An attempt to knot the game score failed as the Hornets two-point conversion run fell a yard short.
Boyceville took the second half kickoff and put together a 15-play drive that culminated in a one-yard scoring run by Brady Schutts. McAbee-Thomas had runs of five, four, and seven yards and Draeger complimented with rushes of four, 12, and six yards. Jordan Morse and Devonta Anderson also had positive yardage on the drive. Boyceville was also aided by a personal foul penalty on Rosholt.
Boyceville attempted a two-point conversion but the run was stopped short but the Bulldogs had again extended their lead to eight at 14-6.
Unfortunately, it took Rosholt just one play to get the equalizer.
Rosholt’s Nick Lemke broke free on first down and ran 74-yards to pay dirt. Derek Check would make good on the two-point run and the Hornets had tied the game at 14.
It would remain deadlocked until the Rosholt scored the game winning touchdown in the second overtime.
“Our defense played tough,” concluded Roemhild.
Rosholt finished with 254 yards with Boyceville registering 211. Both squads secured most of their yardage on the ground as Rosholt tallied 198 yards on 47 carries and Boyceville finished with 165 yards on 54 attempts. Logan McAbee-Thomas led the Bulldogs’ rushing attack with 109 yards on 24 carries and had a touchdown. Tyler Draeger added 16 carries for 41 yards. Brady Schutts completed just three of his nine pass attempts for 46 yards but was intercepted twice.
The Bulldogs return home this Friday, September 20 to host St. Croix Central in their annual homecoming game.