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BREAKING: Badgers hold off late Burlington rally for third straight victory

October 08, 2010 | 10:18 PM
Burlington -- The Badger football team found itself in a two-score deficit for the second straight week Friday night, and once again the boys persevered to take a big lead.

But unlike last week against Elkhorn, the Demons fought back and even had a chance to win in the final minutes. With 23 seconds remaining, Badger senior Trevor York intercepted an overthrown ball in Badger territory to seal a 31-28 win.

Badger improved to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in the Southern Lakes and nabbed its third straight win thanks to another dominant running performance.

Junior Rory Klean led the rushing onslaught with 134 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown. By gaining 304 total yards on the ground, Badger was able to climb out of an early 14-0 hole to tie the game at 14-14 by halftime.

Then, solid defense and the three-headed running monster of Klean, York and sophomore quarterback Peter Krien tore up the Burlington defense in the second half. Touchdown jaunts by Klean and Krien gave Badger a commanding 28-14 lead, but Burlington wasn't about to lay down and die.

The Demons proceeded with a passing frenzy, and quarterback Joey Hodkiewicz tossed two scores in the fourth quarter.

But the decisive score turned out to be a 19-yard field goal by senior kicker Brendan Gruenwald-Schmitz, who held Janesville Craig to one goal in Badger's soccer win Thursday night.

Along with Klean's solid performance, Krien finished with 75 yards rushing and three touchdowns. York added 95 yards on the ground.

Klean said it was the offensive line that paved the way for the offense.

"It has to start with our line," he said. "Badger pride kept us going despite the early deficit. And I love our guys for having pride and sticking with it."

Coach Matt Hensler added he admires his team's resiliency.

"I'm very proud of those guys for battling back," he said of his squad. "Not only in this game, but this whole season."

Badger must now win one of its final two games at home against Union Grove (1-6) or at Waterford (3-4) to clinch a WIAA playoff berth.

It begins next Friday with the homecoming game at Badger at 7 p.m.

Check Wednesday's Regional News for a complete story with additional comments from Gruenwald-Schmitz and Krien.

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