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Chiefs overcome late New Holstein rally, prepare for Brodhead rematch

November 06, 2010 | 06:46 PM
Walworth -- For the first 24 minutes of action Saturday afternoon, the Big Foot football squad dominated New Holstein and took a commanding 28-7 lead into halftime.

But in a Level 3 playoff tilt, the stakes were high, and the Huskies weren't ready to give up.

Big Foot played its first close game since September, and the boys pulled out a 42-35 victory despite a 28-14 New Holstein second-half rally. The Chiefs will now advance to the Division 4 state semifinals against Brodhead-Juda, a Rock Valley South foe they beat, 21-20, back on Sept. 10, next weekend in Middleton. Check Wednesday's Regional News and www.lakegenevanews.net for updates on if Big Foot will play Friday or Saturday.

Big Foot coach Rodney Wedig said it was an intense nail-biter.

"We sure made it interesting," he joked. "We wanted the fans to get their money's worth. I thought we would treat them to something."

After New Holstein scored on its opening second-half drive to cut the lead to 28-14, the Chiefs gave the Huskies a gift.

Junior quarterback Jake Wedig tossed a pass on third down from the Big Foot 19 right into the waiting arms of New Holstein's Sam Cash, who scampered into the end zone to close the deficit to 28-21.

But Big Foot senior Jordan Gottman decided this wasn't going to be his last game. The Chiefs switched to the wildcat formation with Gottman as the quarterback taking snaps in the shotgun. Gottman busted off a 32-yard run on third down that set Big Foot up in Husky territory. Two plays later, Gottman finished off the drive with a 41-yard touchdown jaunt thanks to some solid blocking and a broken tackle. Both plays were around left end.

However, New Holstein wasn't done scoring. Cody Thede took a pitch to the left and 28 yard later, Big Foot's lead was cut to 35-28 with two minutes left in the third quarter.

That's when sophomore phenom Mason Dixon took over. On the ensuing Big Foot drive, the Chiefs marched down the field 65 yards, highlighted by Dixon runs of 21, 16 and a 25-yard touchdown on a counter to the right with Gottman running the wildcat.

With Big Foot seemingly in control at 42-28, the turnover bug bit the boys again. This time, Mike Kunes was stripped after a completion and New Holstein returned the ball 15 yards for a touchdown, leaving the score at 42-35 with 7:37 remaining.

Big Foot embarked on another long drive of 70 yards before a pivotal fourth and two at the New Holstein 11-yard line. With the clock nearing the one-minute mark, Gottman was stopped by a matter of inches and the Huskies took over at their own 11 with 1:13 left and no timeouts.

On a third down and eight, Cash completed a screen pass that was blown up at the line of scrimmage by Big Foot's David Luczak. Then on fourth down, a bad snap forced Cash to recover the ball in the end zone. He struggled to gain a few yards before a gang of Big Foot tacklers corralled him short of the first-down mark.

Dixon led the rushing charge with 208 yards, and Gottman added 156 and two touchdowns. Wedig passed for 110 yards and two touchdowns, one to Kunes and one to Walker. The Chiefs amassed 536 total yards, including 426 on the ground.

Check Wednesday's Regional News for a full story including quotes from Gottman, Luczak and more from Wedig.

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