Panthers tie for second in D-SC, ride win into playoffs
The St. Croix Central football team moved up into a tie for second place in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference final football standings last Thursday.
In their final regular season game, the Panthers tore through Unity 41-0 last Thursday. At the same time, Colfax was taking out Elk Mound, meaning Central, Colfax and Elk Mound all tie for second place in the conference with 5-2 records.
Central finishes the regular season with a four-game winning streak, taking a 7-2 overall record into WIAA Division 5 playoffs, which started on Tuesday.
In the playoffs, the Panthers drew top seed Somerset in Tuesday's action. The winner of Tuesday's game will face the winner of the game between Prescott and Cadott. That game will be played on Saturday.
The Panthers excelled on both sides of the ball against Unity. The offense rolled up nearly 400 yards, while the defense forced Unity into seven turnovers.
Nearly all of the Panthers' six touchdowns were set up by Unity turnovers. Ryan Fedie intercepted two Eagle passes and Brady Hughes intercepted another. The Panthers also scooped up four Unity fumbles.
Thanks to the turnovers, the Panthers' scores came in bunches. The Panthers scored twice late in the first quarter. The first score when Hughes bolted through the Unity defense for a 72-yard touchdown. This was Hughes' second straight game where he ran wild, gaining 129 yards on nine carries.
The second touchdown came on a 28-yard run from senior halfback Craig Myer.
In the final 90 seconds of the first half the Panthers came up with two more touchdowns that iced the game. The first score came on a 1-yard run by Tony Wiersgalla. Then, with 15 seconds left in the half, sophomore quarterback Jeff Fern hit Ryan Fedie with a 16-yard scoring pass.
The Panther second unit played most of the second half and produced two touchdowns. Sophomore halfback Dez Zimmerman got both the scores, on runs of 2 and 25 yards.
The Panther defense made sure the shutout remained intact in the second half. They did that by limiting Unity's offense to 13 total yards in the second half.
One of the keys for the Panthers over the past month is the steady improvement made by Fern at quarterback. In this game he picked apart the Unity defense with his passing in the first half. He completed 7-11 passes for 89 yards.
St. Croix Central 41, Unity 0
Unity 0 0 0 0 0
St. Croix Central 16 13 6 6 41
SCC -- Brady Hughes, 72 yard run (Craig Myer run)
SCC -- Myer, 28 yard run (Tom Redmon pass from Jeff Fern)
SCC -- Tony Wiersgalla, 1 yard run (Myer kick)
SCC -- Ryan Fedie, 16 yard pass from Fern (kick failed)
SCC -- Dez Zimmerman, 2 yard run (kick failed)
SCC -- Zimmerman, 25 yard run (run failed)
First Downs 12 7
Rushing Yards 301 99
Passing Yards 89 59
Passes 7-11-0 int. 5-14-3 int.
Penalties 4-25 3-20
SCC -- Brady Hughes 9-129, Dez Zimmerman 12-65, Willie White 2-41, Craig Myer 4-27, Matt Kaner 3-25, Tony Wiersgalla 4-10, Jonathan Nelson 2-2, Jesse Johnson 1-1
SCC -- Jeff Fern 7-11-0 int; 89 yards
SCC -- Ryan Fedie 4-67, Tony Wiersgalla 1-12, Tom Redmon 1-7, Craig Myer 1-3