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Tigers end "the streak" by beating B-W 13-10

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The streak is over!

The New Richmond football team put together a hearty fourth quarter to knock off Baldwin-Woodville Thursday, 13-10. This ends New Richmond's football losing streak at 17 games.

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The win is also the first for the Tigers under head coach Joe Hutter, who took over the team at the start of the 2004 season.

The Tigers got the winning score in the game with 4:32 left on the clock. Sophomore quarterback Hayden Zimmerman had gone back to pass, looking for tight end Griffin Jameson on a crossing pattern. Jameson slipped down, causing Zimmerman to improvise. Zimmerman rolled to his left, where his blockers created a crease. Zimmerman dashed for the end zone, reaching the corner of the promised land for a 14-yard touchdown.

Brian Figueroa then kicked the extra point to give the Tigers the 13-10 lead.

This left B-W with plenty time to try scoring again, but the Tiger defense wasn't going to allow that to happen. The Tigers stopped the Blackhawks on four straight plays to take the ball at the B-W 29. The Tigers then tried to ice the game, but they were stopped inches short on a fourth down play, giving B-W the ball back at its own 19 with 2:30 left in the game.

Again the defense stood tall. B-W tried passing on four straight plays, and each was incomplete, with Tiger defensive back Chad Aldous ripping the ball from the hands of a Blackhawk receiver on the fourth down attempt.

This time, the Tigers were able to get a first down, which allowed them to run out the clock and kick off a long-awaited team celebration. Several of the Tigers dumped the team's cooler of ice water over Hutter's shoulders as the final seconds of the game ran out.

The players were then swarmed by fans who ran out to the center of the field to celebrate with the victorious Tigers.

Relief

The smiles on the faces of the Tigers and their coaches bore a mix of relief and joy as the team met following the game. When Hutter looked in the faces of his players, he saw "satisfaction for all the work they've done. That was pretty cool, because they've worked so hard."

Most of the game was a battle between two similar teams. Both teams have been much more successful on defense than offense, and that was the case again Thursday. The Tigers were especially sharp in their pass defense, limiting the Blackhawks to six completions in 26 pass attempts. The Blackhawks had 111 yards on the ground.

The Tigers had their troubles getting the offense rolling, fumbling the ball away twice in the first half. During the week leading into the game the Tigers lost two centers, Mike Heintz and Zach Jacobsen. That meant sophomore Tyler Hansen would have to play the entire game, the first varsity action of his career. He played an error free game, with no bad snaps and not allowing any B-W blitzes to get through the middle of the line.

B-W scored the first points of the game. The Tigers fumbled on the second play from scrimmage in the game, giving B-W prime field position. B-W drove inside the Tiger 10, but the Tiger defense put a stop to the drive there. B-W settled for a 26-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.

The Tigers moved down the field at the end of the first quarter, setting up for a field goal attempt at the start of the second quarter. The Tigers tried a fake field goal, but the B-W defense wasn't surprised at all, smothering the play in the backfield.

Midway through the second quarter B-W intercepted a pass by Tiger quarterback Tony Evans. B-W then marched partly down the field, before Tiger defensive back Matt Knutson stepped in. He picked off a pass to the sideline, returning it all the way to the Blackhawk 23. A facemask penalty on the play moved the ball five yards closer.

Evans would roll left for eight yards, and Aldous got three yards and a first down on the next play. Evans followed with a throw toward the goal line, where Knutson made a diving catch at the B-W 1. Evans would score on the quarterback sneak, giving the Tigers a 6-3 lead with 3:25 left in the half.

The Tigers took that lead into halftime. At the break Hutter said there would be four pivotal plays to decide the game. In the fourth quarter, there would be four Tiger plays that were difference makers.

The second half didn't start well. B-W burst down the field. First Derringer ran for 31 yards on a pitch, then the Blackhawks burned the Tigers with a flea-flicker for 32 yards to the Tiger 4. Derringer scored moments later, and B-W had a 10-6 lead.

That was the last consequential offense the Blackhawks could mount in the game.

It wasn't until the opening moments of the fourth quarter that the game reached a pivotal point. The Tiger defense had forced a punt, when junior lineman Blake Berger bowled off his blocker and reached in with his right arm to block a B-W punt. The ball rolled out of bounds at the B-W 30.

"We didn't have a block on," Hutter said of the punt. He said the defensive ends were given clearance to make a run at the punt if they can cleanly get past their blockers.

Evans was intercepted at the B-W 18, but it was only a temporary setback. A quarterback sack by Colton Green ended the B-W possession, and a bad punt gave the Tigers the ball at the B-W 32.

That leads to another of the four pivotal plays. The Tigers faced a fourth down and six at the B-W 29. Zimmerman hit Griffin Jameson with a pass over the middle. Jameson initially didn't have the first down, but he carried B-W defenders past the first down marker.

Carries by Aldous and Mike Martinez produced a first down to the B-W 11. Following a short run and a delay penalty, Zimmerman scored the Tigers' touchdown on a nice piece of improvisation.

With the win, the Tigers can now look to their final game of the season in hopes of putting a strong finish on the 2005 campaign. The Tigers have a major challenge in their finale. They will play at home this Thursday, with Prescott as the opposition. Prescott has one of the best offenses in the conference, with the ability to run and pass equally well.

New Richmond 13, Baldwin-Woodville 10

Baldwin-Woodville 3 0 7 0 10

New Richmond 0 6 0 7 13

Scoring

B-W-- #53, 26 yard field goal

NR -- Tony Evans, 1 yard run (pass failed)

B-W -- Dylan Derringer 4 yard run (#53 kick)

NR -- Hayden Zimmerman, 14 yard run (Brian Figueroa kick)

NR BW

First Downs 9 9

Rushing Yards 106 111

Passing Yards 32 109

Passes 3-8-2 int. 6-26-1 int.

Penalties 8-70 4-40

Rushing

NR -- Chad Aldous 23-56; Tony Evans 8-25; Hayden Zimmerman 5-19; Mike Martinez 9-18; Matt Knutson 1-(-12)

Passing

NR -- Tony Evans 2-6-2 int., 25 yards; Hayden Zimmerman 1-2-0, 7 yards

Receiving

NR -- Matt Knutson 2-25; Griffin Jameson 1-7

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Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
(715) 243-7767 x242
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