By Joe Bachman
NEKOOSA — The Papermakers have a history of scheduling tough non-conference opponents, and tonight was no exception.
After a scoreless performance last week, Nekoosa failed to put points on the board until late in the game, falling 44-8 to an admirable 58th state-ranked River Valley Blackhawks squad. After what looked to be a strong start for the Nekoosa offense soon turned into a Blackhawks defensive stand, and that gave them the momentum that carried the rest of the game.
Blackhawks running back Shane Liegel had the Papermakers number, putting up two touchdowns, and combined for 78 yards rushing and receiving. He also accounted for four tackles on defense, including a sack. At halftime, the Papermakers were down 37-0.
Quarterback Kyle Olsen would add a fourth quarter touchdown, giving Nekoosa their first points of the year. He went 2-for-6 passing for 68 yards. Kniprath and Waltenburg combined for just 23 yards on 12 carries against a very stingy Blackhawk defense.
Nekoosa will look to rebound from their 0-2 start with their third non-conference game of the year as they travel to Lodi, Wis. to take on a 2-0 Lodi Blue Devils team.