Rapids regains River Jug in victory over SPASH
By Jacob Heid
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — After taking back possession of the River Jug with a win a season ago, SPASH traveled to Wisconsin Rapids on Sept. 9 to defend the coveted prize, but the Red Raiders captured the crown for the second time in the last three contests, with a 34-21 win over the visiting Panthers.
SPASH kept the game close in the first half, but what happened in the third quarter would drastically change the game. The Red Raiders opened their first possession by getting to mid-field before senior Teal Lucas threw his only pass to Evan Matthews for an electric 50-yard touchdown. Now, with the crowd into the game, the Panthers tried answering on the following possession. The offense drove the ball into Red Raider territory until Rapids forced a turnover when sophomore quarterback Grant Chandonais threw his fifth interception of the season.
SPASH held its own defensively, getting a stop at the end of the first quarter, with Rapids holding onto a 7-0 lead. With 7:10 left in the first half, Wisconsin Rapids started to dominate the run game. Lucas trotted 16 yards into the end zone on the next possession to give Wisconsin Rapids a 14-0 lead before halftime. A 31-yard run by senior Leo Brostowitz before the touchdown brought them to that point.
The Panthers closed the half with momentum on their side. Chandonais bombed a 76-yard pass that put SPASH on the 20-yard line. A fourth-and-goal from the 10-yard line followed, ending in a touchdown to Ethan Ehlinger, making it a 14-7 ball game with 2:37 remaining.
The Rapids defense didn’t allow any points from the Panthers in the third quarter, while 13 points went up on the board for the home team. Lucas took his second rushing touchdown from 38 yards, and Brostowitz followed that up late in the quarter with a 24-yard touchdown. Brostowitz finished the game with 308 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
The Red Raiders will finish out the month on the road, with games at Hortonville, D.C. Everest and Marshfield Sept. 16th, 23rd and 30th, followed by homes games Oct. 7th and 14th versus Appleton-West and Menominee (MI).