By Craig Marx, Editor
The Red Robins will travel to Two Rivers on Friday evening to open their football season against the Purple Raiders. Antigo beat Two Rivers at Schofield Stadium in the 2015 season 40-12 behind a quarterback-inspired run threat that will not be available this year for the Robins.
Alex Nagel was under center one year ago and rushed 12 times against the Purple Raiders for 105 yards. With new looks on both offense and defense, Antigo kept the Two Rivers spread offense contained, despite allowing a two-QB system pass for 223 yards at a 51 percent completion percentage.
6’ 3”, 205 lb. senior Dawson Kiphart will most likely get the start at quarterback for the Raiders this Friday. Kiphart took the majority of the snaps in ’15, throwing for 2,084 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions with a 50.4 completion percentage and an 87.4 passer rater. Things may be a trifle more difficult for the experienced Kiphart this season, however, as both of his top two receivers are now graduated.
Receivers Devin Palmquist and Adam LaPalm combined for 949 yards last season, with running back Darrin President, returning as a senior, putting up a respectable 431 receiving yards out of the backfield. The Raiders’ spread attack obviously favors the pass attack and Two Rivers was no exception last year, averaging 223 yards per game through the air while posting 147 yards on the ground.
As mentioned, the versatile running back President led the backfield threat for the Raiders in ‘15, logging a team best 589 rushing yards last season on 145 carries (4.1 yards per attempt /65.4 yards per game). Two River’s second best rusher, Trevor Smith with 375 yards, is now graduated.
The Purple Raiders finished 5-5 overall last season and 5-2 in their Eastern Wisconsin Conference. The EWC includes such teams as New Holstein, Valders, Kiel, Sheboygan Falls, Roncalli, Brillion, and Chilton. Two Rivers’ playoff run ended in the first round after a 62-2 loss to Wrightstown.
More interesting is that last year’s matchup with the Robins was only the second time the Raiders of the ECW faced off against a GNC opponent, the first occurring in 2011 against Lakeland where the Thunderbirds lost 44-16.
Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Two Rivers High School.