By Craig Marx, Editor
After failing to close out its season opener, Antigo football will have a chance to put last Friday behind itself as the Red Robins host the Oconto Blue Devils tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. from Schofield Stadium.
The Blue Devils are under the command of second-year head coach Brian Sohrweide and enter the 2016 season after a 3-6 overall campaign in ’15 (2-4 in their Packerland Conference standings). The end of last season also saw Oconto graduate 12 seniors, including the vast majority of its skill position players.
Antigo defeated Oconto 35-10 on the road last year after recovering from a slow first quarter. Exploding for 27 points in the second quarter, the Robins offense eventually piled up 368 total yards of offense with the lion’s share coming off the rushing attack of Alex Nagel (109 rushing yards) and Max Nowinsky (107).
Facing pass blocking issues in Week 1’s 20-14 overtime loss to the Two Rivers Purple Raiders, the Robins would be at an advantage to try and pound the ball against Oconto with new varsity backs Jericho Kelly and Adam Schmidt, a tandem that put up 77 and 72 yards on the ground last Friday, respectively.
The Blue Devils have new looks in their backfield as well. After the departure of quarterback Seth Reed this past spring, Oconto started junior Jake Krueger under center in the Blue Devils 44-0 win over Rosholt in Week 1. Krueger went 5 for 8 for 150 yards, passing for three touchdowns without a pick in his ’16 starting debut.
Jeffrey Humblet (senior) and Carson Moe (junior) return to the backfield for the Blue Devils, two of Oconto’s more-prolific running backs from ’15. Leading the team in rushing last week against Rosholt, however, was junior James Parker, going for 68 yards on 12 carries and a TD.
The Robins last season-opening loss came against the Rhinelander Hodags 19-8 in 2014 as part of a rare, non-Great Northern Conference matchup.
Antigo looks to return to form and take care of business throughout the entire game tomorrow evening. Check with the antigotimes.com website and Facebook page after the game for immediate scores, results, and perspectives.