By Craig Marx, Editor
Antigo was able to tighten up its pass blocking and, aside from a number of offside penalties, was mentally more prepared on Friday evening as the Red Robins (now 1-1) took down the Oconto Blue Devils (1-1) 30-8 at Schofield Stadium.
The Robins’ opening drive showed signs of rust that had been prevalent in the second half of last week’s overtime loss to Two Rivers. A 35-yard pass play from quarterback Matt Winter to Hunter Kirsch was negated by a holding call, while Winter’s later punt was blocked but eventually contained by the junior Robin.
Things quickly turned around for Antigo. On 1st and 10 from the Antigo 31-yard line, Oconto quarterback Jake Krueger was picked off by defensive end Hunter Kirsch, stepping in front of an outlet pass and taking the opportunity 69 yards home for a pick-six. With an unsuccessful point after attempt, Antigo led 6-0 with 8:09 remaining in just the first quarter.
On the Blue Devils next possession, it was Winter this time coming up with another interception near midfield. On the Robins next offensive drive, senior Will Dixon broke an outside tackle for a 52-yard dash down the near sideline for a score. At the 1:20 mark of the first quarter, Antigo had established a 12-0 lead.
The Robins took an 18-0 lead into halftime as a Wade Farmer pass to Luke Berner connected for a touchdown. With woes continuing on point after and two-point conversion attempts, Antigo was in control of virtually every other aspect of the game after 24 minutes.
After a scoreless third quarter, Adam Schmidt helped cap an extended drive for Antigo by plowing ahead through the middle of the line on 4th and Goal from the Oconto two-yard line. Now up 28-0, the Blue Devils strung together their first sustained drive of the evening on their ensuing possession, scoring a touchdown with 6:48 remaining in the game to cut the Antigo lead to 16.
With 2:49 remaining, Berner scored his second touchdown of the night on a 44-yard reception that featured a razzle-dazzle juke move near the sideline to cut back inside the over-pursing Blue Devil secondary. Capped by a Krueger interception picked off by Farmer with just seconds left in the game, the Robins showed a tightened grip now in Week 2.
Offside penalties and post-touchdown attempts were the two areas of concern that emerged after Friday. Otherwise, the Robins posted a pretty solid outing. Dixon led the team with 92 rushing yards and a score while the senior receiver Berner put up 86 receiving yards and a pair of TDs. The Robins defense held Krueger to 87 passing yards, while rushing threat Jeffrey Humblet was a yard shy of the century mark on the ground.
The Robins will travel to Menominee (Mich.) this coming week. Stay tuned for comments from the coaching staff about this Week 2 victory and a look ahead to the recently-annual matchup with the Maroons.