Prairie du Chien football ends fine season

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Prairie’s Mason Kramer fights for extra yardage after catching a pass along the sideline in first-half action Friday night in McFarland. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

The Blackhawks’ Traeton Saint runs through an arm tackle Friday night.

Prairie quarterback Dylan Coleman eludes a Lake Country Lutheran pass rusher.

Dylan Coleman swings a pass to Mason Kramer.

A trio of Prairie du Chien defenders arrive to gang-tackle the Lake Country Lutheran ballcarrier Friday night.

Mason Kramer heads upfield after catching a sideline pass.

Traeton Saint follows the blocking of Tyler Hannah.

Ben Riter (88) goes high for a pass.

 

By Zach Mara

 

The Prairie du Chien Blackhawks traveled to McFarland on Friday night to take on the Lake Country Lutheran Lightning in Level 4 of the 2019 WIAA Division 5 Playoffs. The game was a defensive battle early, but the Lightning (12-1) were able to capitalize on their opportunities for big plays and kept the mistakes to a minimum throughout the game. After jumping out to an early 6-0 lead in the first quarter, they wouldn’t look back, finding the end zone 3 more times and holding the Blackhawks (11-2) scoreless in the contest. In a game closer than the final score showed, Lake Country Lutheran was able to take down the Hawks and advance to the Division 5 State Championship game with a 25-0 victory.

The game started out positive for the Hawks, as the opening kickoff was fumbled by the Lightning return man, setting PdC up at the Lake Country 39-yard line. Unfortunately, the drive stalled at the 25-yard line, and the Lightning took over on downs. Three plays later, QB Luke Haertle found his receiver open down the sideline for a 75-yard, catch-and-run touchdown. The Hawks spoiled the 2-point try but trailed 6-0 with just under 9 minutes remaining in the first quarter. The remainder of the quarter was dominated by the defenses, as the next five possessions ended in punts.

Lake Country Lutheran was able to add to their lead in the second quarter, scoring on a 5-play, 49-yard drive capped by a 13-yard TD run from Jack Leverenz. The Hawks stuffed the 2-point try once again, holding the score at 12-0. The Blackhawks threatened on their ensuing drive, marching 41 yards on 12 plays before turning the ball over on downs in Lightning territory. With little time left on the clock, neither team was able to find the end zone again before halftime, and Lake Country took a 12-0 lead into the break.

The second half opened with punts from both teams, setting up the Hawks at their own 20-yard line. After a couple of big gains, the drive was ended via an interception at the Lightning 41-yard line. After two more drives resulting in punts, Lake Country was set up at the PdC 46-yard line with 10:41 remaining in the 4th quarter. Six plays later, Leverenz punched in another score from the 1-yard line, extending the lead to 18-0 after the Blackhawks blocked the PAT kick. After another interception gave the ball back to the Lightning with excellent field position, Mason Kramer came down with a multi-record-setting interception in the end zone. The interception, Kramer’s 9th of the season, gives him sole possession of the record for most interceptions in a season (9) and in a career (17). Congratulations to Mason Kramer on cementing his place in PdC Football history. The Hawks, fueled by the interception, drove to midfield on 7 plays before fumbling on a long catch-and-run to give Lake Country the ball back with under 4 minutes to go. After another Lightning punt, Prairie du Chien took over on the 50-yard line. On the first play of the drive, the pass rush got to Coleman and knocked the ball free at the 32-yard line. The defender scooped up the loose ball and took it to the end zone, bringing the game to its final score of 25-0 after the successful extra point. Lake Country Lutheran will travel to Camp Randall on Thursday to take on the powerhouse Stratford Tigers (13-0) in the Division 5 State Championship game at 4 p.m.

Traeton Saint led PdC rushers with 14 carries for 48 yards, and Tyler Hannah added 24 yards of his own on 6 carries. Dylan Coleman was 15-of-31 in the air for 199 yards and 3 interceptions in the game. Mason Kramer led the receivers, hauling in 9 passes for 88 yards. Ben Rtier caught 4 passes for 58 yards, and Traeton Saint had 1 reception for 44 yards. Leading the PdC defense was the SWC’s Defensive Player of the Year, Tyler Hannah, who recorded 13 tackles and 1 sack in the game. Colten Wall and Ben Riter added 10 tackles apiece, and Max Amundson had 7 tackles for the game.

QB Dylan Coleman finishes the season with 1,919 yards, 16 TDs, and 13 interceptions through the air. Traeton Saint led the ball carriers with 165 rushes for 881 yards and 11 TDs Tyler Hannah accumulated 742 yards on 129 carries for 9 TDs this season, and Coleman ran 83 times for 265 yards and 4 TDs. Leading the receivers this season was Mason Kramer, who hauled in 55 passes for 926 yards and 10 TDs. Ben Riter had 44 receptions for 694 yards and 6 TDs, and Bradyn Saint caught 9 passes for 116 yards. Leading the defense in tackles was Tyler Hannah, with 131 on the season. Ben Riter led the team in sacks with 6, and Mason Kramer led the team in interceptions with 9. As a team, Prairie du Chien outscored its opponents 335-160 and averaged 25.8 points per game this season. Head Coach Cory Koenig wraps up his first season as head coach with an 11-2 record overall, a 6-1 record in the SWC (losing only to the undefeated SWC Champion River Valley Blackhawks), and a Level 4 Runner-Up plaque. 

Congratulations to the following PdC Football seniors for a tremendous season and all their work for the program over the last 4 years: QB/DB Dylan Coleman, DB Jack Amundson, TE/LB Conner Smith, RB/LB Traeton Saint, WR/DB Mason Kramer, RB/LB Tyler Hannah, OL Kyle MacEachern, OL Nick Moris, OL/DL Isaac Avery, TE/DL Colten Wall, OL Brice Martin, OL Jerrod Osterkamp, WR/LB Ben Riter, and statistician Zach Mara.

Finally, the PdC Football Club would like to thank all of its members and the fans who came out and supported the Blackhawks this season. Your continued support does not go unnoticed, and August will be here before we know it! Once a Hawk, always a Hawk!

 
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