SPASH Falls to Kimberly 28-18
By Jacob Mathias
It was an intimidating night of football for the SPASH Panthers as they took on the four-in-a-row state champion Kimberly Papermakers.
The Panthers entered their first game in Valley Football Association play with a 1-1 record after narrowly defeating the Hudson Raiders 23-21 last week. A 28-18 loss to the Papermakers brings the Panthers’ record to 1-2.
The two teams played a tight first half ending with SPASH trailing Kimberly 14-12. The Panthers took to the scoreboard first with a 59-yard touchdown run by senior running back Colton Kizewski at 5:52 in the first quarter. Kimberly pulled ahead a few minutes later with a three-yard TD pass to Papermaker senior fullback Joe Lemancik.
KIzewski scored his second of three touchdowns with a 54-yard run at 7:20 in the second quarter.
A failed extra point and two-point conversion attempt left SPASH trailing with their 12-point halftime score.
The Papermakers came out in strong form for the second half, quickly bringing their lead to 21-12 with a nine-yard TD run by senior running back D.J. Stewart. Kimberly scored again with 2:44 left in the game bringing their lead to 28-12.
Kizewski scored his third and final touchdown in a last ditch effort by the Panthers with 1:45 remaining on the clock. The Papermakers recovered an onside kick attempt by the Panthers and held possession until the clock ran out.
The Panthers’ offense was led by Kizewski who ran for 161 yards, followed by senior quarterback Sam Simmons trailing with 40 rushing yards.
Stewart led the Papermakers with 96 rushing yards.
SPASH travels to Appleton North next Friday, Sept. 8, where they will take on the Lightning (2-1) at 7:00 PM on Paul Engen Field.