SPASH’s offense stalls in opening loss to Indians
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT – Scoring struggles ruffled the SPASH football team in what was a two-possession game in the first half vs. Mukwonago as it couldn’t find the points in the second half and eventually fell in the season opener, 35-7 at Goerke Field on Aug. 18.
SPASH gained 127 yards on the ground on 35 attempts in the loss.
Senior Braylon Smola touched the rock 27 times and gained 96 yards on the ground, tallying the Panthers’ lone touchdown.
SPASH received the opening kickoff and started the season on offense.
A botched handoff on the opening play gave the Indians great field position after a fumble recovery.
Mukwonago punched it in for seven a few plays later to take an early 7-0 lead.
SPASH’s second offensive possession had some movement across midfield but ended in Grant Chandonais getting intercepted on a pass attended for Amon Konopacki.
In two possessions, the Panthers had two turnovers to start the night offensively.
Another Mukwonago score made it 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Panthers trotted back out on the field for another shot at a score. A lengthy drive that chewed roughly half of the second quarter clock ended in Smola diving into the end zone for his first touchdown of the season.
Mukwonago’s offense kept the pressure on and scored for a third time before the half, making it a 21-7 ball game.
Late into the second quarter, the Indians got a defensive stop and tried to add to the lead before halftime.
An interception in the end zone by Jackson Spees gave the Panthers momentum into the locker room by being down only two scores.
The SPASH defense kept the deficit at 14 early in the third with another interception, but the offense couldn’t take advantage.
The Indians found the end zone twice, once in the third and again in the fourth, to put the game on ice, 35-7.
Chandonais finished the night 14-22 passing, with 122 yards passing and one interception.
SPASH looks to refocus as it welcomes Hudson to Goerke Field for a showdown on Friday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m.