Backfield carries SPASH to a victorious Homecoming
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT – Under the bright lights of a packed Goerke Field, the SPASH football team had extra motivation to win its Homecoming game vs. Wausau East in Stevens Point on Sept. 29.
The Panthers utilized the ground-and-pound game plan against the Lumberjack defense for a 42-7 victory.
Seniors Braylon Smola and Izzy Moore led the ground game with two 100-yard games.
Smola carried the ball 22 times for 192 yards and two touchdowns.
Moore touched the ball 16 times and gained 177 yards. He also found the end zone.
Junior Grant Chandonais added to the 386 rushing yards with 30 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
SPASH opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 13-yard dash from Smola to take a 7-0 lead.
The one-score deficit carried into the second quarter before the Panthers broke loose.
Chandonais used his arm early in the second quarter to get the second score.
On a 4th and 13 play from the 19-yard line, the junior quarterback found a wide-open Ethan Ehlinger up the seam for a 14-0 advantage.
After another defensive stop, the offense capitalized again.
A long connection from Chandonais to receiver Kyle Madlena set up the Panthers inside the 5-yard line.
Smola found the pay dirt for a three-score lead, 21-0, with seven minutes left in the first half.
On the next possession, SPASH lost a fumble inside the 5-yard line but got the ball right back after the defense also forced a fumble.
On the next offensive play, Chandonais ran in to make it 28-0 right before halftime.
Wausau East answered seconds before the clock ran out for its first score, putting the halftime score at 28-7.
The defense pitched a shutout in the second half, and Moore highlighted his power and speed with a couple of chunk runs before he powered his way into the end zone for a third-quarter score.
One last score by SPASH in the fourth quarter pushed the game to a dominant 35-point victory on Homecoming.
SPASH improved to 6-1 (5-0) on the year, with a road game vs. Marshfield looming on Friday, Oct. 6.