Quiet second half does in Norse football team
With a long touchdown midway through the second quarter, the Whitehall football team was very much in the game, but a three-point halftime deficit turned into a 17-point loss as the Norse were blanked by Melrose-Mindoro in the second half.
Whitehall still trailed by three until the Mustangs scored with five minutes left in the game. Mel-Min added another touchdown to put it away and strike a big blow to Whitehall’s hopes of winning the Dairyland Conference.
The loss put Whitehall at 1-1 on the season and 0-1 in DC play. They’ll play at home against another top DC team, Pepin/Alma this week. The Eagles are coming off of a 44-6 win over Cochrane-Fountain City and are 2-0 on the season.
Next week Whitehall hosts Augusta, another undefeated team.
Mel-Min 32 Whitehall 15
The Norse scored to get within three in the second quarter, but struggled the rest of the way as they were unable to get their ground game going.
Whitehall’s last touchdown was an 80-yard strike from Aidan Sonsalla to Devon McCune. Isaac Skoyen then ran in the two-point conversion, making the score 18-15.
That’s where it stood throughout much of the second half as the Norse missed several opportunities to take the lead, while the Mustangs missed chances to extend their advantage.
It wasn’t until the start of the fourth quarter when the Mustangs took over from inside their own 20 and marched down the field with a drive that took six minutes off the clock and ended with a six-yard touchdown run by Raif Radcliffe that the score changed. The point after gave the Mustangs a 10-point lead with 5:04 left in the game.
With the time against them, Whitehall was forced to go for it on fourth down from deep inside their own territory on their next drive. Sonsalla’s deep pass in the middle of the field fell incomplete and the Mustangs took over inside the Whitehall 20.
Radcliffe added another touchdown a few plays later and the point after gave the Mustangs an insurmountable lead with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
Neither team was able to do much offensively for most of the game, but the Mustangs were slightly more balanced.
Mel-Min converted a fourth-and-13 on their first scoring drive then finished it with a five-yard pass to Carson Koss from Braydon Lockington. The point after was no good.
After the teams exchanged punts, Whitehall was able to take the lead and begin a flurry of points in the second quarter.
It began when Sonsalla and McCune hooked up for a 27-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-12 play. McCune then made the point after to put Whitehall ahead 7-6 with 8:37 left in the first half.
The lead was short-lived as Radcliffe took the ensuing kickoff back 90 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, but the Mustangs were back ahead 12-7.
A fumble on Whitehall’s next drive put Mel-Min back in business and they took advantage as Braydon Lockington hit Korbin Lockington for a 29-yard touchdown. The two-point try was no good as the Mustangs held an 18-7 lead with 6:49 left.
It took just one play for the Norse to respond.
Taking over on their own 20, Sonsalla threw deep ton McCune. The receiver out-jumped two Mustang defenders, coming down with the ball along the sideline with nothing but open field ahead of him. Skoyen then ran in the two-point try, making the score 18-15 with 6:36 left in the first half.
That’s where it would stay until the final five minutes of the game when the Mustangs took control.
Whitehall was able to move the ball through the air as Sonsalla passed for 172 yards and two touchdowns, but got very little on the ground, rushing for 15 yards 16 attempts. Skoyen led the team with 11 yards on three carries. McCune caught five passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns.
The Mustangs, meanwhile ran for 176 yards and passed for 62 more — including two touchdowns.
Rushing 15 176
Passing 172 62
Total 187 238
First downs 6 13
Turnovers 3 1
Penalties 3/38 3/17
Rushing (att./yds.) — Skoyen3/11 Kleinhans 5/6 Sonsalal 4/1 Kulig 2/-1 Lambeck 2/-2
Receiving (rec./yds.) — McCune 5/174 Kleinhans 2/-2
Passing (comp./att./yds.) — Sonsalla 7/21/172
Tackles (total/asts.) — Kleinhans 14/7 Fremstad 9/6 C. Sluga 8/2 Skoren 6/2 Kulig 5/1 Dunn 5/1 McCune 4/4 B. Sluga 4/5 Sonsalla 3/1 Pank 3/6 Sartor 1/1