Second quarter explosion inches Norse closer to playoffs
A 36-point second quarter has the Whitehall football team within one win of clinching a spot in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association playoffs.
The Norse scored five touchdowns in the second frame to take a 42-14 lead over Eleva-Strum as they went on for the 54-14 win.
The win evened Whitehall’s Dairyland Conference record at 3-3 with three straight wins. They’re 4-3 overall, which could factor into seeding should Whitehall defeat Independence/GIlmanton this Friday.
The Indees are coming to Whitehall winless on the season, but just played a game in which their defense held Melrose-Mindoro in check, though they still lost 19-0 (see story elsewhere in Sports). Should Whitehall win, they’d advance to the playoffs with a game likely next Friday.
Whitehall 54 E-S 14
The Cardinals struck back after Whitehall scored in the first quarter, but they couldn’t keep up in the second.
The Norse took a lead when Jonathan Thorn scored on a 17-yard run. The two-point conversion failed and Whitehall found itself trailing after E-S responded with a score and made the extra point kick to go ahead 7-6.
Whitehall’s running game got rolling in the second quarter.
The Norse retook the lead when Thorn scored again, this time from 37 yards out. Aidan Sonsalla passed to Devon McCune for the two-point conversion, making the score 14-7.
Whitehall got the ball back and Isaac Skoyen got in the end zone, plunging in from a yard out. The kick was no good.
A 30-yard touchdown run from Eric Kleinhans, followed by Thorn’s two-point conversion broke the game open at 28-7.
As the Cardinals tried to come back, Thorn scored again. This time he found the end zone on defense as he intercepted a pass and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown, making the score 34-7.
E-S got a score back when they returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown. The point after made the score 34-14.
The Norse wasted no time responding as Thorn fielded the E-S’s kickoff and brought it back for a 77-yard touchdown. Kleinhans ran in the two-point conversion, making the score 42-14, which is where it stood at the half.
Whitehall scored two more times in the third quarter. The first was a one-yard run by Sonsalla and the second a three-yard run by Kleinhans.
Three Whitehall players ran for more than 50 yards. They were led by Thorn, who ran for 116 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries. Skoyen had a long run of 53 yards as he totaled 78 on six attempts, Kleinhans had two touchdowns and 61 rushing yards on nine carries.
The team still had balance, however, as Sonsalla completed five-of-11 passes for 79 yards.
Rushing 266 81
Passing 79 58
Total 345 139
First downs 15 6
Turnovers 0 3
Penalties 8/80 3/15
Rushing (att/yds.) — Thorn 8/116 Skoyen 6/78 Kleinhans 9/61 Coburn 2/8 Sonsalla 3/1 Kulig 1/2 Lambeck 1/-6
Receiving (rec./yds.) — Kulig 1/32 McCune 1/26 Thorn 2/12 Skoyen 1/9
Passing (comp./att./yds.) — Sonsalla 5/11/79
Tackles (solo/asts) — Kleinhans 6/1 B. Sluga 5/1 Kulig 3/0 Sonsalla 2/0 Skoyen 2/2 Thorn 1/3 Pank 1/3 Dunn 1/2 Gaier 1/0 McCune 0/5 Sluga 0/6 Spittler 0/1