Tigers obtain state shutout record
Stratford shuts out 12th straight team this season
By Casey Krautkramer
Stratford’s 2019 football now holds the state record for most shutouts in a season, 12, after its 35-0 win against Northwestern during Friday’s WIAA Division 5 Level 3 playoff game in Maple.
Plenty of Tigers fans either drove themselves or rode on a coach bus, which was organized by senior linebacker Justin Schoenherr’s father, Tad, for the three-and-a-half hour trek to Maple to witness Stratford’s defense create state history.
Stratford schools were dismissed a half hour early on Friday to give fans ample time to arrive in Maple in time for the highly-touted game between two undefeated teams having the Tigers mascot.
Justin Schoenherr led Stratford’s defense with 14 tackles and fellow senior linebacker Trevor Dennee added nine. Senior defensive lineman Jaykob Mikelson added six tackles. Two of the team’s seniors, defensive lineman Ben Barten and linebacker Devin Dennee, and junior linebacker Colten Schillinger contributed five tackles each. Senior defensive lineman Vaughn Breit recorded a quarterback sack and senior cornerback Teddy Redman intercepted a pass.
Barten reflected on Stratford’s defense breaking the state record for shutouts against Northwestern. Barten, who’ll play football for the Wisconsin Badgers next fall, followed up Friday’s big win by watching the Badgers nip Iowa, 24-22, at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday afternoon. “It’s certainly something special to set the state record for most shutouts, but at this point in the season nothing matters more to our team than having a 1-0 record every week,” he said.
The team’s defense limited Northwestern to 116 yards of total offense. Stratford, meanwhile, racked up 366 yards of total offense.
Stratford junior running back Beau Gross played one of the best games in his high school football career against Northwestern. He scored a total of four touchdowns. Gross ran the ball 12 times for 77 yards and three scores, and he added a 21-yard touchdown reception.
Tiger’s senior quarterback Max Schwabe completed five of six passes for 78 yards and the one touchdown to Gross. Senior Matt Handrick had 10 rushes for 64 yards and Redman seven for 53. Devin Dennee scored the team’s other rushing touchdown, and junior foreign exchange student Leonardo Franzese made all three of his extrapoint kicks. Breit hauled in two pass receptions for 42 yards in the win.
Stratford now plays against Amherst, which is also undefeated, in a Division 5 Level 4 football game at 7 p.m. this Friday, Nov. 15, at D.C. Everest’s Stiehm Stadium in Schofield. The winner of this game will play in the state championship game on Thursday, Nov. 21, against the winner of the other Division 5 state semifinal
Ben Barten SPORTS
game between Lake Country Lutheran against Prairie du Chien in McFarland.
Amherst beat Chilton, 24-19, in a Level 3 playoff game on Friday to advance to play against Stratford in Level 4. The Tigers have never beaten the Falcons in the playoffs, while researching back to at least the early 2000s, so this is a huge game for the team. Amherst defeated Stratford, 52-15, in a Division 5 Level 3 game in the 2017 football season. Before that season, Amherst had reeled off playoff wins against Stratford three straight years in 2012 through 2014. All of the Tigers’ playoff games against the Falcons were played in Amherst.
Stratford will move from the Marawood Conference into the Central Wisconsin-Large with Amherst next season.