Raiders hit the road; Gilman prepares for different look
WEEK 3 FOOTBALL
After bludgeoning Antigo and Hayward in the first two weeks of the football season by a combined 95-7, the Medford Raiders should get a much more difficult challenge this Friday when they head to Mosinee for their first road game of 2020.
In the annual battle for the Cheese Grater Trophy, Medford will face a 1-1 squad that, despite being without starting quarterback Michal Dul, still piled up 238 passing yards and 251 total yards Friday while letting one slip away in a 28-21 defeat at Rhinelander.
The Indians led 14-0 after one quarter and turned the ball over twice deep in Rhinelander territory. Rhinelander got its own passing game warmed up on the second half as Quinn Lamers finished with 193 yards on just nine completions, Jackson Labs caught touchdown passes of 30 and 31 yards and Walker Hartman scored on 5-yard and 1-yard touchdown runs to push the Hodags ahead.
A year ago, Medford won 35-14 in a week-eight showdown for the GNC title. Medford won handily but Mosinee became the only team to score in the regular season against Medford’s defense.
“They’re very dangerous on offense,” Medford head coach Ted Wilson said. “They have two really good wide receivers. I don’t know if Dul will be back or not. Either way, the kid that played for them Friday (Trevor Garski) had a pretty decent game. I think he was 25 for 34. They’re very dangerous with big plays. We’ll really have to be on the ball about defending the pass really well and trying to get some pressure on the quarterback. They have the kind of offensive explosiveness that they’re never really out of the game until it’s over.”
In a 25-16 week-one win over Lakeland that was not as close as the final score indicates, Dul was 17 of 25 for 250 yards and ran for four short touchdowns. At Rhinelander, Garski was 25 of 34 for 238 yards.
Through two games, Lehman has 26 receptions for 270 yards and Cyle Kowalski has 10 catches for 140 yards. The Indians will be content with their passing game, throwing underneath until they see the opportunity to strike deep.
“They’re going to run play based on what we give them,” Wilson said. “If we’re back deep, they’re going to dink and dunk underneath. Once we start creeping to try to take that away, then they’re going to try to throw a fade over the top. It’s pretty much the same Mosinee offense they’ve run the last few years.”
In the first two weeks, Medford has held Antigo to 34 first-half yards and Hayward to 37 first-half yards. Neither team scored in those halves. Those are the only four quarters the Raiders’ starters have played.
Since the GNC started play in 2008, this has been one of the more closelycontested series in the league. Mosinee leads 7-5 in regular-season games, while Medford has won the only post-season meeting in 2015. Medford also won a postseason meeting back in 2003.
Gilman hosts Hornets
It’s been a similar story with Gilman in its first two weeks of eight-man football.
The Pirates have dominated Bruce and Phillips, outscoring them by a combined 98-0.
The week-two game in Phillips was expected to be close, but the Pirates thought otherwise when the teams got on the field and blew out the Loggers 45-0. In week three, Gilman starts a three-week homestand by hosting the 1-1 Hornets from Alma Center Lincoln.
Lincoln is coming off a 28-12 win at Bruce on Friday. The Hornets broke a 12-12 tie with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to win it. In week one, they had a 20-8 first-quarter lead over McDonell Central, but the Macks scored 38 unanswered points after that and won 46-20.
Gilman hosts 2-0 McDonell next week in what appears to be the Central Wisconsin West championship game. So staying focused on this week’s matchup is one of Gilman’s tasks for the week.
Offensively, Lincoln has gained its yards with nearly a dead-even split between rushing and passing. The Hornets have rushed for 304 yards and passed for 280, according to stats posted on wissports. net.
Jack Anderson has completed 17 of 27 passes, including a 70-yard touchdown this past Friday to Blake Hanson, who is the team’s leading receiver with six catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Trent Tondola has seven catches for 75 yards.
Anderson was the state’s eight-man leader in passing yards in 2019 with 2,642.
Those three also are the team’s leading rushers. Hansen just missed 100-yard games two weeks in a row and had 188 yards and three rushing touchdowns through two weeks.
They’ll be challenged to do damage against Gilman’s aggressive defense that has given up just 129 yards combined in its two wins. The Pirates have rushed for 375.5 yards per game in their first two outings. Lincoln gave up 309 yards rushing to one player alone, McDonell quarterback Tanner Opsal, in week one.
Gilman head coach Robin Rosemeyer said Lincoln’s defense is a risk-reward scheme that features a lot of blitzing and forces the offense to guess where it’s coming from.
Hawks’ game canceled
The Rib Lake-Prentice Hawks remain sidelined this week as their home game with Grantsburg has been canceled. The team is aiming to begin Lakeland Conference play Oct. 16 at Ladysmith.