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Tigers dominate Warriors

Tigers dominate Warriors Tigers dominate Warriors

Team moves on to second round in regional pod

Stratford senior starting linebacker Dane Poppy joked after the team’s 38-0 opening-playoff win on Friday against Neillsville/ Granton that he should receive credit for half a sack against the Warriors.

His senior teammate, Hunter Ford, rightfully received complete credit for his back-to-back sacks right before halftime to preserve a 25-0 lead against Neillsville/ Granton. Ford andPoppywere both instrumental players on Stratford’s defense, which held the Warriors to only 124 yards of total offense.

Poppy played a great defensive game in his own right, by leading the Tigers with 13 tackles. He and his teammates were eager to play a game after being quarantined for two weeks because of COVID-19 contact tracing following their game in Rhinelander.

“It was definitely hard and challenging for us to deal with, but I feel like our team did a great job of quarantining and following protocol to get back onto the football field,” said Dane, who is the son of Paul and Yvonne Poppy. “As a senior, it feels amazing to play a couple, even more football games in this season, even though we don’t have the state championships to look forward to this year.”

Ford’s two straight sacks of Warriors’ senior quarterback Braden Trunkel were the result of him changing starting positions from defensive end to outside linebacker.

“I tried playing a new position on defense for the first time this season and it worked out great,” said Hunter, who is the son of Bryce and Angela Ford. “I was blitzing and things just happened to work for me so I’m happy about it.”

Stratford now plays against Wittenberg- Birnamwood, which received an opening-round playoff forfeit win against Tomahawk, at 7 p.m. this Thursday, Nov. 19, at Tigers Stadium in the last regional pod game. The Tigers are currently 4-2 overall this season while the Chargers are 2-3.

Tigers senior Beau Gross definitely came ready to play against the Warriors on Friday. He accounted for seven of Stratford’s 15 first-quarter points against Neillsville/Granton.

Gross easily ran in a two-point conversion, following senior running back Kainoa Gouveia’s six-yard touchdown scamper, which gave the Tigers an 8-0 lead. Gross then grabbed an eight-yard touchdown from senior quarterback Max Vanderhoof. Sophomore Brayden Miller kicked the extra point to give Stratford a 15-0 advantage.

In the second quarter, Vanderhoof passed the ball to junior tight end Devin Ulrich who was wide open in the corner of the end zone. Miller tacked on the extra point, and he later booted a 31-yard field goal after the ball barely made it over the crossbar. Stratford took a commanding 25-0 halftime lead.

Vanderhoof passed for his third touchdown in the game when junior wide receiver Elijah Lucio hauled in a nine-yard score in the third quarter. Vanderhoof finished the 38-0 playoff victory by completing 11 of 16 passes for 131 yards and the trio of touchdowns.

Senior Colten Schillinger rushed for a 10-yard score in the fourth quarter, and Miller made the extra point to cap off the Tigers’ scoring onslaught against the Warriors.

Gross led the Tigers in both rushing and receiving yards obtained against Neillsville/Granton. He ran the ball 16 times for 78 yards and he caught four passes for 73 yards and one touchdown.

HIGH STEPPING INTO THE END ZONE- Stratford senior running back Beau Gross gallops into the end zone untouched to score the two-point conversion run, following his six-yard touchdown scamper, to give the Tigers an early 8-0 advantage against Neillsville/Granton in Friday’s home playoff-opening game.STAFF PHOTO/CASEY KRAUTKRAMER

PRESSURING THE OPPOSING QUARTERBACK- Stratford senior Max Vanderhoof, a starting quarterback himself, applies defensive pressure on Neillsville/Granton senior quarterback Braden Trunkel during the Tigers’ 38-0 home playoff win against the Warriors.STAFF PHOTO/CASEY KRAUTKRAMER