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Stratford finishes with a win

Stratford finishes with a win Stratford finishes with a win

Tigers edge the Chargers in D-4 regional finale

By Casey Krautkramer

Stratford’s football team utilized late-game heroics for a come-from-behind 28-27 home win against Wittenberg/ Birnamwood in Friday’s WIAA Division 4 postseason finale.

Tigers senior quarterback Max Vanderhoof connected with junior tight end Devin Ulrich for a 24-yard touchdown with only 2-1/2 minutes left in the game. Sophomore Brayden Miller kicked the extra point to give the Tigers a thrilling one-point victory against the Chargers. Senior Colten Schillinger recovered a Wittenberg/ Birnamwood fumble in the final minute of the game to seal the playoff win.

Stratford ends this season with a 5-2 record. Tigers head coach Jason Tubbs was pleased with his team’s nevergive- up attitude. Stratford’s coaching staff knew Wittenberg-Birnamwood would be much improved from when the Tigers downed the Chargers, 36-6, in the season opener on Sept. 25.

“I’m really proud of my seniors who went out with a win on their final game as a Stratford Tiger,” Tubbs said. “Hats off to Wittenberg/Birnamwood, but I’m glad we rallied as a team and got the win.”

Stratford senior Beau Gross scored the game’s first touchdown, following junior Gavin Kirsch’s interception, to give the Tigers an early 7-0 lead. Wit- tenberg-Birnamwood responded with Ben Wesolowski’s pair of touchdown receptions, as the Chargers took a 13-7 halftime advantage.

Vanderhoof completed eight of 18 pass attempts for 118 yards, two interceptions and a pair of touchdowns. Schillinger caught four passes for 58 yards and one touchdown, while Ulrich had two receptions for 42 yards and one score.

Gross led the Tigers in rushing with 28 carries for 113 yards and one score, while junior Elijah Lucio had five runs for 81 yards.

Senior Hunter Ford and Schillinger paced Stratford’s defense with 12 tackles each, and Schillinger had two sacks. Lucio added 10 tackles, while senior Kale Weisenberger and junior Kaden Griesmer had eight tackles apiece. Griesmer also forced a fumble. Schillinger averaged 20-1/2 yards on two kickoff returns for 41 yards, while senior Tristan Wirkus averaged 36 yards on four punts for 144 yards. Miller made all four of his extra point kicks.

Other Stratford seniors playing the final game in their high school careers were Luke Gaulke, Kainoa Gouveia, Logan Rueth, Parker West, Dane Poppy, Adam Lieders and Dalton Schoenherr.