Indians clinch 7th straight title with win over Wildcats
The Menomonie Indians ran their Big Rivers Conference winning streak to 41 straight games by taking a 48-0 halftime lead and going on to a 48-14 win over the Wildcats at Williams Stadium on the campus of UW-Stout last Thursday.
The win kept the No. 2 ranked Indians undefeated on the season with an overall record of 8-0 and clinched their seventh straight BRC championship. The Wildcats dropped to 0-6 in the BRC, 0-8 overall and will wrap up the season Thursday night (Oct. 19) against Eau Claire Memorial (4-2, 6-2) at 7 p.m. at Ramer Field.
Last Thursday, the Indians scored 33 of their 48 first half points in the second quarter before resting their starters in the second half. River Falls finished with more total yards than Menomonie, 236 to 202, but the Indians kept the Wildcats pinned deep in their own territory, especially in the first half, and took advantage of good field position to build an early lead.
"Menomonie's special teams were excellent and created a short field for their offense," Wildcat head coach John Bennett said. "They took advantage of the short field and really got the momentum rolling their way."
After taking a 15-0 first quarter lead on a 54-yard interception return by Troy Bryant and a 2-yard touchdown run by Trevor Fiege, the Indians scored five more touchdowns in an eight minute span of the second quarter to widen the gap to 48-0.
The Cats scored just the third touchdown allowed by Menomonie in BRC play this season when Tyler Hanson broke free for a 49-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter. Treston Koehler added the extra point to make the score 48-7.
Reid Larson added a 2-yard touchdown run and Koehler booted the extra point with 17 seconds remaining to make the final 48-14.
The win was Menomonie's 12th straight over the Wildcats.
"They are an excellent high school football team," Bennett said about the Indians. "Overall, our kids battled and played hard."
Hanson led the Cats with 111 yards rushing in 13 carries. Quarterbacks Trent Frey and Darin Nelson each completed 1-of-6 attempts with an interception. Both completions went to Charles Dixon, who hauled in a 30-yard reception from Frey and an 8-yard pass from Nelson.
Jake Radkey-Pechacek and Hanson had 10 tackles each while Clint Robins contributed nine to highlight the Wildcat defense. Hanson also made one tackle behind the line of scrimmage and recovered a fumble while Justin Koch had a forced fumble and a fumble recovery and Radkey-Pechacek and Kevin Johnson each forced a fumble.
Band Boosters to host tailgate party
The River Falls High School Band Boosters will host a tailgate party prior to the Wildcats' game against Eau Claire Memorial Thursday from 5:30-6:45 p.m. near the gazebo in the parking lot of Ramer Field. A hamburger or two hot dogs, chips, pickle, brownie bar and pop will be available for $5.
During halftime, the Marching Wildcats will perform their 2006 field show, "A Love Defiant."
Sports Editor Bob Burrows can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 426-1047.