By Murray Gleffe, Correspondent
GREEN BAY-The Ashwaubenon Jaguars football team knew that they would have to play a near perfect game to knock off the second seeded Green Bay Southwest Trojans Friday evening at Family Dahlin Stadium in Round 1 of the WIAA Playoffs.
Unfortunately, for the Jaguars, early turnovers did them in as they were defeated by a final of 44-12. Alex Stanko had 8 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown, but did not return to the game after the first play of the second quarter due to a lower leg injury. Anthony Guarascio passed for 164 yards.
The Trojans were led by QB Nick Howard who rushed for 150 yards and 1 TD. He also threw for 139 yards and a TD. Josh Komis added 79 yards on 14 carries and 3 touchdowns.
The Jaguars opened the football game by taking the ball, and drove down into Trojan territory. On the fifth play, the Jaguars Guarascio was intercepted by CB Taejon Richard.
The Trojans wasted no time utilizing their strong run game. Howard rushed twice for 42 yards, and Komis bulldozed his way in from seven yards out to put the Trojans up 7-0 with 8:11 left in the first quarter.
The Jaguars then added another miscue on their second possession. On the first play from scrimmage, Guarascio’s pass was tipped over the middle and again a Trojans DB (Joe Statz) was in the right place at the right time and made the pick.
After the INT, the Trojans went for the juggernaut. QB Howard heaved a ball to WR Will Pytleski who came down with the catch in the end-zone to extend the Trojans lead to 14-0 just four minutes into the ball game.
The Jaguars appeared to get back in the ball game when Alex Stanko ripped off a 60-yard touchdown run on their next possession to cut the margin to 14-6. However, that would be the last points the Jaguars would have till the fourth quarter.
On their last three possessions of the first half, the Trojans marched down the field each time at will. The result were two touchdowns by Komis, and one by Howard to widen the margin to 34-6 at halftime.
The Trojans booted a 33-yard field goal in the third to provide the only points of the quarter. The Jaguars did have a shining moment when the DB Caleb Opperman picked off Howard in the back of the end zone to take away a touchdown from the Trojans.
The Jaguars added their last score of the 2017 season when senior running back Troy Lo went in from three yards out.
The final score of the game came a minute later when the Trojans Statz took the kickoff from 78 yards out away and went to the house. Statz broke six tackles on his way into the end-zone.
The Trojans will take on the sixth seeded Pulaski Red Raiders next Friday at Southwest in a second round WIAA matchup.
The Jaguars end their season with a 4-6 record.
Notes from the Game:
-It was the second straight year that the Jaguars and Trojans met up in the WIAA Playoffs
-31 seniors played in their final game for the Jaguars
-The 56 points in this game were 63 short of the epic Jaguar/Trojan battle last year during the regular season