Preble defense leads to win over Trojans
By Greg Bates
Each squad played better in the second week of the season, but ultimately, it was Preble’s improved performance that showed up on the scoreboard.
The Hornets broke a scoreless tussle midway through the second quarter and then tacked on two more touchdowns in the second half to pull off a 20-0 victory at Southwest.
“We had lots of good things (against Bay Port March 26) and carried some of that into this week,” Preble head coach Dustin Gresen said. “We played good football, but we’ve still got lots of mistakes to clean up. The guys fought hard, played solid defense, moved the ball when we needed to and came out with the W.”
The Hornets’ defense was stellar.
On Southwest’s six second-half drives, it got into Preble territory twice and never threatened to score.
On the other side of the ball, on two of the three Preble scoring drives, the offense needed to move the ball a total of 56 yards to get into the end zone.
“We improved over the week,” said Southwest co-head coach Tim Birr, whose team was defeated 39-0 by De Pere in Week 1. “We tried to shore up some of the mistakes we made (March 26). We had a good start tonight, but it was a matter of field position. At any level, whether it’s high school or the pros, if you give the other team the ball starting at (your own) 20, it’s tough to stop.”
Preble (1-1) got its offense clicking one week after struggling against Bay Port.
Quarterback Evan Holm made all the difference – he threw for one score and ran for another.
“It was great to see the senior perform in our offense in his third year here at Preble,” Gresen said. “It was great to see the success he was able to do — what he was able to pull off. He will get better next week.”
Holm said he was happy the offense started to click.
“It shows what we can do,” he said. “The O-line played great; everybody played great. We’ve got to keep rolling.”
Beginning its drive at midfield to start the second quarter, a couple of Hornets runs opened up the passing game.
Holm hit wide receiver Cory Coleman in stride for a nice 34-yard touchdown to put Preble up 7-0 after the extra point with 7:48 remaining in the first half.
“The O-line gave me enough time, and Cory ran a great route,” Holm said.
Midway through the third quarter, the complexion of the game shifted.
Preble defensive back Drew Tenor corralled his second interception of the contest and returned the ball 38 yards to the Southwest 6-yard line.
Two plays later, Holm called his own number and scampered for a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 13-0 after the extra-point attempt failed.
A bit later, Preble pieced together a 75-yard touchdown drive.
Holm converted a fourth-and-1, and on the next play, running back Connor Shefchik iced the win with a 42-yard jaunt for a score.
“We started a little slow, but once they got going, they got momentum and built on a good play and turned it into another good play,” Gresen said. “We had good decisions from our quarterback Evan, and we had guys running the ball hard. We made some great catches on the outside. All in all, it was a good offensive performance.”
On April 9 at 7 p.m., Preble will host Appleton West (1-1), and Southwest will be at Neenah (0-2).
“It’s good to get a win early in the season because it builds momentum,” Gresen said. “Not playing football for 15 months, that’s tough. Now that we’re starting to get momentum, hopefully, we can continue to build that week over week.”