Jaguars’ big second half not enough, as Papermakers roll
By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON – It’s not often a team shuts out a top-ranked Kimberly Papermakers football team in a half.
It happened Friday, April 9, as Ashwaubenon put up two touchdowns in the second half.
The downside was Kimberly had a six-touchdown lead at the break, as it went on to defeat the Jaguars 42-13 in a Fox Valley Classic Conference game at Ashwaubenon High School.
Sophomore quarterback Boone Kirst made his first career start for Ashwaubenon (0-3) after the previous starter, Cadian Vang, tore his anterior cruciate ligament in an April 1 loss to Appleton North.
Kirst was 11-for-22 passing for 95 yards and one touchdown.
“We think lots of Boone,” said Brian Ryczkowski, Ashwaubenon head coach. “He throws the ball well. The opportunity to play now will be invaluable for him come the fall season.”
Kimberly (3-0) running back Caleb Frazer finished with 136 yards rushing and four touchdowns, while Colin Obermann added 92 yards on the ground.
Ashwaubenon finished with 228 yards of offense, while Kimberly gained 382.
The Papermakers scored 73 seconds into the contest on a four-play, 73-yard drive capped by Frazer’s 29-yard gallop into the end zone.
A quick punt by Ashwaubenon turned into pandemonium after Kimberly muffed the return, and the Jaguars started inside the Papermakers’ 15-yard line.
However, three plays later, the Jaguars had a 26-yard field-goal attempt blocked, and the momentum shifted back to the visitors.
“The game of football is about shifts in momentums,” said Ryczkowski. “It’s similar to a boxing match in all the rounds. We had a chance to take a round, and we didn’t capitalize in the red zone.”
Kimberly stayed on the ground with both running backs, while quarterback Caden Pendleton got into the action as well.
A few minutes later, Pendleton connected with Frazer on a 16-yard touchdown completion to put Kimberly up 14-0, showcasing why it’s one of the most complete teams in the state.
After another short Ashwaubenon punt, Papermakers wide receiver Cam Wnek hauled in an 11-yard touchdown catch for a 21-0 lead after the first quarter.
The floodgates opened up further in the second quarter when the Jaguars mustered only 53 yards of offense, as Kimberly added three more scores in succession to take an insurmountable 42-0 lead into halftime.
Much of the damage came via the run.
“We have to shore up our defensive run pursuit,” said Ryczkowski. “It starts in the weight room in the offseason by getting stronger. We need to play faster and get off blocks.”
The Jaguars showed resiliency in the final 24 minutes after a running clock was initiated.
First, Andrew Pludeman went in from seven yards out in the third quarter.
With 17 seconds remaining in the game, Kirst hit Kaeden Turnbull for a six-yard strike in the back of the end zone to cut the final margin to 29 points.
“We talked all week about worrying about what we can control,” Ryczkowski said. “We wanted to continue to push on offense in the second half regardless of who Kimberly put into the game. The sidelines stayed engaged, and we pushed to the final horn.”
Ashwaubenon is back in action April 16 when it hosts Oshkosh North.
Kimberly: 21, 21, 0, 0 — 42
Ashwaubenon: 0, 0, 7, 6 — 13