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Mistakes cost Jaguars in loss to state power

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

ASHWAUBENON – Combine two fumbles, two interceptions, two blocked punts and a roughing-the-kicker penalty against a state-power team and it equals a lopsided loss.

The Ashwaubenon football team couldn’t overcome the mistakes in a 45-0 non-conference setback to Kimberly Aug. 28.

The game began the previous night, but lightning and rain forced the postponement to the next morning.

“Kimberly is who we thought they were,” Ashwaubenon head coach Brian Ryczkowski said. “At times, I thought we played well in the first, second and third quarters. In the end, they took it to us, but I was proud of our effort.”

About the mistakes and turnovers, Ryczkowski said it was simple.

“Kimberly wears you down,” he said. “They play well in all three phases. I was impressed by them. They don’t win ballgames by only scoring on offense.”

Trailing 14-0 near the end of the first quarter when the game resumed, the Jaguars converted on a fourth-and-one but gave the ball back to the Papermakers a few plays late.

Kimberly converted on a 41-yard field goal to make it 17-0 early in the second quarter before it scored two more touchdowns before half for a 31-0 lead.

Ashwaubenon began the third quarter with a nice throw from quarterback Boone Kirst to Rhett Jonas for 54 yards.

The play set the Jaguars up with a first-and-10 from the 11-yard line, but then Kimberly dialed up the pressure.

Two consecutive sacks and a failed screen play made it fourth down.

Kirst’s fourth-down pass was intercepted at the goal line.

“Kimberly stopped the run well, so we tried a few play-action passes,” Ryczkowski said. “Kimberly comes downhill on the run, but like clockwork, they adjusted to the thoughts we had. It’s a credit to how they adjusted.”

A roughing-the-kicker penalty by Ashwaubenon led to another Papermakers touchdown on the last play of the third quarter.

Late in the game, the second blocked punt by Kimberly led to the final score of the day, a 12-yard return by Marcus Brennan.

After two difficult non-conference losses, the Jaguars (0-2) host West De Pere Friday, Sept. 3, in a Fox River Classic Conference game.

“Looking at the bus schedule before the season, our furthest road trip is to Kaukauna,” Ryczkowski said. “Everyone else is right here on this side or the other side of the river. It’s fun playing schools you’re next to.”

Ryczkowski said his team has to get back to playing sound football.

“Many of the guys on this team grew up watching Ashwaubenon football,” he said. “They want to be those guys – we’re hurting. We need to play the brand of football they watched growing up. We have a ways to go. It matters to them, and it bothers them with how much we lost by.”

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