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Ashwaubenon secures second win of 2023 season

By Tori Wittenbrock
Associate Sports Editor

Ashwaubenon running back Gus Newel breaks through the Preble defensive line for a touchdown in their game on Friday, Sept. 15. Tori Wittenbrock photos

GREEN BAY – On Friday, Sept. 15, the Ashwaubenon Jaguars dominated at the Preble Hornet’s home field, securing their second win after beating Green Bay Southwest earlier this season. 

Although proud of his team for securing a necessary victory this season, Ashwaubenon Head Coach Brian Ryczkowski. 

“After every win or loss you are going to have things to improve. We, so far, have beaten the two teams we beat last year, but at some point this season we have to beat a team we lost to last year in order to make the playoffs. We are looking forward to a home game against Pulaski, and we are a little banged up, but whenever that happens someone is going to get an opportunity to play and they better be ready,” said Ryczkowski. 

“We knew we were going to be playing on their new home field and this was going to be a big game for them, and we wanted to come out and play spoiler and the guys really came out and took on that role. The defense did a great job and the offense was able to score four times in the first half, and hold that throughout the game.” 

On Ashwaubenon’s first drive of the game, just three minutes into the first quarter, Ashwaubenon’s quarterback Malcolm MacGrath was able to find the endzone from the 10-yard line and put the first points of the game on the scoreboard. 

On Preble’s next possession, Ty Gerard was able to carry the ball up the field, progressing his team up from the 27-yard line to the 45, but then a flag for a personal foul on the Jaguars helped to bring them even further up the field. 

Brady Holcomb was able to bring his team to a hopeful 4th and one with a successful nine-yard carry. Shortly after, Ja’donne Potter-Kanyana was able to clench the first down for his team. 

However, moments later a bobbled snap, which would ultimately be recovered by Hornet quarterback Ty Gerard for a loss of 13 yards, would disintegrate any chances for the team to secure some points on this drive. 

The next play for Preble would be a turnover caused by an interception by Ashwaubenon’s Kayden Martin at the 20-yard line, with just 3:22 left in the first quarter. 

“I saw a lot of good things out of our offense tonight. I’m really proud of our team both offensively and defensively and everything we were able to do. We definitely saw a lot of good plays tonight,” said McGrath. 

Jacob McVane then carried the ball 59 yards up the field for the Jaguars, scoring their second touchdown of the night with just a minute and half left in the first quarter. 

The Hornets soon after utilized Brady Holcomb and Gerard to work themselves up the field from the 24 to the 42 by making use of Gerard’s arm. Yet, a fumble by Preble would be recovered by Ashwaubenon at the 13-yard line with eight minutes to go until half. 

The Preble defensive line held Ashwaubenon to a field goal by AJ Uhi, which would put the score at 17-0. 

The Hornets came back, however, desperately looking to find the endzone before half. A long ball down the field from Gerard to Braylon Schadt would bring them from their own 43 to the six yard line. 

Preble Hornet Ty Gerard evades a tackle in their home game against the Ashwaubenon Jaguars.

Another bobbled snap had the Hornet’s stands looking worrisome, but Gerard was able to find Braylon Schadt in the endzone. An unsuccessful point after attempt left the score 17-6 with 2:51 to go until half. 

The Jaguars worked quickly, getting the ball from the 48 to the 24 yard line when a pass from Malcolm McGrath was secured by Jaiden Laboy. McVane then had a 10 yard carry which would put them near enough to the endzone for a field goal to make the score 20-6 going into halftime. 

The Hornets again came out strong when Veriha sacked McGrath for a loss of seven yards. 

Ashwaubenon quickly recovered, however, with a 23-yard pass to Naythan Skenador, but were then pushed back to the 42 when a flag was called. 

It was a quiet third quarter with both teams getting caught around the midfield. With 27 seconds to go in before the final quarter of the game, a 33-yard field goal attempt by Ashwaubenon was unsuccessful, leaving the scoreboard at 20-6. 

However, the fourth quarter started off with a bang when a blocked Preble punt was recovered by Jaguar Lucas Popp who ran it back for a touchdown. With 10:07 left in the game, the score was now 27-6. 

“I think the blocked punt really was the turning point for us,” said McGrath about his team being able to put extra points up on the board to secure their win. 

Ashwaubenon’s Gus Newel ran the ball from the 19 in to the six-yard line, on their next possession, and then finished off the drive by scoring a touchdown, lengthening their lead to 34-6. 

Jack Neumann for Preble, however, was relentless, completing a catch from Gerard to bring his team up from the 37 to the 17, making it third and three with three minutes to go. 

Neumann was then able to secure a touchdown for his team with 2:51 left on the clock, bringing the score to 34-13. 

After Ashwaubenon recovered Preble’s onside kick, another touchdown for the Jaguars looked promising, but a strong Preble defensive line held them to a 34-13 final score. 

“We’ve got a lot to clean up from a turnover standpoint, with penalties, and just things that we can control. We didn’t control the things that we should have tonight,” said Preble Head Coach Dustin Gresen. 

“We definitely have playmakers, and they’ll continue to make plays, but we’ve really got to get control and just clean up the sloppy things we had tonight.” 

Preble’s next game is at Notre Dame on Friday, Sept. 22 while Ashwaubenon hosts Pulaski at 7 p.m. 

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