By Jonathan Timm
An unusually warm late September night had the Red Raiders of Pulaski on the road to victory at Ashwaubenon on Friday the 22nd with a final score of 28-3. In a Fox River Classic Conference (FRCC) battle, it was the Jaguars (2-4, 2-2 Conf.) of Ashwaubenon falling to a below .500 record on their home turf to the Red Raiders (2-4, 2-2 Conf.).
Neither team could come away with much leverage in the first half, as penalties were plentiful for the Red Raider offense. Despite a dry offensive 24 minutes, Pulaski went into the locker room with a 7-3 lead.
“We only had three possessions that first half,” Pulaski Head Coach Jared Marsh stated in a postgame interview. “And the one we didn’t have any mistakes on we were able to score”
Those mistakes were prevalent in the other two non-touchdown drives, as false start penalties were a kryptonite to any pay dirt for Pulaski.
Marsh acknowledged the difficulties of adapting to certain whistles.“Every officiating crew sees something different so you have to adjust to it in any other sport. We cleaned it up and the guys did a real good job of that.”
A hat trick of Pulaski touchdowns propelled the game to its destiny in the third.
On the second half’s opening drive, the Ashwaubenon defense could not stop Pulaski on Red Raider possession number four. A textbook 73-yard drive would be capped with a touchdown from junior running back Spencer Hakes. Hakes scored on a designed direct snap from a yard out, and it made the game 14-3 in favor of Pulaski.
Ashwaubenon’s offense failed to find the end zone all game.
The Jaguars would start their 3rd quarter campaign in good field position, following a pooch kick returned to their 45-yard line by Gus Newel. Despite a good start to the drive, a pass from Ashwaubenon junior quarterback Malcom MacGrath would be intercepted by Pulaski senior linebacker Logan Schultz.
The pick would set up Pulaski near the red zone. A short 23-yard drive made it 21-3, and it was topped off with a 2-yard touchdown run from junior running back Trevor Schuessler.
With 5:02 to go in the 3rd, Ashwaubenon needed an answer. The Jags began the following drive at their own 35-yard after the kickoff bounced out of bounds. After a three and out, Ashwaubenon tried to dig into its bag of tricks with a fake punt. Shultz on defense stepped up yet again for Pulaski to end the trick play, and force a turnover on downs.
Another short field would give the Red Raiders another red zone score, and it would be another for Schussler, making the game 28-3.
The fourth quarter resulted in a scoreless draw, with neither team gaining much offensively.
Coach Marsh said he was pleased with the way his team pulled through Friday, and hopes it can propel them forward. “Twenty-four hour rule us. We’re gonna be able to celebrate this. Anytime you can get a conference win against a good quality opponent such as Ashwaubenon you’re excited for it.”
In the midst of Ashwaubenon’s struggles offensively MacGrath went 18-31 with 186 yards through the air with two interceptions. Senior running back Jacob McVane accounted for 87 of them through 7 receptions. Senior linebacker Easton Hockers led the Jaguars defensively with a dozen total tackles.
Ashwaubenon will look to bounce back Friday, September 29th at Bay Port before hosting Sheboygan South for homecoming. When the 24 hours are up, Pulaski will get back to work in efforts to string together a winning streak as they head home to face Sheboygan North.