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Thunderbirds roll over Oconto in opener

An efficient offense and a stingy defense added up to a season-opening win for the Iola-Scandinavia football team.

The Thunderbirds racked up 366 yards of offense Aug. 22 and held Oconto to 49 rushing yards in a 37-0 nonconference win on the Blue Devils’ home field.

An I-S safety turned out to be the only points of the first quarter, but the T-Birds took a 16-0 halftime lead with a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter. Kristian Welch scored on runs of 14 and 35 yards.

The T-Birds added three more touchdowns in the second half. Cam Gruenwald and Welch teamed up for a 62-yard pass play, Gruenwald scored on a 9-yard run and later threw a 45-yard scoring pass to Caleb Loken.

Welch led the T-Birds’ ground game with 128 yards in 13 carries, while Gruenwald added 82 yards in 11 attempts. Gruenwald also completed seven of 16 passes for 139 yards.

Coach Scott Erickson singled out the coaching staff’s players of the game:

Offensive Lineman of the Week: “Nick Madson did a great job run blocking and playing to the whistle every down.”

Defensive Lineman of the Week: “Ryan Bauer really plugged the middle and had a physical presence that made it difficult for our opponent to run the ball.”

Scout Team Player of the Week: “Karl Boddy does everything asked of him each week to make himself and the team better and we really appreciate how Karl works and executes the opponents’ schemes to help us get better.”

Offensive Player of the Week: “Kristian Welch was a double threat this week running and receiving, running for two TDs and catching a 62-yard pass for a TD. He ran very hard.”

Defensive Player of the Week: “Logan Inderdahl had an excellent game calling out our fronts and making sure we were lined up correctly. Logan had six solo tackles with two tackles for loss.”

Special Teams Player of the Week: “Tanner Krusa did an excellent job kicking for us, going five-for-five with extra points.”

Hit of the Week: “Gio Fredheim had two excellent tackles with the most notable on kickoff, where he ran down and stopped the opponent’s return for a minimal gain.”

The T-Birds will host Rosholt at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, at Thunderbird Field in Scandinavia. The Hornets are coming off of a 47-0 loss to Amherst.

I-S will open Central Wisconsin 8 Conference play Friday, Sept. 5, at defending Division 6 state champion Shiocton.

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