Amherst headed back to state
Falcons shut out Raiders in second half
By Greg Seubert
A 14-0 deficit in the first quarter?
Apparently, that’s not a problem for the Amherst football team.
The Falcons overcame Arcadia’s two first-quarter touchdowns and went on to hand the Raiders a 42-21 defeat Nov. 13 in a WIAA Division 5 state semifinal game at Carson Park in Eau Claire.
Amherst (13-0) will take on Spencer/Columbus Catholic (13-0) at 4:05 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, for the Division 5 state championship at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
It will be the second straight trip to Madison for Amherst, which finished second last year. The Falcons also won the Division 5 crown in 2012.
Like the Falcons, the Raiders entered the Level 4 playoff game undefeated and it didn’t take them long to find the end zone.
Rob Hoesley threw a short screen pass to his brother, Jim, on the first play from scrimmage and the senior receiver broke a tackle and scored on the 70-yard play 17 seconds into the game.
Rob Housley also had a hand in setting up the Raiders’ second score, as he forced a fumble on Amherst’s first drive that teammate Michael Prokop recovered. Arcadia drove 59 yards in 12 plays and Housley connected with Zach Pronschinske on an 8-yard touchdown pass with 4:52 remaining in the first quarter.
The Falcons answered on their next drive with Garrett Groshek’s 5-yard pass to Amaziah McCall with 2:07 to go in the opening quarter.
Amherst tied the game with 5:32 to go in the first half on Brandon Piotrowski’s 2-yard run that capped a nine-play, 84-yard drive.
However, the Raiders took a 21-14 halftime lead, as Hoesley and Prochinske hooked up on a 6-yard TD pass with 1:02 remaining in the half.
Amherst nearly tied the score in the final seconds of the half, but Carter Halverson broke up Groshek’s pass in the end zone intended for Dalton Nemzoff.
The second half belonged to the Falcons, as they came up with four unanswered touchdowns, two in each quarter.
Groshek tossed a 43-yard TD pass to Josh Cisewski to cap the Falcons’ opening drive and Amherst took the lead for good on its next drive. Groshek hit Mitchell Glodowski with a 33-yarder that gave Amherst its first lead at 28-21 with 6:07 to go in the third quarter. Ciswewski had given the ball back to the Falcons with an interception.
While Arcadia struggled to get anything going offensively in the second half, the Falcons tacked on two more scores in the fourth quarter.
Groshek tossed his fourth TD pass of the game – a 35-yarder – to Cisewski with 8:01 left in the game.
Cisewski’s second interception gave the Falcons the ball at their own 38-yard line and Amherst scored eight plays later on Piotrowski’s 1-yard run with 4:33 to go.
Amherst outgained the Raiders 281-105 on the ground and 214-169 through the air.
Arcadia mustered only 8 passing yards and 54 rushing yards in the second half.
Piotrowski finished with 168 yards on 22 carries, while Groshek added 112 rushing yards to go along with his four TD passes.