Wolves forced seven turnovers, had four sacks
By Mike Frazier
What began as a shootout became a defensive struggle in the second half, as Manawa improved to 3-1 Sept. 8 with a 48-15 Central Wisconsin Large Conference football win over Pacelli at Goerke Field.
The teams combined for six touchdowns in the first half, but Manawa’s defense held the Cardinals scoreless in the second half.
The Wolves forced seven turnovers – four interceptions and three fumbles – and had four sacks while holding Pacelli to 116 yards of offense, including 2 on the ground.
Manawa began the game’s opening drive at its 11-yard line, but a bad snap on fourth down set the Cardinals up at the Wolves’ 2-yard line. Quarterback Zachary Zimmerman scored from 6 yards out on fourth down. Ray Matera added the extra point and the Cardinals had a 7-0 led with 8:35 left in the opening quarter.
The Wolves turned the ball over on their next drive, as the Cardinals picked off a Mason Wiesner pass to set the home team up at Manawa’s 36-yard line. The drive ended with Kenneth Reynolds’ interception and the Wolves answered with a 1-yard run. The try for two fell short and Manawa trailed 7-6.
Nathaniel Reynolds set up Manawa’s second score by returning an interception 66 yards to the Pacelli 5-yard line. Wiesner scored on a 5-yard quarterback keeper and added the extra point to give the Wolves their first lead at 13-7.
Pacelli regained the lead after another bad snap set the Cardinals up at the 5-yard line. Xander Schmitz scored on a 5-yard run and added the two-point conversion for a 15-13 lead with just under seven minutes remaining in the first half.
Pacelli never found the end zone again, while Manawa added a pair of scores to take a 28-15 halftime lead.
Seth Forbes scored from 4 yards out to give the Wolves the lead for good and Wiesner added a 2-yard run.
The Wolves were their own worst enemy in the third quarter, as they only had two possessions and had five penalties for 55 yards.
Pacelli mounted its only serious scoring drive of the second half early in the fourth quarter. Nathan Helms’ 30-yard reception gave the Cardinals a first-and-goal at the 9-yard line, but the drive ended with Riley Krenke’s interception in the end zone on fourth down.
Manawa ended the game with three touchdowns in the final 3:14.
Nathaniel Reynolds set up Manawa’s next score with an 23-yard interception return and Jackson Jaeger scored on a 24-yard run.
Reynolds ended Pacelli’s next drive with a fumble recovery at the Cardinals’ 20-yard line and Forbes scored from 20 yards out.
Pacelli’s next drive also ended with a fumble. Trent Zabel recovered the loose ball at the 20-yard line and Bryan Griffin scored on a 7-yard run with 41 seconds to go.
Forbes led all rushers with 100 yards on 20 attempts. Schmitz led the Cardinals with 37 yards on 16 attempts.
Manawa will host Shiocton at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14.