Xavier ends Waupaca’s season
Comets bounced from playoff hunt
By Greg Seubert
The rushing and passing yards were in the Waupaca football team’s favor.
The final score, however, wasn’t.
Xavier held the Comets scoreless in the second half Oct. 12 and knocked Waupaca out of playoff contention with a 31-14 Bay Conference at Rocky Bleier Field in Appleton.
Both teams came into the regular-season finale with identical 3-5 overall and 3-4 conference records. The Hawks became eligible for the WIAA playoffs with the win, while the loss ended the season for the Comets.
Waupaca turned the ball over on downs on its first drive, but the Hawks answered with an 80-yard drive. Ray Zuleger connected with Aaron Collins for a 28-yard touchdown pass with 3:33 to go in the first quarter.
Jack Menzies scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 1-yard quarterback keeper with 10:05 remaining in the second quarter.
Xavier answered with TJ Van Eperen’s 20-yard run with 6:45 to go before halftime and set up his second score, a 2-yard run, after intercepting a pass and returning it 54 yards to the Waupaca 2-yard line. The extra point gave the Hawks a 21-7 lead with 4:45 to go.
Waupaca cut the lead in half the first play of its next drive with Menzies’ 60-yard touchdown run, but that turned out to be the last time the Comets would find the end zone.
Zuleger’s 11-yard run capped the Hawks’ first drive of the second half and Sam Kiesner’s 19-yard field goal with 6:23 left in the game wrapped up the scoring.
The Comets outgained the Hawks 188-176 on the ground and 139-106 through the air, but also turned the ball over four times with three interceptions and a lost fumble.
Menzies led Waupaca with 110 rushing yards and added 37 passing yards and 17 receiving yards. Davis Levine and Menzies combined to complete 10 of 15 passes and Hunter Marcom caught four passes for 97 yards.