T-Birds stay undefeated
I-S moves on to Level 4
By Greg Seubert
Four football teams remain in the hunt for a WIAA Division 6 state championship.
One of them is the Iola-Scandinavia Thunderbirds.
The T-Birds improved to 12-0 on the season Nov. 2 with a 41-28 win over Abbotsford at Thunderbird Field.
Iola-Scandinavia will now face Grantsburg at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, in a state semifinal at a location to be determined. The Pirates are also 12-0 and kept their season alive Nov. 2 with a 31-29 win over Regis.
The winner of the Iola-Scandinavia/Grantsburg game will face Lancaster or Racine Lutheran in the Division 6 state title game at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
The T-Birds needed only three plays to go 63 yards on the game’s opening drive. Connor Kurki connected with Will Cady for a 33-yard touchdown pass with 10:55 remaining in the first quarter.
Bryce Huettner scored the first of his four rushing touchdowns from 5 yards out with six seconds remaining in the quarter to give the home team a 14-0 lead.
The Falcons answered on their next drive with Joe Aguilera’s 25-yard run 29 seconds into the second quarter. Abbotsford tied the game on its next drive on Chance Clement’s 7-yard run that capped a 16-play drive that ate up more than half of the second quarter.
Huettner’s 1-yard run with 1:01 to go in the half gave the T-Birds a 21-14 lead at the break.
Abbotsford nearly answered with another score before halftime, but Connor Kurki intercepted Dalton Feddick’s pass in the end zone.
Feddick’s 53-yard quarterback keeper on the first play of the second half tied the game at 21-21.
The T-Birds also found the end zone on their first drive of the third quarter, as Huettner scored from 6 yards out. Kurki’s extra-point try bounced off of the left crossbar, but the T-Birds had a 27-21 lead.
Iola-Scandinavia had the ball at midfield after the Falcons fumbled the kickoff and the T-Birds took advantage of the game’s only turnover. Kurki hit Ed Bonikowske for a 33-yard touchdown pass and ran the two-point conversion for a 35-21 lead with 7:11 remaining in the third quarter.
The Falcons converted a pair of fourth downs on their next drive and cut the lead to one score on Feddick’s 4-yard run with 42 seconds to go in the fourth quarter.
Huettner’s fourth score, this one from 6 yards out with 9:40 remaining in the game, gave the T-Birds a 41-28 lead.
Abbotsford turned the ball over on downs on its next drive with about six minutes to go and the T-Birds ran out the clock.