Truckers drop finale to Panthers
Clintonville ends with 1-8 record
By Greg Seubert
An invitation to the WIAA playoffs is not in the cards for the Clintonville and Oconto Falls football teams, but that didn’t keep the Truckers and Panthers from trying to end a disappointing season on a positive note.
Both teams came into their North Eastern Conference matchup in Clintonville Oct. 18 with a 1-7 record and Oconto Falls returned home with a 26-13 win.
All of the scoring came in the first half and Oconto Falls scored on its first four possessions.
A fumble on the opening kickoff game the Panthers the ball at the Clintonville 22-yard line and they took advantage of the turnover with Wyatt Borkovec’s 5-yard run less than two minutes into the game.
The Truckers answered on their next drive on Braiden Behnke’s 1-yard quarterback keeper midway through the first quarter.
Owen Huber gave the Panthers their second lead with a 3-yard run late in the first quarter.
The Panthers started their next drive at their own 2-yard line after a punt, but needed only one play to score. Joseph Walters found Mitchell Manns and Manns outran everyone to the end zone. Dominic Bricco blocked Manns’ extra point try, but the Panthers had a 20-7 lead.
Clintonville then went 72 yards on a drive that ended with Behnke’s 20-yard pass to Brock Smejkal that made it 20-13 with 4:16 left in the first half.
Huber wrapped up the scoring with 20 seconds remaining in the half on a 4-yard run. Smejkal blocked another of Manns’ extra point kicks and the Truckers trailed 26-13 at the break.
Clintonville had a chance to cut into the lead late in the game, as the Truckers were at the Oconto Falls 17-yard line, but ended up turning the ball over on downs.
The Truckers later recovered a fumble, but the Tucker Bouche came up with an interception and the Panthers were able to run out the clock.