The Hatchet football team’s three-game miracle run-that included a four-OT triumph -ended with Friday’s 21-20 loss in Rhinelander.
“It was a tremendous high school football game,” THS coach John Larson said. “It came down to extra points. Offensively, the Hatchets played as well as they have all season. Defensively, the Hatchets played well at times, but we made way too many mental mistakes that led to big plays.”
A Nate Kuehn fumble recovery set up a 58-yard drive in the second quarter, and Andy Firkus connected with Craig Swan for a 4-yard TD. The extra point kick missed.
But a big kick return to the THS 37 helped the Hodags answer with a 13-yard scamper.
Tomahawk regained a 14-7 lead with a 14-yard pass from Firkus to Swan with 3:14 left in the third quarter and a Mitch McAllister two-point run. A Firkus interception gave them the ball. But RHS knotted it at 14-14 early in the fourth with an 80-yard drive.
McAllister capped a 14-play, 77-yard drive with a 6-yard blast for one last lead, but the PAT try failed and it stood at 20-14. The Hodags embarked on an 11-play, 74-yard push, and tied it with just 18 seconds left in the game with Nate Schmit’s 3-yard run.
The extra-point kick gave the game to Rhinelander.
McAllister carried 28 times for 125 of Tomahawk’s 132 rushing yards, and Firkus completed 13-of-19 passes for 125 yards. Swan (11-109), Clay Borchardt (1-11) and McAllister (1-5) caught them.
The ‘D’ was led by: Payton DuPlayee (3 s, 7 a); Kuehn (2 s, 5 a, 1 FR); Cale Graeber (3 s, 7 a); McAllister (3 s, 5 a); Kory Brietzke (2 s, 4 a); Swan (2 s, 4 a); and Firkus (3 a, 1 int.).