It was history in the making Friday night at Hatchet field in Tomahawk, as the THS varsity football team punched their ticket to the WIAA State Football Tournament for the first time in 8 years.
The tournament berth came on the heels of a 40-7 rout of the Chequamegon Screaming Eagles.
Plowhorse fullback Dane Borchardt got the ball rolling right away in the first with a goal-line scoring plunge followed by a 3 yard scoring run.
Brandon Vecchio’s 50-yard pick-six set Tomahawk up 21-0 headed into the second quarter.
Although the Screaming Eagle defense would crack down a bit in the second, the Hatchets still managed to find the end zone as senior quarterback Kaleb Kaminski connected with Vecchio on a 14-yard scoring strike to up the ante 27-0.
The second half wouldn’t show much change from the first as the Hatchet offensive juggernaut kept churning. Borchardt took in another run from 4 yards out and Kaminski sealed the deal with a 12-yard scoring scamper.
The lone end zone trip for the Screaming Eagles came in the 4th quarter when running back Caleb Armstrong snapped off an 87-yard scoring run.
“A great Hatchet win and an important win for our football program for many reasons,” comments an elated head coach John Larson. “First, the victory clinched a playoff berth! Second, the win gave us a 3-game win streak to close out the season, which gives us tremendous momentum heading into the playoffs. Third, our seniors got to go out as winners on Senior Night on Hatchet Field.
“We talked about coming out fast and setting the tone for the football game. Dane Borchardt got that started with a tremendous kickoff return to set up our first score of the game in just one minute. From there we would keep it going offensively. I thought we ran the ball effectively and mixed the pass in when we needed to. Our backs ran hard, Kaleb threw the ball and our receivers made some good grabs. All-in-all, it was a solid performance.
“Defensively, we played well for most of the night. We would surrender some runs up the middle, but going to a 5-man front shut that down. I thought our ‘50’ defense looked very good for just installing it this week. The Hatchets collected 5 sacks and limited Chequamegon to just 17 yards passing. Brady Anderson was an animal on special teams.
It was a great TEAM win and we are very excited for the Level One playoff game versus Black River Falls!”
As the coach alluded to, the 6th-seeded Hatchets (6-3 overall, 4-3 Marawood) will make their 2015 post-season debut on Friday, when they hit the road for Black River Falls for a bout with the 3rd-seeded Tigers (7-2). BRF tied for 2nd in the Coulee Conference (3-2).
CHQ: 0 0 0 7- 7
THK: 21 6 13 0- 40
Passing: Kaminski (8/5, 93 yds, TD); Rushing: Dane Borchardt (17/128, 3TD); Kaminski (7/52, TD); Easton Phalin (4/17); Brian Vecchio (2/8). Receiving: Brandon Vecchio (2/21, TD); Blake Carstensen (1/31); Mike Manninen (1/24); Brian Vecchio (1/17).