By Jared Schmeltzer
Merrill football took on Wausau East on Friday in a non conference game. Merrill proved to be too much for East as they went on to score 48 points in the blowout win.
The Bluejays got off to a hot start with an early 10 yard rushing touchdown from Nevada Laabs. Merrill added to that lead in with a minute left in the first quarter with a 19 yard throw from Zach Mootz hooking up with Josiah Nohr for the touchdown. With Merrill up 14-0 early in the second, Hunter Hintz added six more for Merrill on a 53 yard touchdown run. Hintz wasn’t done there as he was able to break off another 41 yard touchdown run with just over a minute left in the first half.
Merrill took a 28-0 lead into halftime, however East would break the shutout in the third quarter with a three yard touchdown pass and an extra point to make it 28-7. Merrill was quick to respond as quarterback Zach Mootz ran 46 yards for a Merrill touchdown less than a minute after East’s touchdown. Nate Grefe was able to join the touchdown parade as he ran five yards to cross the goal line to make it a 41-7 game. Merrill scored one last touchdown with 30 seconds remaining in the game as Holden Smith ran the ball from five yards out to score.
Merrill’s defense was tough only allowing 166 total yards and seven points in the winning effort. The Merrill offense was able to move the ball with ease racking up nearly 400 rushing yards to go along with 57 passing yards. Hunter Hintz led the way on the ground with 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns, which were both on runs of more than 40 yards. Nate Grefe was handed the ball the most with 14 carries. In those carries Grefe was able to gain 74 yards and cross the goal line for a touchdown. Zach Mootz was able to move the ball through the air and on the ground as he threw for 57 yards including a 19 yard touchdown to Josiah Nohr. Mootz was also able to run the ball for 52 yards in two attempts, also scoring a rushing touchdown.
The Bluejays will be back on the field Friday, September 15, at 7 p.m. as they travel for a conference game against Ashland.