TONY – A potential shutout win eluded the Webster football team but an overtime win didn’t.
After taking a 14-0 lead over Flambeau into the fourth quarter on Friday, the Tigers were unable to answer a pair of fourth-quarter scores and were forced into extra play, where another defensive stand was needed to remain undefeated.
Mason Gustafson provided the win-securing play in overtime, grabbing his third interception of the game to preserve a 26-20 win to keep the Tigers’ record spotless at 3-0.
“The defense stepped up and saved us several times after turnovers,” Webster coach Andy Smith said. “Mason ended overtime with his third interception (and) Tim Fornego made several drive-stopping plays at (middle) linebacker.”
The Webster defense made several key stops in the first half, helping the offense build a two-touchdown lead.
Nathan Stadler gave the Tigers an early lead with a 76-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and though the 2-point conversion pass failed, their defense made the 6-0 lead last until late in the second quarter. Even when the Falcons intercepted a Webster pass and returned it within the Tigers’ 10-yard line, the defense prevented the Falcons from scoring.
Webster was finally able to add to its lead with less than a minute remaining in the half, when Austin Sigfrids found Gage Rossow for a 20-yard touchdown pass. The 2-point conversion run from C.J. Abbas put the Tigers up 14-0 entering halftime.
The Tigers’ defense continued to stifle the Falcons, holding them scoreless through the third quarter. However, plays on special teams put the defense in more difficult situations and eventually led to Flambeau points.
“In the second half we had two punts blocked that gave Flambeau short fields to score points and get momentum back on their side,” Smith said.
The Falcons got on the board with just over nine minutes remaining in regulation, scoring on a 9-yard touchdown pass, though the Tigers stopped the 2-point conversion to keep the score at 14-6. However, the defense was again up against their own end zone less than three minutes later.
Another touchdown pass pulled the Falcons to within two points and in need of a conversion to tie the game. They converted this time and made it a 14-14 tie with less than seven minutes remaining. While the Tigers were unable to get the game-winning points in the time remaining, their defense helped maintain the tie and force overtime.
Flambeau then notched the first score in the opening overtime, going back to the pass game for a 15-yard touchdown connection. But the lead stayed at 20-14 when the Tigers denied the Falcons on a 2-point run attempt, allowing Webster a chance for a win with a touchdown and extra point or conversion of its own.
The Tigers got that touchdown but not the conversion.
Coleton Peterson found Tallon Parent for a 4-yard touchdown pass that tied the game at 20-20, but the 2-point conversion pass was incomplete and the teams went to a second overtime.
Stadler provided his second touchdown of the game, this time on a 2-yard run, giving the Tigers a 26-20 lead. However, the 2-point attempt again was unsuccessful and Flambeau had an opportunity for the win with a touchdown and point after.
But that plan was foiled by Gustafson, who intercepted a Flambeau pass to end the drive and the game.
Stadler finished with 152 yards rushing on 26 carries and Sigfrids was 7-for-19 passing for 58 yards. Fornego had a team-high 12 tackles for Webster and Evan Sikorski added 10; Tanner Peterson also had an interception.
The Tigers go on the road this Friday to face Unity (3-1).
“Unity is huge on the offensive line and runs a nice play-action game to their tight ends,” Smith said.
The Eagles earned a 20-7 win over Grantsburg last Friday.