WEBSTER – The Webster football team had a kick in its season opener, despite not having a kicker.
Hosting Owen-Withee on Friday, the Tigers scored touchdowns on the ground and through the air while their defense didn’t allow a score in a 36-6 win. Austin Sigfrids went 13-for-23 passing for 220 yards and two touchdowns to lead Webster, which is still trying to develop an option in the kicking game.
“We are working on a kicker but at this time our best option is to go for two points,” Webster coach Andy Smith said.
Fortunately for the Tigers, they had enough offense to make extra point attempts a non-issue. After a scoreless first quarter, they went to the passing game to take the lead and notch the game-winning points.
Sigfrids and Xavier Stanton connected twice in the quarter, both from the same distance. Less than a minute in, they notched their first 28-yard touchdown and with less than two minutes remaining, they scored their second. Both scores were followed by 2-point conversion runs by Nathan Stadler and Webster led 16-0 heading into halftime.
“(We) played hard for four quarters (and) defensively we got 11 players to the ball,” Smith said. “We need to clean-up our reads and eye discipline.”
The Tigers went up by three scores with just over six minutes remaining in the third quarter, when Stadler scored on a 17-yard touchdown run. While the following conversion failed, the Tigers needed only to avoid a collapse to get the win.
Owen-Withee then answered with a play that could have sparked a comeback, scoring on a 78-yard kickoff return to spoil Webster’s shutout hopes. The Tigers stopped the 2-point attempt and their defense continued to blank Owen-Withee and contain its best offensive options.
“They have a pretty good tackle that’s a big kid and looking to play at (University of Wisconsin) La Crosse next year,” Smith said. “Their fullback is a hard-nosed kid, but we were able to do a nice job up the middle with Harlo Olson at nose tackle and Tristan Benjamin playing (middle linebacker) for us.”
The Tigers owned the final two scores of the game, both coming in the fourth quarter. Stadler rushed for another 17-yard score and C.J. Abbas closed the scoring with a 31-yard touchdown run. Both Stadler and Abbas followed their scores with 2-point conversion runs.
Stadler finished with 100 yards on 18 attempts; Abbas had 50 yards on seven carries while Coleton Peterson had five catches for 77 yards. Dalton McCarthy led the defense with nine tackles; Tallon Parent and Evan Sikorski had eight each.
Smith said the offense did have some lapsed moments that may have been due to playing their first game of the season.
“Offensively, we made too many mental mistakes, possibly first-game jitters,” he said. “We threw the ball well and made plays when we had to.”
This Friday, the Tigers host Elmwood-Plum City, which was crushed 54-6 by Spring Valley last week but won a 36-24 decision over Pepin-Alma the week prior.