M&M Timberjacks open with shutout win over Manitowoc

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M&M Timberjacks open with shutout win over Manitowoc

Postby RunAndShoot » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:42 am

M&M Timberjacks ground Mariners as defense makes an early statement

August 9th, 2010

MENOMINEE - It was a crash course in the hard-hitting reality of the Wisconsin State Football League,

The M&M Timberjacks opened their WSFL season with a 42-0 mercy rule rout of the first-year Manitowoc County Mariners at Walton Blesch Field Saturday.

The T-Jacks' brick-and-mortar defense was as unyielding as the walls surrounding Blesch, stuffing the Mariners for minus rushing yardage.

Manitowoc discovered early it had to go to the air to scratch out any yards.

"My expectations for the defense are really high and they lived up to them," coach Joe Plautz said. "We played a very nice game defensively."

Ryan Wortner led the shutout effort with three solo tackles and three assists, and shared a tackle for a loss.

Hansen had two solo stops and three assists; Eric Krautkramer collected four assists, one solo, picked off a pass and recovered a fumble; and Randy Hoheneder had three solos and an assist.

The Timberjacks kicked in the running clock with 7:07 left in the third period, but Plautz was far from pleased with the offense.

"We left a lot of points out there," he noted. "It was far from a perfect performance. We're going to have to work on that."

The M&M team relied on the running of Zak Shutte and Mike Hansen and rookies Tim Smotucha and Jerid Staidl as it completed just two of 10 passes.

Hansen followed a wave of blockers for a 12-yard TD run on the T-Jacks' first possession. Hoheneder's kick gave the Timberjacks a 7-0 lead five minutes into the game.

Shutte spun away from a swarm of tacklers for a 32-yard romp on the T-Jacks' next series, but the drive fizzled out at the 25 after a penalty and a Mariners' sack.

Neal Weddel set up the Timberjacks' second score by recovering a fumble at the Mariners' 33. Wingback Staidl darted in from 24 yards to hike the lead to 14-0 with 4:54 left in the first quarter.

The T-Jacks were on the move again moments later after a 27-yard scamper by Shutte and an unsportsmanlike conduct flag set them up at the Mariners' 16. The Timberjacks' bogged down in the red zone again, and Hoheneder's 36-yard field goal attempt was short.

Manitowoc's best scoring chance came after Hoheneder muffed a punt and the Mariners recovered at the T-Jacks' 49.

After a pair of short passes helped Manitowoc to a first down at the 28, Krautkramer picked off a fourth-and-nine pass.

With the clock ticking down, the Timberjacks went for broke and cashed in. Joe Klitzke got space on a defender, pulled in a spiral from Dennis Harris and outran the Manitowoc secondary for a 59-yard TD reception. Hoheneder's kick with 20.8 left boosted the lead to 21-0 at halftime.

A 25-yard pass from Harris to Hoheneder on the T-Jacks' first series of the third period set up a 12-yard scoring run by Shutte.

The T-Jacks' defense turned the ball over to the offense moments later when Krautkramer recovered a fumble at the Mariners' 17.

Hansen was trapped in the backfield before twisting loose, breaking another tackle and galloping to the 3. Smotucha bulled in from there and Hoheneder fifth PAT gave the Timberjacks a 35-0 lead.

Shutte scored on a 9-yard run and Matt DeGrand added the kick with 4:43 left.

"This wasn't a 42-0 game," said Plautz. "(Manitowoc) has a very impressive defense. They made us work for everything. They have a very bright future. They just need to gel together as a team."

Shutte gained 127 yards on 14 carries, and Hansen had 65 yards on 11 carries. Smotucha rushed for 44 yards on seven hauls in his T-Jacks' debut. Staidl carried the ball seven times for 40 yards in his first game with the Timberjacks.

The Timberjacks play the Oak Creek Renegades at 6 p.m. Saturday at Spies Field.
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