Gillett ends dry spell with dominating 49-8 win

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Tigers look strong on both sides of ball

Greg Bates Times Herald Correspondent

Photo by Josh Thompson Media

Gillett High School junior Adam Anderson finds running space in the Tigers’ 49-8 win at Menominee Indian High School on Friday.

Bo Krueger was hoping to score one touchdown on his birthday.

The Gillett sophomore running back got a better present than he wished for: four touchdowns.

Oh, what a sweet 16 party it was for Krueger.

Gillett tallied seven rushing touchdowns and added a defensive score as the Tigers beat Menominee Indian 49-8 in 8-man play Friday.

“I had a goal just to score a touchdown,” Krueger said.

Just one?

“Just one,” Krueger said. “More is just a bonus.”

Even more important than the individual effort by Krueger was the team win for Gillett. It’s the program’s first victory since the 2015 season.

“After that season last year, this feels great to win one,” Krueger said.

“It’s a big sigh of relief,” Gillett first-year coach Jesse Witcraft said. “Last week, we played hard and we came up short. And this week, to come out and play the way they did, I thought they rebounded pretty well.”

Getting a win early in the season will help the Gillett players the rest of the way.

“It boosts our morale and we’ll all play harder after this game,” Krueger said.

Gillett took advantage of Menominee Indian’s four first-half turnovers – three fumbles and one interception – and turned them into 18 points.

Witcraft was impressed by his team’s defense, which surrendered just 109 total yards. Gillett had 335 yards on offense.

“Our defense has been phenomenal,” Witcraft said. “We had quite a few turnovers against NEW (Lutheran) as well. … I couldn’t be more proud of those guys.”

Menominee Indian (0-2) lost a tight 26-22 game to Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas in week 1, but dug itself an early hole against Gillett (1-1).

“We were just not on tonight. It wasn’t like last week,” Menominee Indian coach Chris Clache said. “We came out a little flat. We had some decent plays, but for the most part it was just turnover after turnover, and just so many penalties, too. I didn’t necessarily agree with all the calls, but we definitely had a lot more penalties than we should have.”

Krueger finished with 19 carries for 148 yards and added 30 yards receiving. Fellow running back Nick Hertwig also had a big game with 11 rushes for 68 yards and two touchdowns. He also had an interception for a score.

“They ran the ball hard and I’m proud of Nick and Bo’s effort, our whole offensive line’s effort,” Witcraft said. “Without our offensive line, those guys wouldn’t get that. They ran hard and they’re good kids.”

Krueger said, “I like having Nick as my running back. I can rely on him and he can rely on me. Pretty much, me and him are like brothers.”

Menominee Indian fumbled on its first possession of the game and Krueger recovered at the Eagles 42. Eight plays later, Krueger took a pitch and ran into the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown.

Gillett used a big second quarter to break the game open. The Tigers marched 57 yards on five plays as Adam Anderson capped the drive with a 3-yard run on an end around to make it 12-0. After Menominee Indian’s third fumble of the first half, Krueger bulldozed his way from 26 yards out for a touchdown. On the first play of Menominee Indian’s next drive, Hertwig intercepted an Alex Waukau pass and raced untouched for a 25-yard score. Gillett missed its fourth 2-point conversion to keep it 24-0.

Menominee Indian had its best starting field position of the half, opening its seventh drive at the 48. Meshaen Waukau took a direct snap, faked a draw and found a wide open Jarin Reiter in the middle of the field. The speedy senior raced 52 yards for the score. Pasen Waupoose ran in the 2-point conversion to cut Menominee Indian’s deficit to 24-8.

However, Gillett had an answer. On the eighth play of its next drive, Hertwig plunged in from 2 yards out to make it 30-8.

In the third quarter, Hertwig ran in a 4-yard touchdown. Krueger had second-half touchdowns from 18 and 35 yards out.

Quarterback Brock Herzog was effective for Gillett, going 3 for 6 for 36 yards.

After the game, Witcraft told his team, “this is just a start.”

Gillett 49, Menominee Indian 8

1 2 3 4 F

Gillett 6 24 13 6 49

Menominee Indian 0 8 0 0 8

First quarter

G: Krueger 6-yard run (PAT missed) 6-0 (5:37).

Second quarter

G: Anderson 3-yard run (conversion missed) 12-0 (10:36).

G: Krueger 26-yard run (conversion missed) 18-0 (8:19).

G: Hertwig 25-yard interception (conversion missed) 24-0 (8:04).

MI: M. Waukau 52-yard pass to Reiter (conversion good) 24-8 (4:01).

G: Hertwig 2-yard run (PAT missed) 30-8 (:30).

Third quarter

G: Hertwig 4-yard run (PAT good) 37-8 (4:22).

G: Krueger 18-yard run (PAT missed) 43-8 (2:43).

Fourth quarter

G: Krueger 35-yard run (conversion missed) 49-8 (7:08).