Archive | Football

Luepke rushes for 249 yards, four TDs as Spencer/Columbus football rips Cadott

Posted on 22 September 2017 by paul


This story is sponsored by: All Insurance of Marshfield

CADOTT – Cadott struck first, but the Spencer/Columbus football team quickly imposed its well against the Hornets.

Spencer/Columbus ripped off 51-straight points and rolled to a 51-24 victory in a Cloverbelt Conference game Friday night at Cadott High School.

Coy Bowe hauled in a 71-yard touchdown pass from Michael Emery 2:59 into the game to put the Hornets (2-4 overall and Cloverbelt Conference) on top 8-0 following a two-point conversion.

It didn’t take long for the Rockets to retaliate.

Hunter Luepke ripped off a 62-yard run less than one minute later, added a 13-yard touchdown run 45 seconds after that, and Jarred Mandel threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Lukas Ellefson to put the Rockets (5-1 overall and Cloverbelt Conference) up 22-8 after one quarter.

Evan Dieringer kicked a 25-yard field goal, Luepke scored from 1 yard out, and Nate Karau returned an interception for a touchdown in the second quarter as the Rockets built a 37-8 lead by halftime.

“Credit to Cadott for a hard-fought game,” Spencer/Columbus coach Jason Gorst said. “They are an up-and-coming program that is on the verge of upsetting somebody. Their kids are playing hard, they are well-coached, and they have things going in the right direction.”

“Nate Karau had a great game on both sides of the ball,” Gorst said. “He was a game-changer tonight. Hunter had great vision and cut well.”

Luepke added an 84-yard touchdown run and Carson Hildbrandt scampered in from 42 yards away to finish the scoring for Spencer/Columbus in the third quarter.

Luepke finished with an astounding 249 yards rushing on just 11 carries.

Cadott scored twice in the fourth quarter.

Spencer/Columbus plays at Eau Claire Regis on Thursday, Sept. 28. The game, at Carson Park, begins at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on WDLB-AM 1450 and Regis edged Colby in overtime on Friday, improving to 5-1 overall and 4-1 in the Cloverbelt.

Rockets 51, Hornets 24
Spencer/Columbus 22 15 14 0 – 51
Cadott 8 0 0 16 – 24
First Quarter

C – Coy Bowe 71 pass from Michael Emery (Emery run), 9:01.
SC – Hunter Luepke 62 run (Luepke run), 8:11.
SC – Luepke 13 run (Evan Dieringer kick), 7:06.
SC – Lukas Ellefson 15 pass from Jarred Mandel (Dieringer kick), 3:08.
Second Quarter
SC – Dieringer 25 field goal, 12:00.
SC – Luepke 1 run (kick missed), 3:22.
SC – Nate Karau interception returned for touchdown (kick blocked), 1:44.
Third Quarter
SC – Luepke 84 run (Dieringer kick), 11:39.
SC – Carson Hildebrandt 42 run (Dieringer kick), 8:40.
C – Bailey Gillett 27 run (Kolton Dupey pass from Emery), 7:28.
C – Mitchell Hazard 37 pass from Bowe (Brady Carrell run), 1:14.
Team Statistics
First downs:
Spencer/Columbus 16; Cadott 21.
Rushing (att-yards): SC 29-349; C 40-167.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): SC 5-10-98-0; C 9-21-239-3.
Total yards: SC 447; C 406.
Penalties (no.-yards): SC 4-50; C 8-70.
Fumbles (total-lost): SC none; C 1-1.
Punting (no.-avg.): SC 2-36.0; C none.
Individual Statistics
SC, Hunter Luepke 11-249, Carson Hildebrandt 5-63, Jacob Miller 4-16, Zach Wheeler-Savoy 2-15, Andres Rodriguez 1-6, Colton Schillinger 1-3, Hayden Bauman 1-minus 3. C, Brady Carrell 6-55, Bailey Gillett 8-36, Nelson Wahl 2-18, Michael Emery 12-17, Kolton Dupey 4-17, Bennett Bowe 4-11, No. 15 (no name reported) 2-7, Coy Bowe 1-3, Brady Spaeth 1-3.
Passing: SC, Jarred Mandel 5-10-98-0. C, Emery 8-20-202-3, C. Bowe 1-1-37-0.
Receiving: SC, Miller 2-15, Ethan Meece 1-57, Lukas Ellefson 1-15, Bauman 1-11. C, C. Bowe 2-80, Mitchell Hazard 2-48, Dupey 2-27, Donovan Walters 1-44, Gillett 1-30, B. Bowe 1-10.
Interceptions (defense): SC, Nate Karau, Ellefson, Wheeler-Savoy.
Punting: SC, Co. Schillinger 1-37.0, Austin Bacon 1-35.0.
Records: Spencer/Columbus 5-1 overall and Cloverbelt Conference; Cadott 2-4 overall and Cloverbelt Conference.

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Explosive start lifts Spencer/Columbus football to rout of Colby

Posted on 15 September 2017 by paul

Spencer/Columbus fullback Carson Hildbrandt (25) leads the way for Jacob Miller on a big run during the first quarter of the Rockets’ 57-14 win over Colby on Friday night at Spencer High School. (Photo by Paul Lecker/

This story is sponsored by Victory Apparel

By Paul Lecker

SPENCER – The high-octane Spencer/Columbus offense was on full display Friday night at Ted Fritsch Field.

After an interception on its first play, the Rockets need just 11 offensive plays to score four touchdowns and take control of the game as they cruised past previously unbeaten Colby 57-14 in a Cloverbelt Conference football game at Spencer High School.

Spencer/Columbus needed just five plays to drive 50 yards for its first score – a 3-yard run by Hunter Luepke.

Colby responded as Alex Schmitt returned the kickoff 59 yards to the 27 and the Hornets scored four plays later on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Christian Raasch to Lucas Bruesewitz.

From that point on, it was all Rockets.

Luepke raced 43 yards for a touchdown on SC’s first play after the kickoff, then after a three-and-out and a punt, Jacob Miller went 53 yards for another Rockets’ touchdown to put them up 22-6.

After another three-and-out by the SC defense, Jarred Mandel completed three passes for 50 yards, the final 10 going to Luepke for another touchdown and the Rockets (4-1 overall and Cloverbelt Conference) had a 29-6 lead after one quarter.

“I thought our guys got off to a real good start and overall played really well,” SC coach Jason Gorst said. “I thought we were really quick to the edge and the defense was swarming and hard-hitting all night long. It was a very good game.”

It was much the same for the Rockets in the second quarter as they scored on all three of their possessions.

Miller ran 57 yards for a touchdown, Luepke had a 29-yard touchdown run, and Carson Hildebrandt ran in from 5 yards out to put SC up 50-6 at halftime.

“Our game plan was to outside and we accomplished that,” Luepke said of the sweep plays that were working all night against the Hornets. “We got quite a bit of touchdowns on those plays. We always love starting quick.”

Hayden Bauman finished the scoring for the Rockets with a 55-yard scamper with 4:17 to go in the third quarter.

Miller finished with 138 yards rushing and two touchdowns on just four carries, Luepke added another 118 yards rushing on eight carries and also caught four passes for 87 yards and scored four times.

Spencer/Columbus’ defense was just as impressive, forcing two fumbles and holding Colby (4-1, 3-1 Cloverbelt Conference) to just 75 rushing yards on 27 carries.

“We are doing a couple of things different (with the sweep play) this year, blocking a little bit differently, so we looked at some film to see the way they (Colby) defended us last year,” Gorst said. “We tried to use our speed, we have that as an asset for us, and we blocked the edge pretty well.”

Spencer/Columbus hits the road for its next two games Sept. 22 at Cadott and Sept. 28 at Eau Claire Regis.

Rockets 57, Hornets 14
Colby 6 0 8 0 – 14
Spencer/Columbus 29 21 7 0 – 57
First Quarter

SC – Hunter Luepke 3 run (kick missed), 9:10.
C – Lucas Bruesewitz 9 pass from Christian Raasch (run failed), 7:27.
SC – Luepke 43 run (Jacob Miller run), 7:08.
SC – Miller 53 run (Luepke run), 5:19.
SC – Luepke 10 pass from Jarred Mandel (Evan Dieringer kick), 2:31.
Second Quarter
SC – Miller 57 run (Dieringer kick), 7:29.
SC – Luepke 29 run (Dieringer kick), 6:58.
SC – Carson Hildebrandt 5 run (Dieringer kick), 1:18.
Third Quarter
C – Gavino Lopez 3 run (Reece Kellnhofer pass from Raasch), 5:55.
SC – Hayden Bauman 55 run (Dieringer kick), 4:17.
Team Statistics
First downs:
Colby 7; Spencer/Columbus 12.
Rushing (att-yards): C 27-75; SC 31-306.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): C 7-17-127-0; SC 6-11-125-2.
Total yards: C 202; SC 431.
Penalties (no.-yards): C 7-45; SC 2-16.
Fumbles (total-lost): C 2-2; SC 1-0.
Punting (no.-avg.): C 6-28.8; SC none.
Individual Statistics
C, Gavino Lopez 8-39, Christian Raasch 5-20, Reece Kellnhofer 6-16, Kane Strassburger 8-0. SC, Jacob Miller 4-138, Hunter Luepke 8-118, Hayden Bauman 1-55, Zach Wheeler-Savoy 2-41, Colton Schillinger 5-26, Carson Hildebrandt 8-16, Will Schlafke 1-6, Bubba Post 1-4, Max McGiveron 1-2.
Passing: C, Raasch 7-17-127-0. SC, Jarred Mandel 6-11-125-2.
Receiving: C, Nathan Meyer 4-95, Harley Schmelzer 1-12, Alex Schmitt 1-11, Lucas Bruesewitz 1-9. SC, Luepke 4-87, Ethan Meece 1-27, Miller 1-11.
Fumble recoveries (defense): SC, Luepke, Logan Zschernitz.
Interceptions (defense): C, Meyer, Raasch.
Punting: C, Armando Campa Mata 6-28.8. SC, none.
Records: Colby 4-1, 3-1 Cloverbelt Conference; Spencer/Columbus 4-1 overall and Cloverbelt Conference.

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Spencer/Columbus football cruises past Neillsville/Granton

Posted on 09 September 2017 by paul

The Spencer/Columbus defense lines up for battle against Neillsville/Granton during the first quarter of Friday’s game at Spencer High School. The Rockets rolled to a 62-8 victory. (Photo by Steve Pilz/For

This story is sponsored by: WDLB-AM 1450 and WOSQ-FM 92.3 radio

By Steve Pilz

SPENCER – It probably wasn’t the best week to come to Spencer for a visiting football team.

A week after the Rockets stubbed their toe with five turnovers in a loss at Stanley-Boyd, it was the Neillsville/Granton football co-op that had the unfortunate task of visiting Spencer’s Ted Fritsch Field Friday night.

It didn’t end well for the Warriors.

Spencer/Columbus scored eight first half touchdowns, four by North Dakota State-bound senior running back Hunter Luepke, as the Rockets blasted the Warriors 62-8 in a Cloverbelt Conference game.

Carson Hildebrandt crashed in for six just 52 seconds into the game for an early SC lead. Jacob Miller scampered in from 30 yards out less than 4 minutes later before Luepke got in from the 3 for the first of his four scores. The Rockets led 24-0 after a quarter.

Three minutes into the second quarter Luepke snatched a shovel pass out of the air and deposited it into the end zone as well for an 11-yard interception return.

“It was my first time playing D-line this season,” grinned Luepke. “It was kind of interesting. I didn’t see it coming right away but I made the play.”

It was one of five interceptions by the Rockets. Lucas Ellefson had two and Karak Bushman and Ethan Meese also added picks.

Less than 2 minutes later, SC got a special teams score when speedy sophomore Hayden Bauman corralled a punt and hauled it 41 yards for a TD.

Luepke got two more rushing scores before the half – one of 10 yards and the other 33. He finished with 106 yards on just seven carries.

“We just need to be strong each week and keep on working guys in so guys can get some rest here and there,” Luepke said. “We practiced ball security all week and I think it paid off.”

The Rockets committed just one turnover, an inconsequential interception early in the second quarter.

Bauman put the finishing touches on the 56-point half by scooting in from the 5 with 3 seconds left in the half.

“I thought we played a very clean game,” SC coach Jason Gorst said. “We improved on some of our mistakes from last week and we played very hard tonight. We try and play smarter each and every week.”

After a scoreless third quarter and a running clock, Zach Wheeler-Savoy scored SC’s only second half touchdown on a 3-yard run 2½ minutes into the final quarter.

The Rockets put up 448 yards on the ground and 498 total yards in the win.

The Warriors provided the game’s final points when Matthew Friemoth scored on a 15-yard run.

Both Gorst and Luepke knew they had to go back to work pretty soon as undefeated Colby (4-0 overall, 3-0 Cloverbelt) heads to Spencer next Friday, Sept. 15, for a big conference showdown.

“We’ll have our hands full against Colby next week,” Gorst said. “They’re well coached. I truly believe they’re one of the better teams in Central Wisconsin. It’ a tough matchup.”

Rockets 62, Warriors 8
Neillsville/Granton 0 0 0 8 – 8
Spencer/Columbus 24 32 0 6 – 62
First Quarter
SC – Carson Hildebrandt 4 run (Bubba Post run), 11:08.
SC – Jacob Miller 30 run (Miller run good), 7:23.
SC – Hunter Luepke 3 run (Jared Mandel to Lucas Ellefson), 5:49.
Second Quarter
SC – Luepke 11 Interception return (kick failed), 9:18.
SC – Hayden Bauman 41 punt return (Caden Schillinger kick), 7:25.
SC – Luepke 10 run (kick failed), 4:14.
SC – Luepke 33 run (kick failed), 2:12.
SC – Bauman 5 run (Schillinger kick), 0:03.
Fourth Quarter
SC – Zach Wheeler-Savoy 3 run (kick blocked), 9:41.
NG – Matthew Friemoth 15 run (Thomas Friemoth run), 3:00.
Team Statistics
First downs: NG 10; SC 22
Rushing (att.-yards): NG 37-112; SC 41-448.
Passing (comp.-att.-yards-int.): NG 2-15-26-5; SC 4-8-50-1.
Penalties (no.-yards) NG 2-10; SC 3-35.
Fumbles (total-lost) NG 1-0; SC 0-0.
Individual Statistics
Rushing: N/G, Thomas Selk 12-33, Matthew Friemoth 2-32, Jonah Zoschke 3-23, Luke Mayer 11-23. SC, Luepke 7-106, Hildebrandt 4-71, Post 6-66, Miller 3-62, Bauman 6-48, Wheeler-Savoy 5-47, Andres Rodrieguz 7-25, Colten Schillinger 5-17, Karak Bushman 1-14, Mandel 1-4.
Passing: N/G, Monte Diestler 2-8-26-2, Lucas Mosely 0-6-0-3, Braden Trunkel 0-1-0-0. SC, Mandel 4-8-50-1.
Receiving: N/G, Hunter Hand 2-26. SC, Ellefson 2-19, Hildebrandt 1-17, Luepke 1-14.
Interceptions: N/G, Hand. SC, Ellefson 2, Luepke, Bushman, Ethan Meese.
Records: Neillsville/Granton 1-3 overall, 0-3 Cloverbelt; SC 3-1 overall, 3-1 Cloverbelt.

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Second-half surge pushes Stanley-Boyd past Spencer/Columbus football

Posted on 01 September 2017 by paul

This story is sponsored by Victory Apparel

STANLEY – Spencer/Columbus outgained Stanley-Boyd but five turnovers proved costly as the Rockets fell 29-12 in a Cloverbelt Conference football game Friday night at Forward Field.

The Rockets (2-1 overall and Cloverbelt Conference) lost four fumbles and threw an interception in the loss.

“Turnovers and penalties hurt us,” SC coach Jason Gorst said. “I was proud of how hard our guys played, but credit Stanley-Boyd for being the better team tonight.”

Spencer/Columbus earned 19 first downs to the Orioles’ 13, and outgained Stanley-Boyd 312-249, but the turnovers were too much to overcome.

The Rockets led 6-0 at halftime as Carson Hildebrandt scored from 1-yard out with just 10 seconds to go in the second quarter.

Stanley-Boyd quarterback L.J. Schmelzer had a 36-yard touchdown run just 1:08 into the second half to give the Orioles a 7-6 lead before the Rockets stormed back.

Hunter Luepke, who ran for 137 yards, scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 5 minutes left in the third to put SC back up on top 12-7.

Stanley-Boyd’s offense proved too tough to stop over the final 17 minutes as it scored three times to win going away.

Schmelzer had a 3-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, and threw touchdown passes to Collin Meyer and Ben Turner in the fourth for the Orioles.

Spencer/Columbus hosts Neillsville at Spencer High School on Sept. 8. The Cloverbelt Conference game will begin at 7 p.m.

Orioles 29, Rockets 12
Spencer/Columbus 0 6 6 0 – 12
Stanley-Boyd 0 0 14 15 – 29
Second Quarter

SC – Carson Hildebrandt 1 run (run failed), 0:10.
Third Quarter
SB – L.J. Schmelzer 36 run (Brandon Herrick kick), 10:52.
SC – Hunter Luepke 1 run (run failed), 5:00.
SB – Schmelzer 3 run (Herrick kick), 4:21.
Fourth Quarter
SB – Collin Meyer 14 pass from Schmelzer (Herrick kick), 4:41.
SB – Ben Turner 7 pass from Schmelzer (Meyer run), 1:35.
Team Statistics
First downs:
SC 19; SB 13.
Rushing (att-yards): SC 57-255; SB 31-160.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): SC 4-18-57-1; SB 9-16-89-0.
Total yards: SC 312; SB 249.
Penalties (no.-yards): SC 6-50; SB 6-35.
Fumbles (total-lost): SC 4-4; SB 0-0.
Punting (att-avg.): SC 4-27.0; SB 8-34.8.
Individual Statistics
SC, Hunter Luepke 26-137, Carson Hildebrandt 14-75, Hayden Bauman 6-38, Jacob Miller 7-19, Bubba Post 1-minus 3, Jarred Mandel 3-minus 11. SB, Ben Turner 7-65, L.J. Schmelzer 11-57, Collin Meyer 6-21, Matt Nesterick 5-10, Clayton Carlson 1-5, Brandon Herrick 1-2.
Passing: SC, Mandel 4-18-57-1. SB, Schmelzer 9-16-89-0.
Receiving: SC, Lukas Ellefson 3-40, Miller 1-17. SB, Meyer 3-47, Noah Gillingham 2-19, Turner 2-10, Herrick 1-9, Bryce France 1-4.
Interceptions (defense): SB, Herrick.
Punting: SC, Luepke 4-27.0. SB, Gillingham 8-34.8.
Records: Spencer/Columbus 2-1 overall and Cloverbelt Conference; Stanley-Boyd 3-0, 2-0 Cloverbelt Conference.

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Spencer/Columbus football scores five touchdowns in opening quarter, roughs up Fall Creek

Posted on 24 August 2017 by paul

Spencer/Columbus defenders Joe Sari (52) and Logan Zschernitz (65) bring down Fall Creek quarterback J.J. Pritzl for a sack during the first quarter of the Rockets’ 44-21 win Thursday at Spencer High School. (Photo by Paul Lecker/

Spencer/Columbus running back Hunter Luepke takes a handoff during the first quarter of the Rockets’ win Thursday against Fall Creek. (Photo by Paul Lecker/

This story is sponsored by: WDLB-AM 1450 and WOSQ-FM 92.3 radio

By Paul Lecker

SPENCER – The Spencer/Columbus football team scored on four of its first nine offensive plays and added an interception return for a touchdown to open up a huge lead in the first quarter as it rolled to a 44-21 victory over Fall Creek in its home opener Thursday night at Spencer High School.

After a 53-yard kickoff return by Hunter Luepke to open the game, it took just two plays for the Rockets to score. Jacob Miller ran 22 yards on the first play and Luepke ran 11 yards for a touchdown to put Spencer/Columbus up 6-0.

That was just the beginning. Spencer/Columbus had its longest drive on the opening quarter on its next possession, a whopping three-play drive that coverted 66 yards. Luepke took a swing pass from Jarred Mandel and raced 43 yards for a touchdown to make it 13-0.

The Rockets fumbled on their next possession, but scored on their final two offensive plays of the quarter. Luepke had a 71-yard touchdown, bolting right and going down the sideline virtually untouched.

Ethan Meece returned an interception 32 yards for a score, and after another interception by Andres Rodriguez, Luepke raced 9 yards for another touchdown on the next play to put SC up 31-0 with 1:51 to go in the opening quarter.

“Our guys came out and played with some fire,” Spencer/Columbus coach Jason Gorst said. “I thought we sustained blocks really well on offense, averaged a lot of yards per play, and on defense we swarmed to the ball all game.”

Luepke hit pay dirt for the fifth time later in the second quarter, capping a seven-play, 65-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run and the Rockets (2-0 overall and Cloverbelt Conference) led 37-0 at halftime.

Spencer/Columbus struck quick again on its first possession of the second half as sophomore Hayden Bauman ran 37 yards for a touchdown on the Rockets’ second play of the third quarter.

Luepke finished with 132 yards rushing on just eight carries as the Rockets gained 258 yards on the ground in all.

“I think things were blocked really well, he (Luepke) was running and cutting off the blocks very well, and the offense was very, very efficient early in the game,” Gorst said.

Fall Creek (0-2 overall and Cloverbelt Conference) scored three unanswered touchdowns as it kept its starters in against the Spencer/Columbus reserves.

Spencer/Columbus plays at Stanley-Boyd next Friday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on WOSQ-FM 92.3 and

Rockets 44, Crickets 21
Fall Creek 0 0 7 14 – 21
Spencer/Columbus 31 6 7 0 – 44
First Quarter

SC – Hunter Luepke 11 run (kick missed), 11:34.
SC – Luepke 43 pass from Jarred Mandel (Luepke kick), 8:21.
SC – Luepke 71 run (kick missed), 3:43.
SC – Ethan Meece 32 interception return (kick missed), 2:12.
SC – Luepke 9 run (kick missed), 1:51.
Second Quarter
SC – Luepke 3 run (kick missed), 1:42.
Third Quarter
SC – Hayden Bauman 37 run (Colton Schillinger kick), 5:36.
FC – Ethan Ritger 43 run (Nolan Hellegers pass from J.J. Pritzl), 4:12.
Fourth Quarter
FC – Reece Frase 11 run (Pritzl kick), 11:02.
FC – Frase 19 run (kick missed), 6:35.
Team Statistics
First downs:
Fall Creek 8; Spencer/Columbus 10.
Rushing (att-yards): FC 38-112; SC 29-258.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): FC 4-15-53-3; SC 2-5-53-0.
Total yards: FC 165; SC 311.
Penalties (no.-yards): FC 8-50; SC 5-45.
Fumbles (total-lost): FC 1-0; SC 5-2.
Punting (att-avg.): FC 4-32.3; SC none.
Individual Statistics
FC, Ethan Ritger 17-91, Reece Frase 5-29, Joey Kinderman 5-14, Nolan Hellegers 2-minus 4, J.J. Pritzl 9-minus 18. SC, Hunter Luepke 8-132, Jacob Miller 7-60, Carson Hildebrandt 2-39, Hayden Bauman 1-37, Jarred Mandel 3-5, Andres Rodriguez 1-minus 2, Bubba Post 3-minus 2, Austin Bacon 1-minus 4, Colton Schillinger 3-minus 5.
Passing: FC, Pritzl 4-15-53-3. SC, Mandel 2-5-53-0.
Receiving: FC, Hellegers 2-34, Kinderman 1-17, Ritger 1-2. SC, Luepke 1-43, Miller 1-10.
Interceptions (defense): SC, Bauman, Ethan Meece, Rodriguez.
Fumble recoveries (defense): FC, Cameron Fahrman, Bryce Williamson.
Punting: FC, Joseph Weggen 4-32.3.
Records: Fall Creek 0-2 overall and Cloverbelt Conference; Spencer/Columbus 2-0 overall and Cloverbelt Conference.

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Spencer/Columbus football routs Osseo-Fairchild in 2017 opener

Posted on 19 August 2017 by paul


This story is sponsored by: All Insurance of Marshfield

OSSEO – The Spencer/Columbus Catholic football team started the season with a bang, racking up eight touchdowns on its way to a resounding 54-22 win over Osseo-Fairchild in its Cloverbelt Conference and season opener on Friday.

Spencer/Columbus raced out to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter.

Jarred Mandel threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Lukas Ellefson, Carson Hildebrandt had a 1-yard TD run, and Hunter Luepke scored from the 1 to provide the Rockets with the big lead.

Osseo-Fairchild hung close with two touchdowns in the second quarter, but Jacob Miller had a 15-yard touchdown run for the Rockets, who led 26-14 at halftime.

Spencer/Columbus put the game away in the third quarter as Luepke scored three times on runs of 3, 21, and 6 yards.

Luepke was held to 67 yards rushing on 14 carries, but four of his totes were for touchdowns. Miller led the Rockets’ rushing attack with 86 yards on just six carries.

Spencer/Columbus outgained the Thunder 342-236, including 215-125 on the ground.

“I was happy with our effort and how we responded at halftime after Osseo-Fairchild had a big momentum swing before the half,” Spencer/Columbus coach Jason Gorst said. “I thought they were a good team and certainly made some big plays to end the half.

“I think overall field position dictated by our special teams was one of the major differences. Our kickoff coverage was great and our return game set us up with some short fields. Jarred threw the ball well and Carson and Jacob, along with some others, balanced our rushing attack. Gavid Kilty had a good night getting to their middle linebacker, and Hayden and Hunter were very effective in our return game.”

The Rockets will host Fall Creek in another Cloverbelt game Thursday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. at Spencer High School.

Rockets 54, Thunder 22
Spencer/Columbus 20 6 21 7 – 54
Osseo-Fairchild 0 14 0 8 – 22
First Quarter

SC – Lukas Ellefson 20 pass from Jarred Mandel (Hunter Luepke kick), 9:00.
SC – Carson Hildebrandt 1 run (kick failed), 3:57.
SC – Luepke 1 run (Luepke kick), 1:32.
Second Quarter
OF – Caden Boettcher 1 run (pass failed), 7:38.
SC – Jacob Miller 15 run (kick failed), 6:10.
OF – Bret Koskta 15 pass from Jackson Johnson (Boettcher run), 0:00.
Third Quarter
SC – Luepke 3 run (Miller run), 9:02.
SC – Luepke 21 run (kick blocked), 6:12.
SC – Luepke 6 run (Luepke kick), 2:08.
Fourth Quarter
SC – Hayden Bauman 9 run (Caden Schillinger kick), 10:07.
OF – Koskta 39 run (Boettcher run), 5:24.
Team Statistics
First downs:
Spencer/Columbus 21; Osseo-Fairchild 17.
Rushing (att-yards): SC 37-215; OF 38-125.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): SC 6-11-127-0; OF 7-20-111-0.
Total yards: SC 342; OF 236.
Penalties (no.-yards): SC 6-35; OF 3-15.
Fumbles (total-lost): SC 1-1; OF 2-2.
Punting (no.-avg.): SC 1-3.0; OF 4-27.0.
Individual Statistics
SC, Jacob Miller 6-86, Hunter Luepke 14-67, Carson Hildebrandt 7-52, Adam Walter 3-18, Bubba Post 4-12, Hayden Bauman 1-9, Max McGiveron 1-minus 2, Colton Schillinger 2-minus 3, Jarred Mandel 1-minus 5. OF, Caden Boettcher 14-95, Bret Koskta 4-50, Alex Watenphul 2-7, Parker Ramseier 5-minus 6, Jackson Johnson 13-minus 21.
Passing: SC, Mandel 6-11-127-0. OF, Johnson 7-20-111-0.
Receiving: SC, Luepke 2-38, Lukas Ellefson 2-29, Ethan Meece 1-35, Miller 1-25. OF, Koskta 3-37, Boettcher 2-40, Ethan Dahl 1-20, Keelan Chumas 1-14.
Punting: SC, Co. Schillinger 1-3.0. OF, Dalton Swett 3-26.7, Koskta 1-28.0.
Records: Spencer/Columbus 1-0 overall and Cloverbelt Conference; Osseo-Fairchild 0-1 overall and Cloverbelt Conference.

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High school football preview: Spencer/Columbus fueled by strong running game

Posted on 17 August 2017 by paul

Spencer/Columbus running back Hunter Luepke ran for more than 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons. (Photo by Paul Lecker/

Spencer/Columbus quarterback Jarred Mandel will be the full-time starter this season after sharing snaps a year ago. (Photo by Paul Lecker/

This story is sponsored by Victory Apparel

By Paul Lecker

SPENCER – The Spencer/Columbus Catholic football team is going to run the ball. That is no secret. However, with the loss of two-time 1,000-yard rusher Noah Zastrow, the Rockets will have to find some new guys to step in to the backfield alongside senior Hunter Luepke.

Luepke, a North Dakota University recruit and three-time all-Cloverbelt Conference player, put up 1,057 yards rushing, 226 yards receiving and 20 total touchdowns a year ago despite missing three games with an injury.

Gone are Zastrow’s 1,800 total yards, which included more than 200 yards passing as he shared time at quarterback, but there are a number of Rockets ready to step up their play to try to fill the void.

“We have some very good running backs that we’ll plug in,” Spencer/Columbus coach Jason Gorst said. “Noah was an all-state player, a great athlete. He played a position kind of unique to him, but we have some good running backs that will help balance that out.

“Jacob Miller, senior, saw a fair amount of time last year. Carson Hildebrandt started as a fullback last year, he’s in the mix too for carries. Adam Walter, Bubba Post, Hayden Bauman, a sophomore, are in big position battles in camp. We’re trying to figure out best combination.”

A year after reaching the WIAA Division 5 state finals, which it lost to Amherst, Spencer/Columbus finished last season 8-3 overall and 6-2 in the always tough Cloverbelt Conference. The Rockets were bounced in the second round of the playoffs by Amherst, which went on to capture its second-straight D-5 state title.

The Rockets also lost three starting offensive lineman, including all-region and all-conference player Max Johnson, but do return a pair of starters.

Junior Logan Zschernitz and senior Nick Hutchison are back to anchor the line and lead the way for the Rockets’ rushing attack.

“It’s the biggest question,” Gorst said of the offensive line. “We feel like we have a lot of good kids there, a lot of competition for those spots, so it’s going to be interesting to see how it’s going to shake out. I think we’ll be OK there, it’s just who’s going to be in what spot.”

Jarred Mandel, a junior, will be the full-time quarterback after sharing snaps with Zastow last season. Mandel threw for 736 yards and 15 touchdowns and is ready for the season to begin.

“It’s been really exciting,” Mandel said. “Everybody has been ready this entire offseason to get back out here. I learned a lot last year from Noah Zastrow. Playing with a lot of the older guys, I learn a lot more stuff and it gives me a great opportunity.

“I think we’ll have another good year. Every year is a toss-up and I think we’ll do pretty well again.”

Hildebrandt is the Rockets’ top returning tackler and was a first-team all-Cloverbelt pick at linebacker. He will be joined by a stout line led by Zschernitz, and Luepke alongside him at linebacker.

“We’re one of those that aspire to be a playoff team, and possibly then some,” Gorst said. “We play in one of the toughest conferences in the state. I think we can compete with Stanley-Boyd and (Eau Claire) Regis. Fall Creek is a team that is going to be a breakout team. Colby played us very well last year. We’re in that mix. With small school football, injuries are a big part of that. If we can stay injury free, we’ll be in the mix with those teams.”

Luepke is keeping things in perspective as the Rockets open their season Aug. 18 at Osseo-Fairchild.

“We don’t know until we get to Friday nights,” Luepke said. “Like Coach always says, ‘We haven’t won a game yet. We have to earn it.’ We have to practice hard every day.”

Fri., Aug. 18 at Osseo-Fairchild, 7 p.m.
Thur., Aug. 24 FALL CREEK, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 1 at Stanley-Boyd, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 8 NEILLSVILLE/GRANTON, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 15 COLBY, 7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 22 at Cadott, 7 p.m.
Thur., Sept. 28 at Eau Claire Regis (Carson Park), 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 6 *ALTOONA, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 13 &at Glenwood City, 7 p.m.
Home games in CAPS, at Fritsch Field, Spencer High School, except *at Beell Stadium, Marshfield (Columbus Catholic Homecoming)

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Spencer’s Hunter Luepke commits to play football at powerhouse North Dakota State

Posted on 07 August 2017 by paul

Spencer/Columbus senior Hunter Luepke has committed to play football at FCS-powerhouse North Dakota State in the fall of 2018. (Photo by Paul Lecker/

This story is sponsored by Forward Financial Bank

By Paul Lecker

SPENCER – Hunter Luepke hasn’t even started his senior year at Spencer High School, but he has already made plans for his college years.

Luepke, a two-time first-team all-Cloverbelt Conference running back for Spencer/Columbus Catholic, has committed to play football and attend North Dakota State University in Fargo in the fall of 2018.

Luepke has rushed for more than 2,500 yards in his three years for Spencer/Columbus, including 1,057 yards last season and 20 total touchdowns.

As a sophomore, Luepke was the Cloverbelt Conference Offensive Player of the Year when he had 1,249 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns as the Rockets won the conference title and made it all the way to the WIAA Division 5 state championship game before losing to Amherst.

“They are a really great program,” said Luepke, who plans to study mathematics at North Dakota State, but has not decided on a major. “Their facilities, their coaching staff are just great. I love the college too, it’s nice and updated. I think it was a good decision on my part.”

After receiving interest from a number of schools, including Northern Iowa and Wisconsin, Luepke made the decision to commit early to North Dakota State, a FCS (formerly NCAA Division I-AA) powerhouse.

North Dakota State won the FCS national championship five-straight years from 2011-15. Its quest for a sixth in a row ended in the semifinals last year as the Bison lost to eventual champion James Madison.

Luepke said he was told he may be in the mix at fullback and or tight end at NDSU, but nothing has been decided.

“I thought with North Dakota State I’d get more playing time and it is pretty good competition,” he said.

Spencer/Columbus head coach Jason Gorst said Luepke looks in great shape coming into camp for this season and he was pleased with Luepke’s decision to further his football career at North Dakota State.

“A lot of different schools were talking to him, coming to see him, recruiting him,” Gorst said. “I think he wants to play for a good program and he’s excited to play at NDSU.

“He really looks like he’s at a whole other level again. He’s been very impressive in camp. He is bigger than he has been, overall he looks more athletic. I’m excited for that.”

Spencer/Columbus will take part in a multi-team scrimmage at Owen-Withee on Saturday and opens its 2017 campaign Aug. 18 at Osseo-Fairchild. The Rockets open their home schedule Aug. 24 against Fall Creek.

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Number of local players participate in Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Star Games

Posted on 24 July 2017 by paul

Former Spencer/Columbus Catholic players Noah Zastrow, left, and Max Johnson competed for the North team at the annual Wisconsin Football Coaches Association State All-Star Games on July 15 at Titan Stadium in Oshkosh. (Photo courtesy of Jason Gorst)


This story is sponsored by: The University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County

By Paul Lecker

OSHKOSH – Nine players from Central Wisconsin were among the dozens to take part in the annual Wisconsin Football Coaches Association State All-Star Games, which were held July 15 at Titan Stadium.

The event, for graduated seniors, featured three games for eight-man teams, small schools, and large schools.

The local players all played for the North team in the Small School contest, which was won by the South 25-20.

Stratford’s Kamren Bornbach, a linebacker, and Tanner Weinfurter, an offensive lineman, played alongside a number of players they competed against for years from youth football through their high school careers.

Bornbach, who will be playing collegiately at St. Cloud State, and Weinfurter, who will be playing at Winona State University, were joined on the North team by Edgar running back Alec Hafferman and offensive lineman Tyler Matysik, Abbotsford linebacker Brock Halopka, Spencer/Columbus Catholic running back/punter Noah Zastrow and offensive lineman Max Johnson, Marathon offensive lineman Bryce Seubert, and Owen-Withee defensive end Josiah Goerlitz.

Zastrow finished with seven carries for 11 yards rushing and also caught three passes for 28 yards in the loss. Hafferman had one catch for two yards.

Defensive statistics were not made available.

The South team trailed 17-6 at halftime after two touchdowns by Two Rivers quarterback Dawson Kiphart.

Poynette’s Tanner Kerr and Gale-Ettrick-Trempeleau’s Derek Haines had TD runs in third quarter, and Cedar Grove quarterback John Weiss threw a touchdown pass to River Valley’s Ryan Wickman for go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter. Weiss had 214 yards passing and two touchdown passes for the South.

The Large School game was halted midway through the third quarter due to lightning with the South leading 10-0.

Brookfield East running back Sam Santiago-Lloyd, another Winona State recruit, scored the game’s only touchdown. Monona Grove kicker Collin Larsh had a 21-yard field goal for the game’s other points.

The game featured a number of future Wisconsin Badgers, including offensive linemen Alex Fenton of Menomonie and Tyler Beach of Port Washington, Delavan-Darien’s Ethan Cesarz, and Kettle Moraine’s Sam DeLany.

The North won the eight-man game 32-20. Siren’s Brady Mangen had 170 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the win for the North.

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Four local players selected to play in Wisconsin Football Coaches Association all-star game

Posted on 03 April 2017 by paul

Stratford linebacker Kamren Bornbach (2) was one of four local players chosen to play in the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Star Games. The games will be held July 15 in Oshkosh. (Photo by Paul Lecker/


This story is sponsored by: The University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County

Four local high school seniors have been selected to play in the 2017 Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Star Games, which will be held Saturday, July 15, at Titan Stadium in Oshkosh.

Spencer/Columbus Catholic running back/punter Noah Zastrow and offensive lineman Max Johnson, and Stratford offensive lineman Tanner Weinfurtner and inside linebacker Kamren Bornbach will play for the North team in the Small School game against a group of South all-stars at 2 p.m.

The Eight-Man all-star game is set for 10 a.m. and the Large School game will be at 6 p.m., all at Titan Stadium. The annual all-star games are for graduating seniors.

Zastrow and Johnson were first-team all-Cloverbelt Conference selections last fall after helping the Rockets to an 8-3 record and a 6-2 mark in the conference before they lost in Level 2 of the Division 5 playoffs to Amherst.

Zastrow, a first-team all-state selection by the WFCA as a utility player, had 1,358 yards rushing, 233 receiving and 25 total touchdowns for Spencer/Columbus in 2016.

Johnson was a key member of the Rockets’ offensive line that produced a pair of 1,000-yard rushers, that also included junior Hunter Luepke.

Weinfurtner, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound tackle, and Bornbach both recently signed letters of intent to play college football at Division II schools in Minnesota next fall after Stratford won its first outright Marawood Conference championship since 2007 and finished 9-2 overall after a loss to Durand in Level 2 of the WIAA Division 5 playoffs.

Bornbach, a St. Cloud State recruit, was the Marawood Back of the Year after leading the conference in scoring with 114 points and finishing second in rushing with 771 yards.

Weinfurtner was a first-team all-Marawood selection at offensive line after helping the Tigers to a perfect 7-0 record in the conference.

Central Wisconsin players picked to the Large School North team included Wisconsin Rapids quarterback Ben Olson, and offensive lineman Jacob Erdman, inside linebacker Grant Roth, and defensive back Joey Roth of Stevens Point.

Area players chosen to the Small School North team who will be playing with the SC and Stratford contingent, are running back Alec Hafferman and outside linebacker Tyler Matysik of Edgar, defensive end Josiah Goerlitz of Owen-Withee, outside linebacker Brock Halopka of Abbotsford, and offensive lineman Bryce Seubert of Marathon.

A full list of the state all-stars can be seen at

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