Marshfield's Trevor Peterson intercepts a pass with one hand (top) and celebrates with his teammates (bottom) after he returned it 12 yards for a touchdown as the Tigers rolled to a 41-0 win over Neenah on Friday night at Beell Stadium. (Photos by Paul Lecker/MarshfieldAreaSports.com)
This story is sponsored by: High Street Salon, Spa & Travel
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield has been dominating its new foes in the Valley Football Association South Division so far this season, and Friday’s game against Neenah may have been the Tigers’ best performance yet this season.
The Tigers improved to 5-0 and 3-0 in the VFA South with a 41-0 whipping of Neenah at Beell Stadium.
Marshfield jumped out to a 31-0 after the first quarter on its way to the rout. The Tigers, ranked No. 3 in this week’s WisSports.Net Division 2 State Football Coaches Poll, have outscored their opponents 223-60 in their five games so far this season.
Riley Gebelein rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns, Cody Tarnowski added 93 yards on the ground and a score, and Trevor Peterson returned an interception 12 yards for a touchdown to lead Marshfield. All four of those touchdowns came in the first quarter.
Marshfield outgained Neenah 371-68 as the Tigers’ defense had their way.
Zach Schwantz, Mack Scheppler and Peterson had interceptions in the first half for Marshfield, which allowed just 29 yards in the first half.
“When I look out there on first down and they’re going backwards, I guess that’s a pretty good thing for us,” Marshfield coach Denny Goettl said. “Our front seven are keeping them going the other way and our defensive backs are coming up big when they need to make plays. Our safeties are ballhawks and they love to hit.”
The Tigers wasted little time getting their offense rolling again. Gebelein took the first play of the game 60 yards and scored two plays later from 18 yards away to make it 7-0 just 42 seconds into the contest.
Gus Utech kicked a 39-yard field goal following Schwantz’s interception and following a punt, Marshfield drove 45 yards in three plays to score again, on a 9-yard run by Gebelein.
On Neenah’s next possession, it was the defense’s turn to get in the act for the Tigers. Defensive end Matt Scheel hit Rockets’ quarterback Jake Cort from behind as he was throwing and Peterson tipped the ball a few times before corralling it and rumbling 12 yards for another Marshfield touchdown, making it 24-0 with 2:49 to go in the opening quarter.
“As a team, when we click, it’s hard to stop us and hard to the move the ball,” Scheel said. “They let me come clean off the side. Fortunately, the running back came up to pick up Trevor Peterson and I was lucky enough to hit him and knock it loose, and my friend Trevor Peterson took it in.
“I didn’t see it because I was sitting on the ground, but when I came up it was all hugs and screams on the sidelines.”
Peterson was especially proud of the shutout, and the fact that the Marshfield defensive line knocked down five pass attempts – three by Alex Arendt.
“Matt came around the outside and nailed him pretty good and the ball went up in the air,” Peterson said. “After I tipped it to myself about three times I caught it and then I was off the end zone. I wasn’t stopping before I got there. It was my first catch ever and it was pretty sweet.”
Tarnowski ran 41 yards for another score on the first play following another Neenah punt and the Tigers led 31-0 after the first quarter.
Utech kicked a 24-yard field goal to cap a 13-play drive and Austin Littmann hauled in a 2-yard touchdown pass from Elliot Ashbeck 25 seconds before halftime to push Marshfield’s lead to 41-0.
Neither team scored in the second half as the running clock, mandated by the 35-point-plus lead, shortened the game.
“You can see that the hard work has paid off,” Goettl said. “Last year was a stepping stone for us. The junior kids really stepped up and worked their tails off in the weight room and in track and in baseball and all the other sports they play in. You just have to hand it to the kids. They’re a great group of guys. They really want to work hard.”
Marshfield travels to Titan Stadium in Oshkosh next week to play Oshkosh West (1-4, 1-2 VFA South) on Friday at 7 p.m.
Tigers 41, Rockets 0
Neenah 0 0 0 0 – 0
Marshfield 31 10 0 0 – 41
M – Riley Gebelein 18 run (Gus Utech kick), 11:18.
M – Utech 39 field goal, 9:00.
M – Gebelein 9 run (Utech kick), 4:35.
M – Trevor Peterson 12 interception return (Utech kick), 2:49.
M – Cody Tarnowski 41 run (Utech kick), 1:08.
M – Utech 24 field goal, 5:44.
M – Austin Littmann 2 pass from Elliot Ashbeck (Utech kick), 0:25.
First downs: Neenah 8; Marshfield 13.
Rushing (att-yards): Neenah 25-35; Marshfield 26-228.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): Neenah 5-24-33-3; Marshfield 10-23-143-0.
Fumbles (total-lost): Neenah 0-0; Marshfield 1-0.
Penalties: Neenah 8-43; Marshfield 4-50.
Rushing: N, Charles McDonald 19-43, Kyle Winek 2-3, Cole Joubert 1-2, Willie Diedrich 1-minus 2, Jake Cort 2-minus 11. M, Riley Gebelein 10-101, Cody Tarnowski 6-93, Bo Howard 2-18, Jack Marquardt 4-15, Ryan Trierweiler 2-6, Elliot Ashbeck 2-minus 5.
Passing: N, Cort 5-24-33-3. M, Ashbeck 10-22-143-0, Howard 0-1-0-0.
Receiving: N, Jordan Entwisle 2-19, Tyler Smith 2-13, McDonald 1-1. M, Jordan Litwatis 4-35, Austin Littmann 3-61, Gebelein 2-40, Brandon Brown 1-7.
Interceptions (defense): M, Zach Schwanz, Mack Scheppler, Trevor Peterson.
Punting: N, Jared Jahnke 7-31.5 avg; M, none.
Records: Neenah 2-3, 1-2 Valley Football Association South; Marshfield 5-0, 3-0 VFA South.