A hot start was key for the Milaca football team.
Digging themselves a 14-0 hole last time out against Princeton, the Wolves knew that wasn’t a recipe for success as the team looked to get off to a better start heading into their next game versus St. Cloud Cathedral.
In their homecoming against the Crusaders, Milaca was able to execute on that better start, jumping out to a 20-0 first quarter lead before coasting to a 40-16 victory on Oct. 1 at Claffy Field, sending the fans home happy.
The biggest difference between the two contests according to Wolves’ Head Coach Kevin Armbrust was the focus to come out and not waste any time to get rolling. “Having that focus and that mindset that it is critical to come out and score first and get that early lead was big,” said Armbrust.
Milaca was able to execute from the second the ball was kicked off, as once the Wolves got the opening kick, they got to work.
Featuring the two headed attack of backs Jack Schoenborn and Carter Walter, Milaca marched down the field and quickly grabbed the 6-0 lead over Cathedral thanks to a 33-yard burst by Schoenborn.
On the ensuing Crusaders’ possession, the Milaca defense got its chance to execute early as a drive into the Wolves’ redzone was stopped after a fourth and nine fell short of the sticks, giving the ball back to the home team.
Getting the ball back, Milaca’s offense continued to hum, gashing Cathedral on the ground for large chunks of yardage before Schoenborn was once again able to break free for a 26-yard scoring scamper to push the Wolves ahead by two possessions at 12-0 with time winding down in the first quarter.
Back on offense, Cathedral looked to get its something cooking.
Schoenborn had other ideas as the junior was able to step up on the defensive side of the ball for an interception to give the Wolves the ball back in Crusader territory.
Moments after making the big play on defense, Schoenborn was able to step up again on offense and find the end zone again from 24 yards out as time expired in the first quarter, giving Milaca the 20-0 lead following the successful two-point conversion.
Cathedral was given the chance to answer but another turnover, this time a fumble, gave the ball back to the Wolves.
Already up 20-0 in the opening moments of the second quarter, Milaca kept the foot on the gas with another scoring drive, this time capped by a 25-yard run by Walter, growing the lead to 26-0.
The Wolves’ defense would again stop the Crusader offense forcing a punt, as another scoring drive was queued up for Milaca. Walter again would find the end zone from 41-yards out to grow the game to 32-0 as that score would hold into half time.
Seeing the offensive performance from the backs and the offensive line was a huge positive to see for Milaca said Armbrust. “Schoenborn and Walter are sticking with the holes and making the right cuts and reads and our offensive line was outstanding.”
Back for the second half, the Crusaders were able to mount a mini rally scoring the next two touchdowns to cut Milaca’s lead to 32-16 with 11:48 left in the contest but Cathedral would not get any closer as a late Walter run put the game well out of reach, giving the Wolves the victory.
On the ground, Walter and Schoenborn each had three scores while combining for 339 yards on 33 carries between the two.
Defensively, Milaca had a strong day executing as the unit was able to force four turnovers and hold the opposition to a season low for points. “That’s a good confidence booster for those guys. It shows that our defense is solid and sound when we are executing our schemes,” said Armbrust.
Picking up the victory, the Wolves now improve to 3-2 on the year while Cathedral dropped to 1-4 on the year.
Now waiting for the Wolves will be a tough test as a trip to New London-Spicer is next on the schedule.
Looking to the game against the Wildcats, Milaca eagerly awaits what will be presented to it. “It’s going to be a very competitive game. It’s going to be a good challenge for us and we are excited for it,” said Armbrust.
New London-Spicer entered the game with a 3-2 record.
The Wildcats and Wolves squared off on Oct. 8 under the Friday night lights.