As the Milaca and Foley football teams met on the gridiron, both teams prepared for what would no doubt be a physical game between the two rivals.
Milaca’s “hogs in the trenches” proved to be up to the challenge, dominating the line of scrimmage allowing for the Wolves to run away with the 50-32 win over the Falcons on Sept. 17 at Claffy Field.
Benefitting the most from the powerful performance on the line was Milaca’s Jack Schoenborn, who was able to breakout for five rushing touchdown along with 237 rushing yards to power the Wolves to the victory over their rival.
Schoenborn knows he couldn’t have found that success without the line blocking and creating holes for the running back to find. “The offensive line was such a crucial part in helping me get those five touchdowns,” said Schoenborn, as the line was able to block for the Wolves to rack up 306 total yards on the ground to defeat Foley.
Seeing the offensive line play at such a high level makes everything so much easier for the Wolves’ offense said Milaca Head Coach Kevin Armbrust. “The thing that makes everything good is the way our offensive line is playing right now. They are playing smart, aggressive and quick. That gives our quarterback time to throw and also gives our backs some pretty big holes to run through,” he said.
That time to operate was apparent in the first few drives for the Milaca offense as Wolves’ quarterback Dylan Greninger was able to get the scoring started with a seven-yard strike to Owen Vanderplaats and after the successful scramble by Greninger, Milaca claimed the early 8-0 lead.
Forcing a stop on the ensuing Foley drive, the Wolves’ offensive line got back to work with great field position.
Milaca quickly capitalized on the great opportunity with Schoenborn breaking off a 23-yard sprint into the end zone with the Wolves holding the 14-0 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Beginning the second quarter, the Falcons would quickly kick off the scoring with a passing touchdown of their own to cut the Milaca lead to eight points.
From there, Schoenborn would start to gash the Foley run defense with touchdown runs of 39 and 35 yards to push Milaca up by a 28-6 margin.
Watching Schoenborn’s breakout performance was not a surprise to see to Armbrust as the coach has seen strides made by the junior since the first game. “We have seen him improve every single week. He is seeing what is open and taking advantage of it,” said Armbrust.
Trailing by 22 points, Foley was able to rally to put together a scoring drive to cut the Wolves’ lead to just 14 points with time waning in the first half.
Milaca would not be content with the two score lead, as the Wolves came out firing with Greninger orchestrating another scoring drive, this time finding Corbin Sams for the 24-yard touchdown pass with just under a minute left in the second quarter to push the home team to the 36-14 lead going into the half.
In the third quarter, Foley would inch closer with a touchdown midway through the frame but Milaca’s defense would hold strong for the remainder of the third, while Schoenborn once again found the end zone for the score as the teams heading to the final quarter at 44-20.
Back for the final quarter, the Falcons would come out gunning for the Wolves cutting the lead to just 12 points with 10:13 left in the contest.
However, Schoenborn would strike again for his fifth score of the day, putting Milaca back ahead by 18 and ending Foley’s comeback attempt.
“It had to have been the best game I’ve ever played in my career so far and even better to have it at our house. It was amazing,” said Schoenborn on his five score performance.
With the clock striking zero, the Wolves claimed their second straight victory, moving to 2-1 while the Falcons dropped to 0-3 on the year.
Helping shoulder the load offensively with Schoenborn’s big night was Greninger through the air as he completed six of his seven attempts for 83 yards with two scores while also rushing for 59 yards.
Though picking up the win, there were some areas that need some improvement for Milaca according to Armbrust as the Wolves gave up some long passing plays and 352 yards through the air.
The breakdowns are all very fixable for Milaca said Armbrust. “We did see some coverage breakdowns in the second half but we know those are easy fixes we can make,” he said.
Pizza Bowl awaits
Now up next for the surging Wolves is the chance to claim their first Pizza Bowl victory.
Entering the contest against Princeton, sitting at 0-2 in the series, Milaca is willing to do whatever it takes to walk away with the Pizza Bowl Paddle Trophy. “We are going to do whatever necessary to win that paddle back,” said Schoenborn.
Milaca has come close to defeating the Tigers, falling 35-28 in 2019 and 20-19 last year as this year’s match up will be another battle for the Paddle.
“They are going to be physical and they have a lot of great team speed. They are going to be solid, well coached and fast,” said Armbrust.
The Wolves traveled to the Tigers’ John Harvey Field on Sept. 24 with the Pizza Bowl title and trophy at stakes’ for the teams.