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Old School Victory for Rugby

By Staff | Sep 25, 2015

Team captains wait for the coin flip. Pictured: Hunter Hager, Spencer Koehmstedt, Victor Gronvold, Ryan Michels and Coach Scott Grochow.

The Rugby Panthers didn’t let the Langdon Area-Munich Cardinals’ Homecoming stand in their way, coming away with a resounding 60-30 victory on the road. This brings the Panthers’ season record to 2-2 and 1-0 in regional play.

The scoring started with quarterback Anders Johnson completing a pass to his favorite receiver, deep threat Ryan Michels, who took it to the house for a 77-yard score. The point after kick by David Schneibel was good, giving the Panthers the lead 7-0, a lead they would never relinquish.

The Cardinals, who fought hard all night with a never give up attitude, bounced back with a score of their own with a 2-yard run by Connor Tetrault for a touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the Panthers in the lead 7-6, and that would be the closest they would get all night to the Panthers.

The Panthers showed their tenacity by bouncing right back with Johnson finding his dependable running back Victor Gronvold for a 38-yard pass and run for a touchdown. Again, Schneibel converted the extra point giving the Panthers a 14-6 lead.

Johnson showed he had prowess with his feet as well as his arm with an 11-yard scamper for a touchdown. Schneibel, perfect for the night so far, converted the point after giving the Panthers a 21-6 lead. The first half scoring ended with another score for the Panthers, and again it was Johnson to Gronvold this time for 17 yards, giving the Panthers a half-time lead 28-6.

The second half scoring was like a pinball machine, with the Panthers scoring five times and the Cardinals scoring three times. The Panthers scored first in the third quarter on a 17-yard pass completion from Johnson to Hunter Hager. With the two-point conversion failing, the score was 34-6. Langdon had no quit in the bouncing back with a score of their own with a 1-yard run by Jacob Delco for a touchdown. And with the Cardinals converting on their two-point try, the score was 34-14.

The Panthers coming off two straight defeats would not be denied scoring on their next two possessions, the first score coming off a toss from Johnson to Michels covering 40 yards. The second score came from a scamper off the edge by Gronvold, spanning 59 yards. This left the score 47-14.

With victory seeming inevitable the Panthers let their guard and their concentration down and let the Cardinals back in the game with two consecutive scores, bringing the score to a far too close 47-30. That is when Coach Scott Grochow stepped in and in an old-school fashion got his players attention and they were able to hold the Cardinals scoreless the rest of the game while adding 13 more points themselves with a 69-yard run by Johnson and a 44-yard fumble recovery returned for a touchdown by the scrappy Kaden Jaeger.

Grochow shared his thoughts about the game, “It was one of those games we came out and started moving the football on offense, on defense we would make a hit and get a turn over and everything started going our way. All of sudden we were up by 30 and we started to relax a little bit and when you do that you can lose a football game you should have won!” Coach continued, “You have to give Langdon a lot of credit they kept playing hard but it was nice to see our kids respond and come away with a win.” Coach Grochow credits some of his unsung players for the win,” You know all of people don’t see it but some of the guys that we put in on our defensive line have done a good job. We really had some kids step up in that sense and it has helped us with our wins.”

Kade Leier and Hager, who had nine tackles each, led the defense for this game. Ethan Clements followed with six tackles, Blackhawk Jones and Ethan Morin with five tackles apiece. Michels, Jaden Munyer and Jaden Jaeger all contributed three tackles. Rounding out the defensive stats are Devin Vetsch, Gronvold, Spencer Koehmstedt, Trevor Longie, Johnson and Schneibel all having 2-tackles.

Johnson, Gronvold and Michels led the offense. Johnson contributed in the air going 13-22 for 281 passing yards and five touchdowns, and with his feet adding 98 yards on the ground with two more touchdowns. Gronvold had 83 yards rushing with one touchdown, and an additional 67 yards receiving adding two more touchdowns. Michels led all receivers with 155 yards with five receptions and scored twice. Defense-minded Hager had a nose for offense as well, with three receptions and a score. The win starts regional play well for the Rugby Panthers with a 1-0 record.

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