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Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 18:08

Big defensive plays lift CG-Belgium football team to 2nd-round playoff win

As the skill level begins to even out deeper into the WIAA playoffs, the nails of Cedar Grove-Belgium football fans begin to shorten.
Regardless of being a lower seed, New Holstein gave the Rockets everything they could handle last Friday.
The No. 5-seeded Huskies outgained top-seeded Cedar Grove-Belgium by 50 yards and held the lead three times, including late into the third quarter, before the home team pulled away for a 28-18 win in a second-round Division 5 game.
“They’re a good team, good program, very respectable coach,” Rockets coach Dan Schreurs said.
“I’m just extremely proud of the guys, never giving up.”
With the Rockets railing, 18-14, their  defense forced a punt, and the offense took  over at midfield with less than eight minutes left in the third quarter.
Anzia Navis tackle CG B football 11 2 17 4CNine plays later, Cedar Grove-Belgium s took the lead for good.
A pass to Michael Navis and runs by Griffin Prinsen, Bryce Morgan and quarterback Jason von Heimburg took the ball to the New Holstein 36.
Von Heimburg ran twice for nine yards,  then hit Morgan, who broke tackles for an 18-yard gain to the 5-yard line. Morgan took it up the middle from there for a touchdown. Chris Jentges’ extra point made it 21-18.
The Rockets’ defense then stepped up. The Huskies converted on a fourth-and-two with a 9-yard pass, but four plays later quarterback Teddy Schnell fumbled while running.
A Cedar Grove-Belgium player tried to scoop the ball up, and it squirted away. But defensive lineman Aaron Salazar fell on it at the Rockets’ 24 to stop the scoring threat.
“I saw the ball. I just thought, when I saw my teammate fumble it, I just need to jump on it,” Salazar said.

“It felt great. It felt like I made a big play on the team.”
The Rockets looked to take advantage of the turnover, but a 59-yard touchdown bomb to the speedster Navis was called back due to a hands-to-the-face penalty. They had to punt, and the defense stepped up again.
This time, Navis leaped to pick off a deep pass at the Rockets’ 37.
The Huskies forced a three-and-out, and it was back on the Rockets’ defenders to hold the lead.
On fourth-and-six from their own 35, Schnell scrambled and looked around for a receiver. Hunter Wade helped make sure he didn’t find one. The senior waited to gauge Schnell’s move before bursting and grabbing his legs for the sack and 10-yard loss.
“I kind of slow played it and got him. It felt good,” Wade said.
From the 25, von Heimbrug ran twice to the 11, and Morgan ran twice to the five. Von Heimburg then started left and cut inside, falling across the goal-line for the final score of the night with 2:48 left.
“Danny (Schreurs) told me to run a waggle and score a touchdown,” he said.
“They were a physical and big team. Gotta give credit to them. They played a hell of a game, too.”
New Holstein’s Tyler McCoy, a bowling-ball like running back, rumbled for a game-high 107 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.
“I give him a lot of credit. He’s a big boy and the toughest guy I tackled all year for sure,” inside linebacker Cameron Kirst said.
“They had a very good running back. We were preparing for that all week. We just came out aggressive and we just kept going,” fellow inside backer Ben Anzia said.
Anzia made a game-high 16 tackles, and Kirst made 14.
“I don’t know if we wore them down, but the defense has been stepping up every single game,” Schreurs said.
“Ben and Cameron, and really the defensive line, have been doing their job. They’re not in there making sacks but they’re keeping everyone off the linebackers.”
The Huskies had the game’s second-leading rusher in Teddy Schnell, who had 78 yards on four carries, including a 65-yard scoring blast up the middle on the first play of the third quarter that gave his team an 18-14 lead.
Von Heimburg ran for 68 yards and two scores on 17 carries, and he went 9-for-17 for 135 yards and a touchdown through the air.
“That kid is phenomenal. His ability to throw and run and guide a team. You come off of having a quarterback like (state-record setter Josh Weiss), most people say what are you going to do, but I had no worries with him at quarterback,” Schreurs said.
Morgan had 68 yards and a touchdown on 19 runs.
“The line was working hard all night to create holes, and we were just hitting them hard,” Morgan said.
Navis caught five balls for 112 yards and a touchdown.
The Rockets took the game’s opening kickoff and drove to the Huskies’ 15 before Prinsen fumble prevented a score. Navis had a ball slip off of his fingers in the end zone on the drive.
New Holstein scored on its opening drive, putting the Rockets’ in a 6-0 hole, and later took a 12-7 lead.
Von Heimburg answered with a 64-yard deep out to an open Navis, who juked one defender on the way to scoring.
“I looked inside, jabbed outside, trusted God, caught the ball, jabbed him inside, and knew I was gone from there,” Navis said.
The Rockets are no stranger to back-and-forth playoff contests.
“It’s kind of like regular playoff football. We had those nail-biters last year,” Schreurs said.
On the way to the state title game last season, the Rockets won three one-score playoff games, and in the second round used a hook and ladder to convert a fourth-and-10 on the way to the winning score.
This Friday, the Rockets will host No. 6-seeded Valders, which beat Laconia, 21-14. Having that No. 1 seed allows Cedar Grove-Belgium to host three straight playoff games.
Valders (6-3) finished 4-3 in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference, and defeated the Big East Conference’s second-place team, Howards Grove, 41-14, in the first round of the playoffs. The Vikings beat New Holstein, 35-26, on Sept. 29.
Michael Gesese-Eisenpeter leads Valders in rushing with 1,464 yards and 20 touchdowns. Quarterback Kyle Tuma has gone 84-for-167 passing for 1,370 yards and nine touchdowns with six interceptions. Brock Deering has 27 catches for 532 yards and a touchdown.
For the Rockets, Morgan has rushed for 907 yards and 12 touchdowns after taking over for injured Chris Jentges in the fifth week of the season. Von Heimburg is 85-for-139 passing for 1,514 yards and 23 touchdowns with four picks. Navis has 35 catches for 861 yards and 12 scores.
“I’m anticipating another good, hard-nosed football game.That’s what high school football is supposed to be like,” Schreurs said.
Friday’s winner faces the winner of a game between top-seeded Clinton and No. 2-seeded Lake Country Lutheran next week at a neutral site for a chance to play in the state title game. Last season, the Rockets beat Clinton to make it to Madison.

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