Eagles improve, still can’t clinch win

Menominee Indian beset by injuries

Leader Photo by Jacy Zollar Menominee Indian High School senior Meshaen Waukau gains rushing yards during the Eagles’ 70-48 loss to Gibraltar on Thursday.

Leader Photo by Jacy Zollar Menominee Indian High School sophomore Dawson Grignon gets tackled during the Eagles’ 70-48 loss to Gibraltar Thursday.

Three touchdowns in the first 45 seconds of Menominee Indian’s home game against Gibraltar was a clear indication of what was to come in the rest of the game Thursday.

Gibraltar opened the game with a 77-yard touchdown on the kickoff return by freshman Luke Steebs. The Eagles answered with a 73-yard touchdown reception by senior Jarin Reiter on the next drive. The Vikings responded with an 82-yard kick return touchdown by freshman Alex Laughlin.

The two teams tallied 14 more touchdowns collectively as Gibraltar defeated Menominee Indian 70-48 in Keshena.

Despite the loss, the Eagles (0-3) found solace in their improvements from previous weeks when they struggled with turnovers and scoring points.

Menominee Indian head coach Chris Clache also took the team’s injuries into consideration when assessing its performance.

“We had a good week of practice,” Clache said. “We were obviously short-handed coming in and it just got worse during the game.”

The Eagles were without nine key players due to injury and lost four more during the game.

“We just need to get healthy,” Clache said. “Even still, we made up a lot more points than we have in the last couple of weeks, and we made some good plays on defense. We just didn’t make enough of them at the right times.”

The struggles on defense came mainly in the secondary. With Menominee Indian missing two starting defensive backs, the Vikings took advantage of the weakness.

“We knew that their secondary was susceptible to the long ball, so we focused on deep passing,” Gibraltar head coach Scott Biemeret said.

The Vikings (2-1) completed 22 of 28 passes for 413 yards, compared to just 37 rushing. Junior Trevor Reinhardt threw for 401 yards and six touchdowns.

Laughlin racked up 246 receiving yards on 12 catches, including a 50-yard touchdown pass from Reinhardt.

The Eagles, on the other hand, gained most of their yardage from rushing.

Senior Meshaen Waukau led the team with 390 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 50 carries. He also completed six of 11 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns.

Reiter covered 95 yards over two touchdown receptions and made the only interception of the night.

As the Eagles look forward to next week’s game at Bowler, Clache said the goal is getting his team healthy.

“Hopefully we should get everybody back next week and we should be back on track,” Clache said. “Other than that, we’re going to focus on fixing our problems tonight and getting people to their right positions.”

Gibraltar 70, Menominee Indian 48

Team 1 2 3 4 F

Gibraltar 18 16 16 20 70

Menominee Indian 12 8 6 22 48

First quarter

G: Luke Steebs 77-yard kick return (conversion missed) 6-0 (11:47).

MI: Jarin Reiter 73-yard reception from Alex Waukau (conversion missed) 6-6 (11:30).

G: Alex Laughlin 82-yard kick return (conversion missed) 12-6 (11:17).

MI: Meshaen Waukau 8-yard run (conversion missed) 12-12 (7:41).

G: Ethan Voeks 4-yard reception by Trevor Reinhardt (conversion missed) 18-12 (1:23).

Second quarter

MI: Darius Wayka 18-yard reception by Meshaen Waukau (conversion good) 18-20 (6:05).

G: Adam Reinhardt 45-yard reception by Trevor Reinhardt (conversion good) 26-20 (5:30).

G: Alex Laughlin 21-yard reception by Trevor Reinhardt (conversion good) 34-20 (1:25).

Third quarter

MI: Meshaen Waukau 8-yard run (conversion missed) 34-26 (7:20).

G: Ethan Voeks 15-yard reception by Trevor Reinhardt (conversion good) 42-26 (6:57).

G: Adam Reinhardt 21-yard reception by Trevor Reinhardt (conversion good) 50-26 (4:11).

Fourth quarter

MI: Meshaen Waukau 3-yard run (conversion good) 50-34 (11:53).

G: Adam Reinhardt 11-yard reception by Trevor Reinhardt (conversion good) 58-34 (9:58).

MI: Meshaen Waukau 33-yard run (conversion missed) 58-40 (8:40).

G: Trevor Reinhardt 3-yard run (conversion missed) 64-40 (7:41).

MI: Darius Wayka 5-yard run (conversion good) 64-48 (4:32).

G: Adam Reinhardt 81-yard kick return (conversion missed) 70-48 (4:18).