Bowler/Gresham still searching for win

Menominee Indian capitalizes on Cats’ mistakes
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Leader Photo by Jacy Zollar Bowler/Gresham freshman Lane Schultz gets stopped by Menominee Indian senior Warren Wilber during Bowler/Gresham’s 44-6 loss on Friday.

Leader Photo by Jacy Zollar Bowler/Gresham junior Landan Kroening drops back to pass during Friday’s 44-6 loss to Menominee Indian.

In a face-off to clinch the first win of the season, Menominee Indian ran its way to victory Friday.

The Eagles capitalized on Bowler/Gresham’s mistakes to defeat the Cats, 44-6, in Bowler.

Penalties plagued both teams in the MONLPC match, but Menominee Indian turned the Cats’ fouls into points.

Two Bowler/Gresham 15-yard face mask penalties led to Menominee Indian touchdowns, and a Cats’ fumble led to another. The Eagles topped off their scoring after an unsportsmanlike conduct call moved them inside Bowler/Gresham’s 6-yard line.

“(Penalties) are not usually us,” Bowler/Gresham head coach Eric Peebles said. “I think we played a little more out of our shell on that tonight, because usually we’re a lot better on that. We had a lot of mistakes tonight. I think the short week, first week of school, all that factored into their play.”

The Eagles gained momentum from their first snap of the game when Meshaen Waukau broke free for a 48-yard touchdown run. Waukau repeated his dance to the end zone two more times in the game, tallying half of the team’s points.

“It feels good to get that first win,” Waukau said.

Menominee Indian (1-3, 1-3) utilized Waukau to run down the field on nearly every drive. Waukau collected 256 yards on 14 carries. Norman Kakwitch followed with 91 rushing yards and one touchdown on 11 carries.

“I know what I’m capable of on offense,” Waukau said, “so I’m really trying to pop out this year and get some yards.”

The Eagles’ success was also due to the return of half of their starters from injuries.

“Our guys played really strong tonight,” Menominee Indian head coach Chris Clache said. “We came into this game healthier, and it definitely showed on the field.”

Bowler/Gresham’s only touchdown came late in the fourth quarter with Landan Kroening’s 12-yard pass to a wide open Nathan Montez.

“We need to get out of coming out slow in the first half,” Peeble said. “We did better in the second, but we’ve done that all year, so we need to start coming out with more fire so it can carry through.”

The Cats (0-4, 0-3) have only 11 players.

“We’re hanging in there with teams of 20 to 30 guys, while we have 11,” Peebles said. “We have guys playing every snap on offense and defense. So I just tell them, ‘This is just the way we have to play, so let’s figure out as a team how we’re going to win.’”

As for how it feels to finally pull out a win, Clache said: “I think it’s a relief for our guys to get this first win under their belt. I know it is for me. We’ve had a couple close games this year that we maybe should have won and just didn’t pull it off, so I think this win will boost their confidence a lot.”

Menominee Indian 44, Gresham/Bowler 6

Team 1 2 3 4 F

Menominee Indian 16 14 14 0 44

Bowler/Gresham 0 0 0 6 6

First quarter

MI: Meshaen Waukau 48-yard run (conversion good) 8-0 (9:57).

MI: Waukau 11-yard run (conversion good) 16-0 (4:41).

Second quarter

MI: Norman Kakwitch 9-yard run (conversion missed) 22-0 (9:13).

MI: Waukau 56-yard run (conversion good) 30-0 (6:19).

Third quarter

MI: Jarin Reiter 41-yard reception from Kakwitch (conversion missed) 36-0 (9:36).

MI: Darius Wayka 6-yard run (conversion good) 44-0 (2:57).

Fourth quarter

BG: Nathan Montez 6-yard reception from Landon Kroening (conversion missed) 44-6 (7:25).