No. 1 Remsen St. Mary’s beats West Bend-Mallard in Round of 16

Tuesday, November 1, 2022
(Photo Courtesy of Liz Fisch) Remsen St. Mary’s Brenden Fisch maneuvers his way through the West Bend-Mallard defense on Friday. Fisch ran for two touchdowns in the win.

REMSEN — Top-ranked Remsen St. Mary’s won their 8-player Round of 16 contest over West Bend-Mallard on Friday by a final score of 42-16.

“What really jumps out at you is how they fought through a little adversity in terms of just a team that could match them physically. That’s kind of what we needed though,” RSM Head Coach Tim Osterman said. “We were able to kind of raise our game. Not everything went perfect and that gives us something to work on. I was really happy with how our kids produced and especially how we played defensively through the first three quarters.”

West Bend-Mallard was able to limit the Hawks to their fewest points since the season opener against Harris-Lake Park, but their own offense was held in check until late in the game when they scored a pair of touchdowns.

Touchdown passes from Cael Ortmann to Ryan Willman gave the Hawks their first two scores. A 4-yard pass with a blocked extra-point kick made it 6-0. A 26-yard strike extended the lead and the Hawks made it 14-0 after a 2-point conversion pass to Jaxon Bunkers.

Osterman said Ortmann and Willman have built a solid connection this season.

(Photo Courtesy of Liz Fisch) Remsen St. Mary’s Ryan Willman hauls in a catch for the Hawks. He had a pair of touchdown receptions in the win.

“It seems like Cael and Ryan have really been clicking this year pretty much the whole way through and I think Ryan’s stats really show that,” Osterman said. “He’s been on there and he’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do and I think Cael trusts him, maybe a little too much sometimes, I think he just throws the ball up to him, but when you’re 6-foot-5 magic happens and you’re able to do what you need to do.”

Ortmann finished 4-of-6 passing for 59 yards. Willman’s two touchdown catches accounted for half of the completions and 30 yards. Bunkers added a 27-yard reception.

The running game provided the final four touchdowns. Ortmann had a pair of goal line carries for scores, one in the second quarter and the other in the third quarter, as he finished with 82 rushing yards on 23 carries. Ortmann completed a pass to Bunkers for a 2-point conversion after the first touchdown, but had an incomplete pass after the second as the score stood at 28-0.

Brenden Fisch provided the last two touchdowns. He broke free for a 31-yard scoring rush and then scored on a 5-yard play. Ortmann ran for the 2-point conversion on the first touchdown and the team failed on their next as a low snap on a kick led holder Ortmann to try to pass the ball, but it fell incomplete.

Fisch led the team with 100 rushing yards on 10 carries.

“I think Brenden, it was really the best he’s run some of our zone runs this year,” Osterman said. “That’s a newer concept for us that we’ve not really used before so it’s taken a bit to teach him and for him to learn what he’s looking for.”

After the Hawks had built up a 42-0 lead, the Wolverines came back for a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns. Quarterback Max Fehr dove for a 1-yard score on fourth down to avoid the shutout. Fehr was their leading rusher with 96 yards on 28 carries.

He later completed an 8-yard pass to Lucas Fehr for the other score of the game. Max Fehr ended 6-of-13 passing for 98 yards with a touchdown an interception.

The Wolverines completed the 2-point conversion after each of their touchdowns.

West Bend-Mallard finishes the season with a 7-3 record. Their other two losses came to two additional teams still alive in the playoffs, Newell-Fonda and GTRA.

Remsen St. Mary’s (10-0) will host Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire (9-1) in the state quarterfinal round on Thursday. GTRA beat Kingsley-Pierson in the first round 50-34 and then won their Round of 16 game 28-12 over West Harrison.

“They’ve got some good depth, they’re a well-coached football team,” Osterman said of GTRA. “From a defensive standpoint, they really put a stress on you. They’ve got a got a great quarterback who is a strong runner.”

With a win on Thursday, RSM would return to the UNI-Dome for the fifth time in six seasons.

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