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5129 articles
Tuesday August 9, 2022
ONE UP, ONE DOWN: Eskymos Roll In Wisconsin

ANTIGO, Wis.---The Escanaba High School football team waited an extra day to finally get on the field, but it was worth the wait as the Eskymos beat the Antigo Red Robins, 42-28, Saturday afternoon in Wisconsin.

It was a successful start to the Dave Wilson era as varsity head coach, and it came one day late after thunderstorms postponed the game Friday night.

"It's exciting," Wilson said. "I was nervous. I probably slept an hour last night. I slept an hour the previous night because I thought we were gonna play last (Friday) night. The kids played well. It's always hard to get the first one. Whether you've got a new coach or not, it's a challenge. But we executed pretty well. We have some things to shore up on, obviously."

"I feel great," Eskymo senior Trevor Brown wide reciver said. "We haven't played in a while, and it was nice to get out here. It was just a lot of teammwork to grind out the win. It's great. I love to see him (Wilson) smile and be happy."

Escanaba ran the ball well for most of the day, with senior Karson Krutina setting the tone with several impressive runs, breaking multiple tackles along the way. He had a touchdown and a pair of two-point conversions. He also kicked a pair of extra points.

Another senior, Connor Smale, also ran hard, adding a touchdown of his own from three yards out in the second quarter that gave the Eskymos a 13-0 lead.

"It was good," Smale said. "Things were just opening up for me. I was just running hard. He (Wilson) just told me to pound it in."

Quarterback Casey Bray was involved in the two biggest offensive plays of the game: a 56-yard touchdown pass to Trent Lawson that gave the Eskymos their first points of the season; and an electrifying 43-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that put the game away after the Red Robins closed a 35-6 deficit to 35-20 in a matter of a few minutes.

"The offense was doing really good today," Bray said. "I have to give it to my linemen. They pass-bloced really well. They ran-blocked. We did everything really well on offense."

And that long pass to Lawson that jump-started the Eskymo offense?

"See, I just read the safety over the middle, and I just threw it," Bray said. "I knew Trent could grab it. So I just threw it up to him and he got it."

"We watched their film and knew their corners liked to play 'man' a lot," Lawson said. "We knew they would just sag off, and I got one deep one time ahnd Trevor (Brown) had a nice one too. Our passing game was really good today."

Escanaba also made big plays on defense, with Ben Johnson intercepting a tipped pass and taking it to the house for a "pick six"in the second half. The Esky defense also recovered a fumble in the second quarter, and got quarterback sacks from Nate Howes and Terrell Rowley.

The final score was deceiving, as the Red Robins scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter against amixture of Eskymo first and second teammers.

Still, Wilson tipped his hat to the Antigo team, which had its game cancelled last week due to COVID positives within the program.

"Give Antigo credit," he said. "They played hard. They get in their system of what they want to do, and they're not fancy whatsoever, they just kind of come after you and play hard until the end. They made us earn it. I like their little on-side kick that they ran. I'm probably going to put that in," he added.

Red Robins senior quarterback Zach Zupon threw three touchdown passes: a 36-yarder to Zeek Fobes in the first half, a 27-yarder to Theoden Reetz, and a 60-yarder to Ben Beattie in the fourth quarter.

For the Eskymos, who played just two regular season games last year because of coronavirus, it was sweet to feel normal again.

"Such a great win for the team," Lawson said. "A great all-around effort. I'm happy."

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