Marathon (OnFocus) – Call it a revenge game if you want, but for the Abbotsford Falcons, their Marawood Conference opener against the Marathon Red Raiders was an opportunity to showcase what they are capable of. The Falcons’ 42-12 runaway win was just that, a virtually mistake-free win that moved Abby to 3-0 on the season.
Check back as this article is being updated with interviews and updates
The mist-filled air at the start had the teams battling back and forth without a score in the first quarter. The Falcons took the kickoff and were stopped on downs after 7 plays, and Marathon then began maching down the field.
Marathon’s 11 play drive took them to the Abbotsford 20, and a trip to the end zone was in the plans. Abbotsford’s defense stiffened, however, and plays by seniors Ty Falteisek and Mason Wellman pushed Marathon back. Falteisek’s tackles for loss on consecutive plays had Marathon backed up to the 28, and then Wellman stopped Marathon’s drive with his tackle on fourth down.
The Falcons’ ground game then switched on, with an 11 play, 72 yard drive ending when Falteisek’s run around right end put Abby on top, 6-0 early in the second quarter. The senior running back used fakes and shook multiple tacklers, and as it turned out, it was a sign of what was to come later on.
Marathon was ready to respond, and their 10 play, 60 yard drive was punctuated with a
Matt Annis 1 yard run with 4:43 left in the second quarter.
Annis’ touchdown was set up by a sweet-looking 33 yard pass from senior quarterback Ben Robbins to senior receiver Jaden Koeller.
Falteisek snuffed out the Red Raiders’ attempt to take the lead, however, blocking the extra point.
Abbotsford fought right back, taking 7 plays to score. Key on the drive was the running by sophomore quarterback JV Castillo, whose spin move on 3rd and 9 took the Falcons down into scoring position.
Falteisek’s 11 yard run and two point conversion with 2 minutes left in the half had Abbotsford up 14-6.
Despite just two minutes left before intermission, fans had more action left to see.
The Red Raiders needed just 51 seconds for a six play, 65 yard drive to hit paydirt, as Annis stepped up with two big plays. His 18 yard run set up a two yard plunge with 1:11 left to go. Abbotsford’s Jacob Hirsch deflected the two point conversion pass in the end zone, preserving the Falcons’ lead at 14-12.
The short amount of time left before the half was just the right amount for the Falcons to score, however.
Falteisek’s big run down the Red Raiders’ 30 yard line with 34 seconds left had Abbotsford poised to score, and they did just that.
The running back took it to the one yard line with 19 seconds left, and following a Falcons’ timeout, fullback Evan Schunk took it in from a yard to boost Abby’s lead to 20-12 at the break.
To this point, the game had been a back and forth affair that led most in attendance to believe that would continue in the second half. The only group that had other thoughts, however, was the Abbotsford sideline. Coming out of halftime, the energy was high, the players were pumped, and there was an air of confidence that permeated throughout. What was about to take place over the next 24 minutes of action could best be described as total domination.
The Falcons came out ready to play, and their defense made statements that could be heard across the field.
Marathon took the second half kickoff and gained 9 yards in 3 plays. The tackles by the Falcons’ weren’t just tackles or defensive stops, they were solid statement-makers. Brandon Diedrich had the stop on first down, followed by stops by brother Adam on the next two plays.
Marathon went for it on 4th and 1, and the speedy Annis ran around left end looking to gain the edge. Annis was met by Falteisek, whose hit stopped Marathon short of the line to gain. Four plays, four solid hits by the Falcons. The Abbotsford defense was lathered up.
The Falcons needed just three plays to score, ending with Falteisek’s 16 yad run with 9:25 left. Castillo’s two point conversion to senior tight end Brandon Hawkey was good, and the score was 28-12.
The Falcons’ defense stopped Marathon in three plays, forcing a punt, and Abbotsford proceeded to march right back down the field, with a 9 play, 64 yard drive ending with a 9 yard touchdown by Castillo to push the led to 34-12.
Marathon’s attempt to execute a comeback relied on their passing game, and any hopes of pulling closer ended midway in the final quarter. Falteisek was about to add to his resume of plays on the evening, and the entire Falcons’ offense was there to set the stage.
With Marathon quarterback Ben Robbins scrambling in the pocket and forced to evade multiple attempts for a sack, his heave down the sideline was on target for a completion. Falteisek anticipated the throw, however, and leaped for a one-handed interception as he made sure to get his feet inbounds. The Falcons’ sideline was pumped up, and Falteisek had one more play left to punctuate the win.
As they had done all game, and with a focused effort in the second half, Abbotsford’s offensive line went back on the field as a unit ready to make one final drive special. They did just that, with a bulldozing charge that allowed Falteisek to burst through would-be tacklers and race into the end zone.
Falteisek ended with 202 yards on 24 carries and 4 touchdowns, along with three two-point conversions. Added to his stat line: 1 interception, 11 tackes, including three for loss, and a reception for 1 yard. The effort has already resulted in multiple nominations for the OnFocus Athlete of the Week.
The Falcons’ offensive line paved the way for Abbotsford to run for 339 yards on 48 carries.
Following the game, seniors Mason Wellman and Garrett Short joined Falteisek in sharing their thoughts on the game.
- The Falcons travel to Rib Lake/Prentice for a Thursday, September 9 game, as a replacement for a cancelled game on the Falcons’ schedule
- A rainy night was a welcome change from Abbotsford’s mosquito-fest game last week at Melrose-Mindoro, which was played Friday night and Saturday morning
Know some top athletic performances? Seeing some great teams in action?
We can use your help, and it’s simple. Witness some great performances? Hear about top athletes and top teams in our area?
Nominate an athlete or team: HERE
Pancakes or Waffles! We feature top area athletes with our world-renowned feature. Send us your nominations for who you’d like us to interview HERE
Baked or Fried! We also feature difference makers throughout central Wisconsin: coaches, booster club leaders, adminstration, volunteers, you name it. Send us your nominations for who you’d like us to interview HERE
College Athlete Roundup! We want to recognize student-athletes from the area who are competing at the college level. Send us information on college athletes from the area with our simple form HERE
Where are they Now? We feature athletes and difference makers from the past, standouts in sports who excelled over the years and have moved on. Know of a former athlete, coach or difference maker who we should feature? Know of a former standout competitor whose journey beyond central Wisconsin sports is one we should share? Send us information on athletes and difference makers of the past with our simple form HERE
We welcome your stories! Contact us at [email protected]!