Comeback attempt falls short for Auburndale football in home loss to Rib Lake/Prentice

By Steve Pilz

AUBURNDALE – The Auburndale Apaches tried to come roaring back in the second half of their Senior Night game against visiting Rib Lake/Prentice but couldn’t overcome a two-touchdown deficit and fell to the visiting Hawks 28-20 on Friday night at Auburndale High School.

The game was the Marawood Conference opener for both teams.

The senior-laden Hawks – they carry 15 on their roster – won the statistical war in the first half by grinding out 216 rushing yards on 25 carries.

Rib Lake/Prentice (2-1 overall) drew first blood in the opening quarter when senior quarterback Trace Brayton crashed in from 1-yard out. His teammate Kai Vedder repeated that feat with 5:45 left in the half and the Hawks took a 14-0 lead into intermission.

Flip the script to the second half and it was the Apaches gobbling up turf, getting 229 yards on the ground in 31 carries. The bulk of that came from speedy Trayton Weister, who had third-quarter scoring bursts from 29 and 8 yards out. Weister finished with 203 yards on 26 carries.

Brayton scored for the Hawks in between Weister’s TDs and the Hawks led 22-14 going into the final 12 minutes.

RL/P almost put it away when Vedder ripped off 35 yards to the Apaches 7, but there the ball lay until Cody Trowbridge recovered it.

Auburndale needed a score and it got one almost 8 minutes later when Weister capped a 16-play drive with his third TD of the game from 4 yards out. A penalty on the two-point conversion pushed the ball back to the 13 and the subsequent pass play was broken up at the back of the end zone, leaving Rib Lake/Prentice clinging to a 22-20 lead.

The Hawks took over with 4:08 left, starting at the 25. The Apaches dropped Hawk ball carriers for losses of three on first down and seven more on second down. On third-and-20, Brayton rolled left and heaved a bomb about as far as he could to Ashton Keiser, who somehow got behind the Auburndale defense and 85 yards later he was in the end zone but when the visitor’s kick went wide left the Apaches still had life, trailing 28-20.

The captains for Rib Lake/Prentice and Auburndale greet each other prior to the coin flip before the start of Friday’s high school football game at Auburndale High School. Rib Lake/Prentice held on to a 28-20 victory. (Photo by Steve Pilz/For MarshfieldAreaSports.com)

Four plays into Auburndale’s drive, Carter Wilcott’s pass was picked off by John Henry Hopkins, who quickly hit the grass and RL/P was able too run out the clock.

Auburndale played without starting quarterback Cooper Weinfurter.

“We had too many breakdowns,” said Auburndale head coach Jay Anderson. “Too many penalties that kept their drives alive. We had got some drives going, and we had guys going the wrong way. We did many negative things to keep their drives going and ending ours. But we’re making fewer mistakes each week.

“That was a tough spot for (reserve QB) Carter Wilcott. Our second half was way better and we gave ourselves a chance after a slow first half.”

Hawks 28, Apaches 20
Rib Lake/Prentice 8 6 8 6 – 28
Auburndale 0 0 14 6 – 20
First Quarter

RL/P – Trace Brayton 1 run (Tyler Balgord run), 8:36.
Second Quarter
RL/P – Kai Vedder 1 run (pass failed) 5:45.
Third Quarter
A – Trayton Weister 29 run (Schuyler Gilhausen kick), 5:17.
RL/P – Brayton 2 run (Vedder run), 3:19.
A – Weister 8 run (Gilhausen kick) 0:09.
Fourth Quarter
A – Weister 4 run (pass failed), 4:13.
RL/P – Ashton Keiser 85 pass from Brayton (kick failed), 3:06.
Team Statistics
First downs:
RL/P 13; A- 20
Rushing (att.-yards): RL/P 42-295; A- 55-340.
Passing (comp.-att.-yards-int.): RL/P 2-8-102-0; A- 0-5-0-2.
Penalties (no.- yards): RL/P 4-35; A 7-57.
Fumbles (total-lost): RL/P 2-1; A 1-0.
Individual Statistics
Rushing:
RL/P, Vedder 16-175, Chase Swan 8-86, Brayton 14-34. A, Weister 26-203, Aaron Marth 12-89, Dylan Paun 14-52.
Passing: RL/P, Brayton 2-8-102-0. A, Carter Wilcott 0-5-0-2.
Receiving: RL/P, Keiser 1-85, Swan 1-17. A, none.
Fumble recoveries (defense): A, Cody Trowbridge.
Interceptions (defense): RL/P, Brayton, John Henry Hopkins.
Records: RL/P 2-1, 1-0 Marawood Conference; Auburndale 0-3, 0-1 Marawood Conference.

Steve Pilz is a contributor to MarshfieldAreaSports.com.

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