After delving the farthest into the playoffs they have been in over a decade, the Elk Mound football team’s 2017 season came to a screeching halt in the WIAA Division 5, Level 3 matchup against an undefeated Grantsburg Pirate team.
While the Mounders held strong — and even had a 7-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Pirates locked down the field to score the remaining five touchdowns of the night and took a 40-7 victory to advance to the next level of the 2017 playoffs. Grantsburg (12-0) will meet with Amherst (11-1) at Stanley-Boyd High School this Friday in the D5 state qualifying matchup. Amherst (No. 2 seed) defeated Stratford (No. 5) 52-15 to advance.
Grantsburg opened up scoring early in the first quarter with a 63-yard pass from quarterback Luke Anderson to John Chenal. The point after try was unsuccessful for a 6-0 lead over the Mounders.
The Mounders responded by marching downfield and using running back Brady Redwine to push into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown. The extra point by Gaelen Young was good, and Elk Mound took a one-point lead at 7-6 heading into the second quarter.
A solid defensive effort from both teams in the second quarter was finally broken with another big play from Grantsburg’s Chenal who took it 46-yards for paydirt and the Pirates led 12-6 as the first half came to a close.
The third and fourth quarter were dominated by Grantsburg, as Chenal scored the remaining four touchdowns of the game. He found the end zone twice on short gains in the third quarter and twice more in fourth on a pass and then a run to secure the victory.
Elk Mound head coach David Lew said he thought his team played hard until the final whistle. “Grantsburg was a very good football team, and they just played better than we did,” he said. “I’m very proud of our effort and the team for the great season they had.”
Elk Mound was held to 156 yards on the night, 127 rushing and 29 passing. Quarterback Dylan Black went 3-for-5 and threw two interceptions. He found Benson once for 26 yards and Will Muszynski twice for three yards.
The Pirates held Redwine to 111 yards on 27 carries for an average of just 4.1 yards per attempt. Christopher Lee carried once for 13 yards and Muszynski rushed three times for 11 yards.
Grantsburg tallied up 349 total yards, 228 rushing and 121 passing. Anderson threw 3-for-9 for 97 yards before being relieved by Chenal who threw one pass good for 24 yards. Chenal led the Pirate team in both rushing and receiving yards at 131 and 92, respectively. Leo Chenal followed with 72 rushing while Gabe Chenal caught one pass for 24 yards.
The Mounders ended their season with a 9-3 overall record and went undefeated (6-0) in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference. They came away in the 2017 season with both the conference and regional title.
Quarterback Black played in all 12 games, completing 46 of 95 passing attempts for a total of 517 yards and five touchdowns. Running back Redwine tallied up 2,535 rushing yards on the season, carrying 330 times for an average of 7.7 yards per carry and had 36 touchdowns.
Ben Lambele rushed for 376 yards, had 170 receiving yards and three total touchdowns on the season. Muszynski finished up with 276 rushing, 79 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
A total of 11 Mounder seniors played their final football game of their high school careers, including Black, Lambele, Redwine, Muszynski, Christopher Lee, Conner Mavis, Blake Rosenthal, Bryce Kasper, Tyler Brantner, Jaylen Emberson, Brandon Gilbertson and Aric Jensen.