RICE LAKE — The Chi-Hi football team climbed out of an early hole to earn its first victory of the season on Friday, coming from behind to defeat Rice Lake 16-12 in a Big Rivers Conference contest.
Rice Lake (0-4, 0-2) scored the first two touchdowns of the game to take a 12-0 lead in the second quarter, but the Cardinals would answer with the final 16 points of the game.
"I was really proud of the kids being 12 points down and they hadn't won a game yet, they could've folded the tent early but they didn't," Chi-Hi coach Chuck Raykovich said of the comeback. "It's how they finished against Menomonie (last week). They kept their heads up and kept battling so it was a good win for us."
Ben Steinmetz broke off a 9-yard touchdown run to get the Cardinals on the board in the second quarter before Hayden Goodman found Ben Carani on a 14-yard touchdown to help the Cardinals take a 14-12 lead into the locker room.
Chi-Hi (1-3, 1-1) added two points in the fourth quarter on a safety by Tanner Whelan with one minute and seven seconds to go, a big play in a strong finish to the game where the Cardinals made multiple stops on fourth down to preserve the win.
Steinmetz ran for 112 yards on 21 carries while Tyler Bohland added 80 yards on 15 attempts.
Rice Lake opened the scoring in the first quarter on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Tyson Tomesh to Jayden Perkins before adding a score in the second with a 3-yard touchdown run from Zack Fisher.
Tomesh threw for 77 yards and a touchdown and ran for 65 yards for the Warriors.
The Cardinals return home next Friday to host Eau Claire Memorial for the team's annual Veterans Appreciation Night.
"I'm glad they got to experience the other side of the coin and not have a grumpy weekend," Raykovich said of the team's first win. "They can have a good weekend. They can have a smile on their face."
Bloomer 52, Hayward 26
At Bloomer, the Blackhawks scored five touchdowns in the second quarter to stay unbeaten with a Heart O'North Conference win over the Hurricanes.
Leif Iverson eclipsed the 100-yard mark both as a runner and receiver in the win, rushing for 113 yards on 10 carries while hauling in four passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
Ethan Rothbauer ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns with his 59-yard scoring scamper helping Bloomer (4-0, 4-0) take a 6-0 lead after the first quarter.
Hayward tied the game on a 1-yard touchdown run from Nate Sorensen but Bloomer would score the final 32 points of the second quarter to take a 38-6 lead into the locker room.
Iverson caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Isaiah LaGesse (37 and 67 yards), Carter Rubenzer and Rothbauer added scoring runs of nine and 15 yards, respectively and Rothbauer also caught a 50-yard touchdown from LaGesse.
Rubenzer returned a kickoff 76 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter and Colton Buchli scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth for Bloomer. LaGesse was 7 of 16 for 195 yards and three touchdowns.
Sorensen ran for 169 yards on 35 carries with three touchdowns for the Hurricanes (2-2, 2-2).
Bloomer plays at Ladysmith next Friday.
Cadott 14, Neillsville/Granton 0
At Neillsville, a pair of touchdowns on the ground and strong defense lifted the Hornets over Neillsville/Granton (2-2, 1-2) to a Cloverbelt Conference win.
Brady Spaeth ran for 147 yards and touchdown runs in the second and fourth quarter while the Hornets defense pitched the program's first shutout since 2016.
Cadott (2-2, 2-2) plays at Stanley-Boyd next Friday.
Spencer/Columbus 47, Stanley-Boyd 14
At Stanley, the Orioles had no answer for the running back duo of Austin Bacon and Eden Jacobson in a Cloverbelt Conference defeat.
Bacon ran for 128 yards on 32 carries and three touchdowns while Jacobson had 127 rushing yards and two scores on 33 carries as Spencer/Columbus outscored the Orioles 25-7 in the second half to pull away.
Two rushing scores for Bacon and one for Jacobson staked the Rockets (2-2, 2-1) to a 22-0 lead with just under eight minutes left in the first half before Stanley-Boyd found the end zone when Cooper Nichols returned a kickoff 86 yards for a score as the Orioles (2-2, 1-2) trailed 22-7 at the break.
Carsen Hause added a 2-yard touchdown run in the third quarter but the Rockets outgained the Orioles 361-108 for the game to close out the win.
Abbotsford 32, Gilman 13
At Gilman, the Falcons pulled away to a Cloverwood win over the Pirates.
Kirklan Thompson scored on a 7-yard touchdown run and Kade Kroeplin hauled in a 51-yard scoring pass from Gabe Gunderson as the Pirates (2-2, 0-2) hung with the Falcons before Abbotsford scored the final 19 points of the contest.
Kroeplin had 49 yards on the ground to go with his touchdown catch. Blake Wisocky caught five passes for 47 yards for the Pirates.
Dalton Feddick and Ty Falteisek ran for 124 and 106 yards, respectively, with Feddick running for three scores and throwing for another for Abbotsford (4-0, 2-0).
Gilman plays at Owen-Withee next Friday.
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