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Prep Football

Prep Football: Cornell hosts McDonell in Central Wisconsin West Conference 8-man clash

Bruce at McDonell football 9-17-22

McDonell's Brady Rubenzer reaches for a tackle against Bruce last Saturday at Dorais Field.

Chippewa County 8-man football teams clash on Friday evening when Cornell hosts McDonell in a Central Wisconsin West Conference battle.

The Macks (2-2, 1-0) are coming off a 42-0 shutout win over Bruce on Saturday while the Chiefs (0-5, 0-1) most recently fell to Prairie Farm 48-6 last Friday.

McDonell played well in all phases in its homecoming win against the Red Raiders. Freshman running back Dawson Moulton ran for 157 yards and three scores, receiver Dale Tetrault become the state’s career 8-man receptions leader after hauling in eight passes for 70 yards and a score and the defense limited Bruce to less than 150 yards of total offense.

“The kids are pretty pumped up. They enjoyed that win on Saturday,” McDonell coach Mark Maloney said. “(It was) perfect for their homecoming. But they played up to their potential and that’s what we expected and that’s what they expected out of themselves and I also think they expect out of themselves to carry that momentum through Friday night.”

McDonell’s win snapped a two-game losing streak as the Macks fell to still unbeaten Thorp and Owen-Withee. Both the Cardinals and Blackhawks have strong running games and the Macks know they will see another talented runner on Friday in Cornell’s Dylan Bowe. The senior back has run for 462 yards and four touchdowns. Bowe ran for at least 178 yards in each of Cornell’s first two games and Maloney added quarterback Daniel Person and sophomore Andrew Person are also skill players the Macks will need to account for.

Cornell was bit by the bad quarter bug a few times in the first half of the regular season. Tough first quarters against Athens and Alma Center Lincoln and a challenging second quarter in last Friday’s loss to Prairie Farm were frustrating stretches of what were otherwise competitive outings for the Chiefs.

Chiefs coach Craig Braaten said his team went back to basics after a 61-0 loss to still unbeaten Gilman on Sept. 9. Braaten said the team has focused less on scheme and more on fundamentals and has even incorporated team rugby games during its contact work on Wednesdays to help every player be more of a blocker and tackler.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Braaten said of the rugby training. “The kids like doing it.”

Braaten said his Chiefs team has been a little bit off timing wise so far this season with a roster growing in numbers, but still without a significant amount of experience on the field. The team has had success in its younger levels and that could bode well in future years while this season’s varsity squad continues to grow and improve with more playing time and as it gets healthier. A growing Chiefs team will have to contend with a potent Macks offense capable of scoring on the ground or through the air.

“Our offense has really been grooving,” Maloney said. “I’m just so happy with Dawson Moulton’s play. Dale (Tetrault) and David (Andersen) on the passing threat is unbelievable. It opens up our running game and with those two guys at receivers they have to respect those two guys. Those are unbelievable receivers we have there.”

McDonell, Prairie Farm and Lake Holcombe started Central Wisconsin West play with wins last week and will all look to improve to 2-0 while Cornell, Bruce and New Auburn eye their first league wins on Friday night.

Friday’s game marks the first time since 1964 the Macks and Chiefs have met on the football field. Cornell earned a 20-0 win on Sept. 11, 1964 an overall the teams have split their fourth all-time meetings.

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