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November 15, 2018

10/25/2018 9:24:00 AM
Hawks run past Mauston to Level II

The success of the River Valley passing game is well known.
Sophomore quarterback Will Bailey has a stable of talented receivers and as the season rolled on he has not been afraid to use them.
Knowing their Level 1 opponent Mauston would no doubt have their game plan centered around stopping the pass the Blackhawks pulled out weapon number two.
Shane Liegel.
While the senior running back has not been a secret this season, last Friday he was way more active running the football 24 times for 168 of River Valley's 220 ground yards and scoring twice. Add in a 42 yard pick six by Josh Maier and that was all the Blackhawks needed to put away Mauston and advance to Level 2 where Lakeside Lutheran awaits them Friday night.
When Bailey aired it out he completed six passes, four to his main target Maier who took them for 76 yards. Bailey was six for 20 passing for 85 yards.
Both teams went scoreless the first quarter then the Hawks figured out how to score first.
"We struggled the first quarter in the red zone, however, we did a better job in the second quarter," River Valley coach Tim Eastlick said. "We used a couple of different formations that seemed to give us an advantage in the run game."
And that is where Liegel was at his best.
"Shane ran the ball well behind solid blocking by our offensive and H-back," Eastlick added. "He had a big run out of an empty backfield. His runs between the tackles were just what we needed to get our offense going."
"We felt that it was a game that we could establish the running game," said Eastlick. "We know that the passing game is a big part of what we do offensively, so for us to be balanced is important."
Will Jewell had an active night on defense for the Hawks with four tackles, three for loss along with three sacks. Brock Mahoney had seven tackles and Lucas Esser had an interception, his eighth of the season.
Lakeside Lutheran will be the host Friday for the 7 p.m. Level II game.
Lakeside Lutheran is 9-1 and won the Capitol North with a 5-0 mark. They are the number one seed in the bracket and advanced with a 42-0 win over Beloit Turner.
They are led by quarterback Jack Morris, a 6-4, 205 lb. senior, who has thrown for 567 yards, Cameron Paske, a 6-6, 220 lb. senior who has 426 receiving yards and Casey Ponyicanyli a 6-0, 180 lb. senior who has run for 590 yards.
"LL is a very physical and athletic group," Eastlick said. "They run the ball out of a split backfield and run with power and speed. Defensively they seem to run a 4-3 look and really get after it out there. We will need to match their physical play and take care of the ball on offense to give us a chance to get a Level II win."

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