Football Cards rout Regents

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Davis Roquet and Middleton's football team routed Madison West, 36-0, on Sept. 1./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

At the bottom of his daily practice plans, Middleton football coach Tim Simon will often include an inspirational quote.

Last week, two of Simon’s quotes dealt with handling adversity. A third focused on competing.

Simon’s Cardinals were clearly listening.

Middleton held visiting Madison West to just 146 total yards, made significant strides on offense and routed the Regents, 36-0.

Middleton, which had lost at Sun Prairie, 34-6, just six days earlier, improved to 2-1. West, which won its first two games by a combined scored of 41-7, fell to 2-1.

“We felt like the key to showing leadership and being a great team is how we deal with adversity,” Middleton senior cornerback Nolan Dahlk said. “Obviously that Sun Prairie game, we dealt with a lot of that. It was just all about bouncing back, coming out strong and I feel like we did that really well.”

Middleton senior quarterback Davis Roquet agreed.

“I don’t know if we were worried, but we all knew we had to earn it,” Roquet said. “We had a good week of practice and we all thought we could bring it (Friday) and that’s what happened.”

It sure did.

Middleton’s defense has been a model of consistency early in the year. And the Cardinals had their best all-around effort of the year against West.

The Regents managed just two first downs in the first half and only eight for the game. Middleton kept explosive quarterback Keishawn Shanklin and dangerous running back Jaden Stephens in check, thanks to sensational play from all three levels of its defense.

“West is a pretty good team,” Simon said. “They have dangerous athletes, like they do every year. But we did a good job on them.”

Good might be an understatement.

“I feel like we’ve been doing great as a defense,” Dahlk said. “The D-line has been doing amazing. They’re doing a great job. Linebackers are stopping the run really well and I feel the DBs — we’re a new group — but I feel like we’re really coming together well.”

Middleton’s offense might be starting to come together, as well.

The Cardinals, who lost their top offensive lineman and wide receiver to preseason injuries, have been a work in progress early this season. But Middleton began showing signs of life against West.

Senior running back Dion Huff ran for 85 yards on 17 carries (5.0) and scored a pair of touchdowns. Roquet was patient and poised and completed 12-of-20 passes and threw a touchdown to linebacker-turned-tight end Shane Bick.

And the offensive line, which has five new starters from a year ago, continued to make strides.

“I thought we made some steps tonight,” Simon said of his offense. “We’ve still got a ways to go, but we got better.”

Middleton got better throughout this game.

One reason for that is the Regents have a roster of just 35 players, many of which have to play both ways. And as the game wore on and the score became more lopsided, it was clear West’s gas tank was on empty.

Middleton also broke out a no-huddle offense and used it during three different series to help wear the Regents down.

“I thought it was effective,” Simon said of the no-huddle.

Middleton’s lead was just 3-0 midway through the second quarter when Dahlk intercepted Shanklin at the Regents’ 47-yard line.

Roquet quickly hit junior wideout Bryce Carey for 14 yards and Huff ripped off runs of 12 and 10 yards. Huff then finished the six-play, 47-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run off right guard that gave Middleton a 10-0 halftime lead.

“When the defense gives us good field position like that, it just makes our lives so much easier,” Roquet said.

Things got even easier for the Cardinals in the second half.

Senior running back James Pabst scored from 13 yards out with 4:09 left in the third quarter to make it 16-0.

Then, with Middleton’s defense in domination-mode, the offense cranked things up, too.

First, Huff had a 3-yard touchdown run. Next, Roquet hit Bick with a 4-yard TD pass. And finally, junior running back Tyler Kalscheur capped the fun with a 2-yard TD run.

“We had some longer drives and I thought we had more confidence as the game went on,” Roquet said. “And going forward, we’re feeling a lot better. We know it’s there, but we just need to execute. Overall, though, we feel good.”

Simon was certainly feeling better himself.

“The message this week was to compete,” Simon said. “Compete for the spots. If you’re No. 3, compete for the No. 2 spot. If you’re No. 2, compete for No. 1. And I thought we did a really good job competing.

“Players always learn more from adversity than you do from winning. It was a great way to bounce back.”

 

Aug. 31

Middleton 36, Madison West 0

Madison West …………… 0  0  0  0 — 0

Middleton ……………….. 3  7  6  20 — 36

MID — FG Culp 23

MID — Huff 4 run (Culp kick)

MID — Pabst 12 run (kick failed)

MID — Huff 3 run (pass failed)

MID — Bick 4 pass from Roquet (Pertzborn kick)

MID — Kalscheur 2 run (Pertzborn kick)

TEAM STATISTICS

First downs — MW 8, MID 20. Rushing (Att.-Yds.) — MW 27-74, MID 40-165. Passing yards — MW 72, MID 107. Passes (Comp.-Att.-Int.) — MW 5-11-2, MID 12-21-0. Fumbles-lost — MW 1-1, MID 1-0. Penalties-yards — MW 4-35, MID 4-34.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

Rushing: MW, Warfield 4-38. MID, Huff 17-85.

Passing: MW, Shanklin 5-11-2-72. MID, Roquet 12-20-0-107.

Receiving: MW, Thompson 2-46. MID, Carey 2-22.

 

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