Janesville29°

Ding, ding, ding: 122-point opener turns heads

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Eric Schmoldt
August 28, 2013

One season-opening high school football game last week had statisticians, fans and media folks turning their heads and reaching for their calculators.

Delavan-Darien and East Troy locked horns in one of the highest-scoring games in state history.

The Comets overcame a two-score deficit in the second quarter to beat the Trojans 70-52. On one hand, the game has built some community excitement. On the other, the teams and their coaches know such a showdown leaves plenty of room for improvement.

"I was just thinking we needed to keep scoring," East Troy coach Eric Sulik said.

"I don't think you ever expect a game like the one we had on Friday, whether it's the first week or any week," Comets coach Steve Tenhagen said. "It was definitely interesting. It was the first three-hour high school football game I've ever been a part of."

Try some of these other numbers on for size:

-- With 122 total points in 48 minutes of game time, the teams scored more than 2.5 points per minute.

-- The Comets scored 70 points in their first game after scoring 130 in a 1-7 season a year ago.

-- Delavan-Darien scored on eight straight possessions.

-- The teams' quarterbacks combined to have a hand in 17 touchdowns.

The Comets' Jesse Collins ran for 240 yards and seven touchdowns and threw for two others.

"He played as well as any offensive player we've ever had," Tenhagen said of the junior who started four games last year. "He's a competitor; he had a lot of those yards after first contact."

East Troy's Brandon Matz completed 34 of 43 passes for 524 yards and seven touchdowns and also ran for a score.

"Brandon's not new to this," Sulik said. "He started as early as his freshman year. That part of our game was doing well."

Delavan-Darien played mostly man coverage on East Troy's receivers, so the Trojans took to the air.

"Offensively, it became almost comical, to be quite honest," Sulik added, crediting his young offensive line with protecting his quarterback. "We were in rhythm and our kids were catching the ball well. I think the most impressive thing was the completion percentage."

For both teams, however, there was little time to dwell on the season-opening shootout.

East Troy hosts Elkhorn, which opened its season with a 38-0 victory over Cudahy.

"The mentality has been that we have to get better on defense," Sulik said. "We were happy to put up 52 points, but it's hard to be happy when you let 70 go up. Statistics are nice, but the biggest statistic is winning the ballgame."

The Comets turn right around and play perennial Division 4 title contender Big Foot on the road on Friday night.

"A game like that ... has everybody in our community going," Tenhagen said. "But there were plenty of things we need to improve on, and that's been our approach. We play Big Foot this week, and we know what they bring defensively.

"We don't need to be playing those types of games every week, that's for sure."



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