Xtra Points: A record-setting night in Oconomowoc
One of my weekly responsibilities here at The Gazette is maintaining our prep football roundups on Friday nights. This involves plenty of browser refreshing and Twitter-trawling to get readers local football scores as soon as possible.
In the course of my work Friday night, it was difficult to ignore the mounting news coming out of Oconomowoc as OHS hosted Wisconsin Lutheran.
At one point, the score of that game was 77-66, and I bemoaned the fact that I would probably never get to witness such a shootout in person. Little did I know 23 more points would be scored between the two teams …
There was nothing out of the ordinary about the game after one quarter, or even after the first half.
Canton Larson connected with Nick Gomez for a 5-yard touchdown for Oconomowoc, and Terrance Ward answered for Wisconsin Lutheran with a 22-yard touchdown run followed by a two-point conversion. The score was 8-7 after the first quarter.
Then the game opened up, to say the least.
The teams combined for eight touchdowns in the second quarter and went into the break with Wisconsin Lutheran holding a slim 36-35 lead over the hosts. Sure, it's a lot of points at halftime, but it still wasn't patently outrageous at that point.
The offensive outburst became historic when the touchdowns kept coming in the second half.
After the dust finally settled and the footballs stopped flying, Oconomowoc emerged the winner, 84-82.
As you might expect, it set a state scoring record, and both teams had several eye-popping individual performers. For instance:
• Larson passed for 295 yards on just 10 completions for Oconomowoc. Four of them were touchdowns. He also ran the ball 14 times for 198 yards and four more scores.
• Wisconsin Lutheran's Ward rushed for 265 yards and averaged 11.5 yards per carry. He also cashed in three two-point conversion attempts.
• While Ward did plenty of heavy lifting, Logan McShane put in the most rushing touchdowns for Lutheran with four. His rushing total was 111 yards on 14 carries.
• Casey Bednarski for Oconomowoc and Anthony Carver for Lutheran both topped 100 yards receiving, and each had a touchdown.
• Football is a game of three phases, and it proved true in this game. On top of their 539 yards of offense, Oconomowoc also had 208 yards on kickoff returns, including one for a touchdown by Jarek Berg.
• Bednarski is also Oconomowoc's kicker. He tried and converted 12 extra points in the game. For comparison, only three NFL teams have attempted 12 extra points so far this season: Denver, Chicago and Green Bay.
• Of the game's 23 touchdowns, 11 were of 30 yards or more, including Berg's kickoff return and an interception returned for a score.
• Wisconsin Lutheran went for two-point conversions after all of their 11 touchdowns and converted eight of them. Getting one more would've been nice.
• If you have some extra time on your hands, the full box score and stats can be found here. It's highly recommended for football junkies.
By the end of the night, everybody was tweeting about the 84-82 game, even as 5-0 Sun Prairie (last year's state runners-up in Division 1) and 5-0 Madison Memorial (whose quarterback passed for 655 yards, by the way) played a tight game to decide who would take sole possession of first place in the Big Eight Conference.
The attention was well deserved, and I doubt there will be another state football game like it in the near future to light up the state's football Twittersphere the way it did.