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Winfield-Mt. Union football team falls in season opener

Aug 21, 2017

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


COLUMBUS — The Winfield-Mt. Union football team took on Columbus Community in their season opener on Friday night. The Wolves had a couple of long scores, including a kick-return touchdown, but it wasn’t enough to out-dual the speedy Wildcats and W-MU fell 27-13.

The Wolves opened the scoring in the second quarter when sophomore quarterback Christian Gerot found Daunte Oepping for a 32-yard touchdown strike. Kaleb Hagge knocked in the extra point and it was 7-0.

Columbus quarterback Abel Mena, who haunted the Wolves all night, had his first touchdown run later in the period. Mena punched it in from the two-yard line and the extra point was good, tying the game at 7-7 before halftime.

Mena had his first and only touchdown pass in the third quarter. The senior found Tommy Pretz for a 17-yard touchdown pass. The kick was good and the Wildcats had their first lead at 14-7.

Mena seamingly put the game away in the fourth quarter with an 87-yard scramble which gave Columbus the first double-digit lead of the game. The extra point made it 21-7, a temporary comfortable lead for the Wildcats.

On the ensuing kick-off, W-MU sophomore Juanito Piper took the return all the way back upfield for a 79-yard touchdown. The extra point failed, but the game was back to one posession, at 21-13.

Mena put the final nail in the coffin with another huge run, however. He took the snap from the seven-yard line and scrambled upfield for a 93-yard touchdown run, which ended the scoring at 27-13. Mena finished with 237 yards and three scores on the ground, and 42 yards and a touchdown through the air.

Gerot finished the game 6-17 for 86 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Oepping’s 32-yard touchdown catch led the receiving core. Hagge had two catches for 26 yards. Jacob Ford caught two passes for 17 yards, and John Day had one catch for 11 yards.

Piper added to his big day with 19 rushes for 41 yards to lead the ground game. Day had 15 yards rushing and Graham Hagge ran for 12 yards.

Defensively, the Wolves were led by Gerot, who had 6.5 tackles on the day including two tackles for a loss. Piper finished the game with five tackles. Jared Arnold and Jayce Malone had four apiece and Ford finished with 3.5. Andrew Brady, a freshman, recovered one fumble in his first high school game.

The Wolves fell to 0-1 overall and will have another chance next week to pick up a non-district win before league play starts. They will face off against Lisbon in their home opener, Friday Aug. 25, at 7 p.m.

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