Strong finish helps Wabasso Rabbits escape Tracy-Milroy-Balaton

Staff Writer
Redwood Falls Gazette
Redwood Falls Gazette

Rallying from an early fourth quarter deficit the Wabasso Rabbits held off Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 38-20 Nov. 6 at home.

It was a tight game for more than three quarters before the Rabbits pulled away late with three unanswered touchdowns in the final 8:59 of regulation to win going away.

The Panthers (3-2) got on the board first on a 39-yard run from Ayden Horner to go up 7-0 after one quarter of play.

The Rabbits answered back with two straight scores in the second quarter, one on a 38-yard strike from Carter Benz to Will Carlson and the other on a two-yard run from Benz that made it 13-7 at the half.

In the third quarter the Panthers reclaimed the lead, as Noah Swenhaugen hit Andrew LaVoy for a 46-yard touchdown to make it 14-13.

Benz and Carlson would connect on their second long touchdown strike of the night, this time from 45-yards to give the Rabbits a 19-14 lead (the two-point conversion attempt failed).

Horner then answered back for the Panthers with a 53-yard touchdown run to make it 20-19 with 9:46 to play.

With the game on the line, the Rabbits would come up big in the final nine minutes as a seven yard touchdown run from Benz would put them up for good 25-20.

Nick Marotzke then got in on the action with a 12-yard touchdown run with 5:18 to play, and he would tack on another 14-yard score in the final two minutes to cap off the scoring.

Turnovers were a huge factor in the game, as the Panthers turned it over five times (all on fumbles), while the Rabbits played a clean game with no turnovers.

The Panthers out gained the Rabbits 321 (236 rushing) to 308 (170 passing) and ran seven more plays (56-49).

Benz only completed six passes on the night (6-of-17), but those six passes would go for 170 yards and two scores. He would also add 10 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown.

Carlson would finish with four catches for 122 yards and two scores.

Matt Evink had one catch for 30 yards and Colby Wall had one catch for 18 yards.

Marotzke led the ground attack with 16 carries for 82 yards and two scores, and Hunter Taylor had six carries for five yards.

Horner had 24 carries for 188 yards and two scores to lead the Panthers.

Defensively, the Rabbits were led by Marotzke with 11 tackles (four solo) and a tackle-for-loss.

Benz had nine tackles (four solo), Sam Fenger added nine tackles (three solo) and three tackles-for-loss, Gabe Martin had eight tackles (one solo), Sam Rudenick added seven tackles (two solo) and Taylor had five tackles (two solo), two sacks and a tackle-for-loss.

Brady Jenniges and Wyatt Soupir both chipped in with five tackles.