Bonduel football team tops Clintonville in turnover-filled contest

Teams combine for eight turnovers
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

The Bonduel and Clintonville high school football teams met for the first time as Packerland Conference opponents on Friday in Clintonville, with the visiting Bears emerging with a 31-14 win in a contest that featured eight combined turnovers.

Bonduel pulled out to an early 18-0 advantage before running into some turnover issues, but the Bears had five takeaways of their own to win comfortably.

“I thought our team played really well tonight,” said Bonduel coach James Westrich. “The defense did a nice job communicating calls and playing fast. The d-line did a great job creating a push up front all night and the secondary and LB attacked the ball when it was in the air.

“The offense played a lot better this week as well. Clintonville stacked eight in the box all night. The o-line executed their blocking assignments and the backs ran hard. Our QBs did a good job standing in the pocket and making the throw under pressure and the receivers ran good routes and had some great catches.”

Bonduel’s offense started fast, scoring touchdowns on its first three possessions.

After running the ball on its first 10 plays, Clintonville forced Bonduel into a third-and-13 at the host’s 25-yard line. After an incomplete pass brought up fourth down, senior Cole Anderson completed a touchdown pass to senior Carson Robaidek.

Senior Max Marohl capped the Bears second drive with a 7-yard touchdown run and Anderson hauled in a 10-yard touchdown reception from freshman Noah Weier on the third drive.

A wild sequence followed the touchdown, as Bonduel was flagged for kicking the ball out of bounds two times, with Clintonville accepting to move the visitors back and making them rekick. On the third kickoff attempt, the ball nearly went out of bounds again, but stayed in bounds long enough for Bonduel to fall on it and retain possession of the ball.

Bonduel took over at the Clintonville 46-yard line looking to add to its 18-0 lead, but Clintonville’s defense had other plans.

On a third-and-six play with about 50 seconds to go in the half, senior Brock Smejkal intercepted a deep pass near the goal line.

Starting inside its own 3 and then being pushed back to its 1-yard line, Clintonville was forced to pass to avoid a safety, and Robaidek picked off a deep pass. It didn’t lead to any more points, as the first half clock soon ran out.

The turnover barrage continued in the third quarter, as the first four possessions ended in takeaways.

On the first play of the half, Bonduel senior Max Sokolski recovered a fumble after a sack.

Bonduel got to the Clintonville 13-yard line before Smejkal undercut a pass, intercepted it and returned it 100 yards to get Clintonville on the scoreboard and right back in the contest.

“I made a good read on the ball and was able to get a good jump the other way,” said Smejkal of the big play. “My convoy of blockers did the rest of the work and I ran as hard as I could. When I’m in a situation like that there’s no looking back, I just run as fast as I can and hope nobody catches me.”

Bonduel’s next offensive possession got all the way to the Clintonville 1 before a fumble gave the Truckers the ball back.

After picking up a pair of first downs, Robaidek intercepted his second pass of the game at the Bonduel 47-yard line. On the next play, Robaidek caught another touchdown pass from Anderson.

“Our offensive line played a huge role in the game as they gave our quarterback time so he could throw a good ball to me and I could go get it and make a play,” said Robaidek. “On the defensive side of the ball, my two picks and our four picks as a team come from how our defensive line played. They got to Clintonville’s quarterback all game and put pressure on him enough so that me and our other defensive backs could make a play and get an interception.”

Bonduel recorded its third interception on the next Clintonville possession, with senior Logan Majewski coming up with the pick.

The Bears eventually were stopped on fourth down, but got the ball back after an Anderson interception.

After the teams traded a couple possessions, Bonduel added its fifth touchdown on a 7-yard touchdown run from sophomore Gavin Vance.

Clintonville responded with a eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive, with senior Nathan Morse capping the possession with a 6-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion run.

On Monday, Clintonville announced that it was going virtual. The next two Clintonville football games will not be played. No official decision has been made whether the Truckers would resume their season after that or opt into the alternative fall season, which will be held in the spring.

Bonduel 12 6 6 7

Clintonville 0 0 6 8

First quarter

B: Carson Robaidek 25-yard pass from Cole Anderson (kick failed), 5:44

B: Max Marohl 7-yard run (pass failed), 0:26

Second quarter

B: Anderson 10-yard pass from Noah Weier (pass failed), 3:04

Third quarter

C: Brock Smejkal 100-yard interception return (kick failed), 10:48

B: Robaidek 47-yard pass from Anderson (kick blocked), 5:25

Fourth quarter

B: Gavin Vance 10-yard run (Louis Hrabik kick), 1:58

C: Nathan Morse 6-yard run (Morse run), 0:40