Senior Cullen Ketterhagen leaps into the arms of offensive lineman Jason Rullman (66) as Logan Pye joins the celebration following Ketterhagen’s game-winning touchdown at Lake Geneva Badger Sept. 28 (Earlene Frederick/The Report).

By Jason Arndt

Unlike the last two seasons, when Lake Geneva Badger handed Wilmot overtime losses, the Panthers did not allow the same the outcome in a Sept. 28 Southern Lakes Conference clash at Badger.

The Panthers, who carried a 14-3 lead into halftime, saw it diminish to a 17-17 deadlock with less than five minutes left of a regulation.

After Wilmot was forced to punt, the Panthers defense stepped in and forced a key turnover, which led to the game-winning drive.

Wilmot junior quarterback Zack Watson, who logged 17 carries for 141 yards, responded with a 40-yard run to place the ball at the Badger 15-yard line.

With under a minute left of regulation, Watson threw a 14-yard strike to junior Cullen Ketterhagen, who brought the football in to seal the Panthers 23-17 victory.

According to Panthers coach Keiya Square, when the ball floated in the air, he knew Ketterhagen would come through.

“Cullen is a great hardworking kid, he understands the game and understand that when he gets targeted, he knows what he has to do,” he said.

Wilmot (5-2, 4-1 Southern Lakes Conference), meanwhile, avenges back-to-back overtime losses to Lake Geneva Badger.

“The last two years they beat us in overtime,” Square said.

With the victory, Wilmot has won three of its contests by one score or less, which shows the team’s resilience.

“We are winning those close games,” he said. “It is a testament to the kids who are working hard.”

The Panthers defense held Badger (2-5, 2-3 SLC) to less than 200 total offensive yards.

Four Panthers eclipsed 10 tackles, led by junior Cal Jenkins, who accounted for 17 tackles and a sack.

Wilmot also received contributions from junior Austin Videlka (10 tackles), sophomore Caden Mulhollon (14 tackles) and senior Kevin Brenner (10 tackles, sack).

Wilmot strikes first
In the opening quarter, the Panthers jumped to a 7-0 edge, courtesy of a senior Austin Norton 79-yard touchdown run.

Norton had 16 carries for 121 yards.

Norton’s run, according to Square, forced the Badger defense to clamp down on him.

“After that, they kind of bottled him up a little bit, but he still ran the ball extremely well,” Square said.

Badger cut the Panthers edge to 7-3 after a Josh Taddeo 34-yard field goal to close out the first quarter.

Senior Tanner Peterson, however, answered with a 4-yard touchdown run to carry the Panthers into halftime with a 14-3 lead.

Badger deadlocks contest
In the second half, Lake Geneva pulled within five points at 14-9, courtesy of a Jordan Hodges 2-yard run.

After Panthers Blake Weaver kicked a 30-yard field goal, which gave them a 17-9 edge, Lake Geneva deadlocked the game 17-17 in the fourth quarter on a Hunter Wrzesinski 70-yard run followed by a successful two-point conversion.


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