Bonduel tops Witt-Birn to clinch playoff spot

Bears improve to 4-2 in CWC-Large with homecoming win

By Morgan Rode

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Bonduel’s Isaac Garside (2) looks to evade Wittenberg-Birnamwood’s Larken Betry (11) during Friday’s game in Bonduel.

With a chance to clinch a spot in the postseason on the line, Bonduel was not about to let the opportunity slip away.

Senior Parker Bohm had a hand in four touchdowns to lead the Bears to a 48-12 homecoming victory over Wittenberg-Birnamwood on a cold and misty Friday night to improve to 4-2 in Central Wisconsin Conference-Large Division play and clinch a spot in the postseason.

“It feels great,” Bohm said. “We had a rough week of practice with the rain and the weather, it just kind of affected everything we did. But I’m proud of the way we came out and executed tonight. We knew they were going to be a pretty decent team, I’m just proud of the way we battled all night.”

Senior Isaac Garside caught a pair of touchdown passes while senior Colin Hanus hauled in one. Junior Isaac Boldt and seniors Riddik Bohm and Jacob Giese all added rushing scores.

The visiting Chargers went toe-to-toe with the Bears before costly turnovers allowed the hosts to get on the scoreboard. After Witt-Birn fumbled near midfield, Bonduel took advantage on the next play as Parker Bohm hit Garside in stride for a 43-yard touchdown pass.

After a solid kickoff return by sophomore Larken Betry, the Chargers turned the ball over on the first play of the drive.

“I think because we are such a young team, we kind of lost the mental edge (after the turnovers),” Witt-Birn coach Bernard Holsey said. “It’s hard to tell younger kids to keep fighting when something bad happens and they want to blame themselves.”

Just four plays later, Parker Bohm lunged into the end zone from a yard out.

Senior Jack Stewart converted a third-and-short run on Witt-Birn’s next possession, but the Bears’ defense stiffened and forced a punt. The Chargers’ defense responded, forcing a three-and-out that was capped by a sack by sophomore Austin Gibson.

Witt-Birn picked up another first down on its next drive before Stewart ripped off a 66-yard run to get the visitors down to the 7-yard line. Two plays later, Stewart finished off the drive with a 6-yard rushing score to bring the Chargers within nine after a failed two-point conversion.

Bonduel regained the momentum with a long drive that was capped by a 13-yard screen pass from Parker Bohm to Garside right before half.

The momentum carried into the second half as Bonduel forced and recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff. Parker Bohm then found Hanus on fourth down to put Bonduel up 22.

After forcing a punt and getting a long punt return from Garside, Giese capped the drive with a five-yard score. The Bears’ defense forced another punt, and after a long run from Riddik Bohm, he scored from three yards out to start the running clock.

Boldt got in on the scoring action early in the fourth after leading the team down the field. He finished with 62 rushing yards while Riddik Bohm had 68. Parker Bohm threw for 158 yards, with Garside tallying 106 of those receiving yards.

“We’re getting smarter,” Bonduel coach James Westrich said. “At the beginning of the year, we had a lot of guys at new positions. Now, they’re really starting to understand our language and what we are talking about, and that makes it easier, especially on defense so we put ourselves in the best situations.”

On the back of Stewart, Witt-Birn (3-5, 1-5 CWC-Large) put together a long drive on its next possession. The Chargers deployed senior Josh Flak under center to punch the ball into the end zone from a yard out.

Stewart finished the night with 169 rushing yards.

“Even though we’re not going to make the playoffs, we are still playing for pride right now,” Stewart said. “Nobody wants to get embarrassed in a football game and that’s what is keeping everyone going.”

Bonduel (5-3, 4-2 CWC-Large) was able to run out the clock from there.

“Offensively — it was wet out here — our initial blocks were good,” Westrich said. “We got to sustain those a little bit better but they did a better job in the second half. The energy and effort was really good from the team all night.”

The Bears hit the road to take on Pacelli in the final week of the regular season while the Chargers cap a grueling, road-heavy season at Manawa.

Witt-Birn 0 6 0 6

Bonduel 15 7 19 7

First quarter

B: Isaac Garside 43-yard pass from Parker Bohm (Garside kick), 2:12

B: Parker Bohm 1-yard run (Isaac Banker pass from Garside), 47.5

Second quarter

WB: Jack Stewart 6-yard run (run failed), 4:49

B: Garside 13-yard pass from Parker Bohm (Garside kick), 54.4

Third quarter

B: Colin Hanus 16-yard pass from Parker Bohm (pass failed), 11:01

B: Jacob Giese 5-yard run (Garside kick), 6:55

B: Riddik Bohm 3-yard run (run failed), 2:14

Fourth quarter

B: Isaac Boldt 10-yard run (Garside kick), 9:25

WB: Josh Flak 1-yard run (pass failed), 3:53