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By Doc Wierwill
Assistant Coach 

NGM Loses Thriller Against Columbus


September 6, 2018

Sue Moen

Knight Quarterback Connor Siegenthaler hands the ball off to Zach Feller in the game against Columbus on Friday night.

Friday, August 31. Parent's Night at NGM. Columbus, the second team from the Capital Conference North Division in as many weeks paid a visit to the New Glarus/Monticello home field. If you like drama, you had to love this game. This game would come down to Columbus scoring with 13 seconds left in regulation - a missed extra point to win - NGM returning a kickoff to give a 5-second Hail Mary attempt - and NGM coming up the length of a football short on 4th down in overtime. In between, this game was replete with long passes, long runs, crucial missed extra points, a questionable call here and there, key defensive stops and a few inopportune penalties...all of which yielded the visiting Columbus team a 32-26 victory.

NGM started with a strong first quarter with seniors Zach Feller and Trevor Gassman scoring on runs and passes of 21 and 43 yards, respectively. Senior kicker Trent Sigafus added two field goals, each from 30 yards, giving NGM a 19-0 lead as they took to the locker room at halftime. The NGM defense had some solid stops in the first half as well.

As expected Columbus came out strong to start the second half, scoring two touchdowns in the third quarter behind the powerful running of Jamal Hill. NGM answered early in the fourth quarter as junior quarterback Connor Siegenthaler again found Trevor Gassman on a beautifully executed route in the southeast corner of the end zone, putting NGM up 26-14. Unfortunately, this would conclude the NGM scoring for the evening.

Columbus simply would not be denied scoring quickly, and again missing the extra point. With only 13 seconds remaining in regulation, and throwing only the second pass of their game, Columbus quarterback Joe Morris found receiver Kevin Burbach in the end zone, thus tying the score at 26 all. The visitors were now one successful extra point away from stealing a last minute victory. The NGM defense, however, would have nothing of it rallying with a superb effort and sending sophomore Cooper Dreyfus hard off the right corner to force the kick wide right and sending this game into overtime.

Columbus won the toss and would be the first to play from the west 25-yard line (each team getting an equal chance to score per WIAA rules). The visiting team wasted little time as Jamal Hill barreled into the end zone for the final 2 yards of his 181-yard evening. And, yet again, almost as if scripted, the extra point was missed as the NGM defense rallied with another pressure rush to flummox the kicker. All hope for a score and victory was again in the NGM hands.

Now with the ball in our hands from the 25, NGM marched to a hard fought first down. The next series would require the use of all four downs as Siegenthaler was forced to scramble from a well defended pass play, only to be tackled just inside the 5-yard line. As Columbus celebrated what appeared to be victory, there was a protracted moment of confusion amongst the officials. After what seemed like an eternity, the call was made for a measurement. As the chain was loosed, the stick slid past the nose of the ball. Game over. The oft overused (and proverbial) "thrill of victory and agony of defeat" was suddenly and equally felt by each team respectively. Final score Columbus 32, NGM 26.

The stats from a game like this can be misleading, if not confusing. Columbus had 302 yards rushing to NGM's 118. NGM had 191 yards passing while Columbus managed only 26. But it is noteworthy that while the visitors threw only two passes all evening, each one was for a touchdown and each one came very late in the game, as noted.

Next game is Friday, at Mauston. Game time is 7:00 p.m.


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