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Chiefs Axe NGM To Go 5-0


September 23, 2021

Sue Moen

Leyton Mihlbauer caught a 34-yard pass and the tackle may have knocked his helmet off, but he held on to the ball.

I'll go out on a limb and wager that, on this evening, NGM was the only football team in the United States that was greeted by four Alphorns playing the Olympic theme song. And that's how the evening started. How unique. How representative. How very NGM.

Putting the pageantry aside, there was a football game to report on. And this is a tough one to write about. Simply put, the 4-0 Chiefs of Wisconsin Dells came to town and left 5-0 with a 48-13 drubbing of NGM. The Chiefs are a solid team as evidenced by this, their best start since 1987. They are also a well-seasoned team, with juniors and seniors leading the way. In contrast, NGM is a very young team with growing pains still evident since the departure of last year's senior class. It showed tonight.

The Chief's Jacob Rockwell took the opening kickoff to their own 39-yard line. Two plays later it was Rockwell again, racing around the left side untouched on a 58-yard touchdown run to the east endzone. By the 5:58 mark in the first quarter, the Chiefs were up 13-0. Sixty-nine seconds into the second they were up 20-0. NGM did mount a charge and get to the Chief's 7-yard line. Unfortunately quarterback Max Marty's pass was intercepted in the endzone, killing the drive.

The NGM defense held and produced a 4th and 32 forcing a punt. NGM's first play of this offensive series was a classic "hook and ladder" as Marty hit A.C. Strok, who pitched it back to a charging Nate Brandes who took it the rest of the way for a score...a beautifully executed 45-yard touchdown! Eli Zimmerman's kick was good and at 5:10 in the second it was 20-7 Chiefs.

NGM tried an onside kick that failed, giving the boys from the Dells excellent field position on their own 47. A prolonged drive to the 4-yard line of NGM gave Chiefs fullback Lewis Waterman the opportunity to punch it home for six. He did, and at 0:52 in the first half it was now 27-7, Wisconsin Dells.

Quarterback Max Marty tried some heroics with a long pass that was intercepted and returned to the NGM 45-yard line. Now, with only 0:05 showing on the clock, Chiefs quarterback Braden Buss connected on a pass which would cover 44 yards - a touchdown averted only by the diving tackle of NGM's defensive back Cale Weeden as time expired. The half would end with the Dells having a commanding lead, 27-7.

(Playing the "what if" game, imagine if NGM had scored from the 7-yard line and the later onside kick was either successful or deep thus preventing the next Chief score. The score might have been 20-14 at the half and manageable. But that's hindsight mixed with wishful thinking...and hindsight is always 20/20. Could these two plays have altered the outcome? Probably not, but it's always fun to speculate.)

The third quarter proved to be the death knell for NGM as the Chiefs' Braden Buss, now playing defense, would capture two interceptions and then on offense as quarterback direct two touchdowns. The quarter ended with a score of 41-7 Chiefs. Game over.

Both teams would reach the endzone one more time in the fourth, NGM on a 34-yard strike from Marty to wide receiver Leyton Mihlbauer. Final score: Wisconsin Dells 48 - NGM 13.

The Chiefs churned out 370 yards of balanced offense (184 yards passing and 186 yards rushing), thanks in large part to the six turnovers gifted them by NGM. You just cannot give a good team six turnovers and then rack up missed tackles galore. It was youth vs. experience on display. It happens.

The next game is away as NGM makes the trip to Richland Center this coming Friday. Game time is 7:00. Hope to see you there.


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