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Submerged in Lake Mills - NGM Falls 40-0


September 29, 2022

Photo courtesy of Becky Degenhardt

New Glarus/Monticello lost to Lake Mills last Friday night by a score of 40-0.

With the parochial portion of their schedule now safely behind them, NGM made the trip to Lake Mills for what would become another kind of "baptism" - the full submersion kind. The L-Cats came to play, rendering what is best described as a methodical kind of beat down. Cutting to the chase, the tale of the tape tells the story: NGM had a total of 97 yards of offense to the L-Cat's 517. Compare NGM's 3 first downs to 19 for the Lake Mills club and you can see how the final score of 40-0 came to be.

On the bright side, the temperature was a perfectly crisp 54 degrees and custom made for high school football in Wisconsin. Further, the game was played on what has to be the most beautiful field in the state. A new synthetic turf field with alternating 5-yard patterns of hunter and light green...and royal blue end zones with bold white lettering makes for a most impressive gridiron. Esthetics aside there are times in games, as in life, when absolutely nothing goes right. Such was the experience for the NGM boys this evening.

The very first series set the tone for the game. NGM suffered a sack deep in their own territory - a harbinger of things to come as QB Max Marty had a face mask full of L-Cats the entire evening. (Ever try throwing a football with someone hanging on your belt and another clawing at your jersey?) A three-and-out led to a punt with which the Lake Mills offense, behind running back Ben Buchholtz, promptly scored the first touchdown of the evening. (Buchholtz, the workhorse, would carry 23 times for 223 yards and 3 touchdowns in the contest). At 6:46 it was 7-0 Cats.

But as we have seen time and time again with this NGM squad they came right back the next series when Marty, standing tall in the pocket and taking the hit, delivered a strike to A.C. Strok for a 52-yard gain. Bull-like running by NGM's 6'2'', 200-pound Lawrence Vasquez, despite some penalties, allowed NGM to advance to the 16-yard line of Lake Mills. An unfortunate interception in the end zone killed the drive. Vasquez soon returned the favor when he intercepted a pass on the next series, killing a long L-Cat drive.

After some back-and-forth the game now turned as Buchholtz put his team on his back. His run of 48 yards set up an aerial score by his QB, and then with only 17.3 seconds left in the half he bolted 26 yards for another score to give his team a 19-0 cushion at the half. Buchholtz was simply the story of the half as he rambled for 131 yards and collected two touchdowns in just two quarters of play.

The third quarter has been the nemesis quarter for NGM all season. It was not any kinder to NGM on this night as Lake Mills reeled off two more touchdowns, including another run by Buchholtz and one by air on a 32-yard pass from QB Caden Belling to his wide receiver J.P. Rguig (good luck with the pronunciation). The third quarter ended with the L-Cats up 33-0. (Despite the despair, NGM's Lawrence Vasquez, a 2-way player, had himself quite a quarter with two punts of 44 and 47 yards and participated in a recovered fumble. With his hard running and earlier interception, if there was a game ball to be given in defeat, it most certainly would have gone to him.)

Lake Mills would add one more touchdown in the fourth to bring the final score to 40-0, and mercifully, by rule, the clock would now run uninterrupted.

In the final analysis it was just too much offense and too much defense by a good Lake Mills team against not enough of either for NGM. It happens.

Next game is (already) the final home game as NGM hosts Big Foot this Friday. Am I alone in wondering what their mascot will look like? Game time 7:00 p.m. See you at the game!

***A little factoid of interest: There is no lake in Lake Mills named "Lake Mills". Rather, there is only "Rock Lake" on the western edge of town. Several locals so queried had not the slightest idea of how or why the town came by its name. This will have to remain one of life's little mysteries. All of which makes any kind of eponymous referencing a real challenge for the wannabe-clever-yet-average writer.


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