Pioneers Crush Spartans in Wisconsin
By Cassie Kickert

2012 Week 2: Stats | Recap

To say that the Pioneers overpowered the Central Wisconsin Spartans Saturday would be an understatement. The Pioneers imposed their will on the Spartans all afternoon, especially in the running game.

Even though running back Brad Foss hurt his knee in the first quarter, Andy Folz and Jamal McNutt did their best to make sure the offense didn’t miss a beat.

In fact, the Pioneers first three touchdowns were by running backs. Foss took the first one in from six yards out after quarterback Michael Spriggs ran for 25 yards.

Foss was the workhorse on the next drive, starting from the Spartans’ 15 yard line, until he injured his knee. Then, running back DeMario Walton took it in from the one yard line. On the next offensive possession, Spriggs’ pass to Foss set up a touchdown run by Folz on fourth and one.

When asked about sticking with the run on that drive, Folz said, “We decided to stick with it. We got our blocks and were able to get in.”

When the Spartans got called for roughing Pioneers’ kicker Jay Harding on a field goal attempt, the Pioneers took advantage. On the very next play, Spriggs threw a short touchdown pass to receiver, and original Pioneer, Damien Rochon-Washington.

That made the score 26-0 Pioneers with just a few minutes gone by in the second quarter.

Before halftime, the Pioneers would get four more touchdowns. After a Lionel Lamarre interception, the running game again took center stage when Folz ran it in for his second touchdown.

A short run by Jamal McNutt set up the next Pioneers touchdown, a 19 yard pass from Spriggs to receiver Marcus Foster.

“I’m lucky. I don’t have one receiver. I have four or five guys that can go catch the ball. I’m not trying to throw it to one guy. It’s more [about] just trying to find the open man, giving everybody a shot,” Spriggs said, when asked about his ability to throw to multiple receivers.

The last Pioneers score before halftime came with three minutes to go. After defensive back Zach Debeltz intercepted the Spartans’ Kevin Thompson, McNutt ran it in on second and goal from the six yard line.

Shortly after the second half started, the Pioneers, wasting no time, scored again. When the Spartans fumbled the ball deep in their own territory, the Pioneers’ Vanoka Washington fell on the quarterback in the end zone for a safety.

Because the Spartans gave up those points, the Pioneers got the ball again. With the ball came another chance to score – which the Pioneers did. A field goal by Harding made it 52-0 at the end of the third quarter.

Then, Jake Lindsey intercepted the Spartans. However, a rare Pioneers’ mistake came when the team fumbled the ball. The Pioneers’ defense did not let up, though. Defensive back Everett Wilburn not only intercepted the ball, but also returned the interception for a touchdown.

When asked how the defense continues to dominate game after game, defensive lineman Jeff McGaster had this to say:

“[We] just feed off each other. We’re a family”, he said.

Another pick six by Lamarre made the final score 66-0 Pioneers.

Saturday was indeed the Pioneers’ day.

The team had 183 rushing yards, nine total touchdowns, five interceptions (two of which were returned for touchdowns), a blocked punt and a safety. The defense held the Spartans to under 40 yards of total offense.

The next team standing in the way of another Pioneers’ championship: the Rochester Giants. The Pioneers will host the Giants at Sea Foam Stadium Saturday, May 19, at 5pm.