Hodags fall short of conference title, begin playoffs Friday
Photos by Bob Mainhardt
The Great Northern Conference football championship was on the line Friday night at Mike Webster Stadium in Rhinelander. Both Medford and Rhinelander entered the game undefeated in the conference.
Medford had the ball first and the Hodag defense held, forcing the Raiders to punt. Just like last year the the Hodags muffed the punt and Medford recovered the ball. A few plays later the Hodags were down 0-6 as the 2-point try failed. The first quarter ended with the same score.
The Hodags had the ball at the end of the first quarter and 12 seconds into the second half the Hodags held a 7-6 lead after a 70-yard pass play from Quinn Lamers to Caleb Olcikas. Unfortunately for the Hodags, senior Walker Hartman went down with a knee injury on the play and would not return to action. That would be the last score for the Hodags even though they would be deep in Medford territory on the first possession of the second half.
The Raiders scored in the second quarter but would again fail on the 2-point conversion attempt. Medford would have a significant time of possession advantage in the second half and score twice more, failing to convert the point after attempts and would go home with a 24-7 win and the conference championship.
Playoffs begin next Friday and the Hodags will be hosting one of their rivals, Lakeland in the first of two rounds of playoff games. Game time is 7 p.m.