MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Reedsville has spent much of the last half decade on the doorstep of glory.
The Panthers made two Level 4 appearances in four years before finally getting over the hump in 2021, making their first trip to Camp Randall Stadium and the state championship game.
Now, they’re going home with a gold ball.
Reedsville got two key red zone stops in the first half, Brennen Dvorachek racked up 133 yards on the ground, and the Panthers rode a stellar defensive performance to their first state title in a 17-0 shutout of Coleman.
The Cougars (13-1) took their first loss of the season after upsetting No. 1 Regis in Level 4. Will Bieber led the way with 82 total yards, but Coleman couldn’t punch it in the end zone to put the pressure on Reedsville.
The Panther defense set the tone early in the game. Coleman got a first down early in the opening drive, but Reedsville quickly flipped the script with a sack and a blocked punt to set the Panthers up inside the 10-yard line. On the very next play, Weston Liebzeit took a carry over left guard nine yards in for the opening score.
Coleman would respond with an extended drive, but on fourth and goal from the three-yard line, Noah Nosgovitz’s pass to the end zone flew past the outstretched fingertips of Tieg Sadowski.
Following a Reedsville punt, the Cougars coughed up a fumble in their own territory to set Reedsville up 31 yards from the end zone. The Panthers strung together a seven-play scoring drive, culminating in a one-yard touchdown run by Dvorachek to extend the lead to 14-0.
After a long kick return, the Cougars once again embarked on a promising drive, setting up with goal-to-go from the five-yard line. But on second down, Liebzeit stepped in front of a pass to the end zone and grabbed a key interception, racing back 48 yards to midfield.
Coleman would drive twice into Reedsville territory in the second half but could never get past the 30-yard line, turning it over on downs twice.
The Panthers ran 33 plays to Coleman’s 13 in the second half, grinding out the clock to take home the championship.
Each team lost one fumble in the game and the Panthers snagged the lone interception. Reedsville did not attempt a pass for the entirety of the contest.
The gold ball marks just the second-ever state title in school history and first in 75 years.