Burlington’s Ethan Safar fights for extra yards after a catch Friday (Mike Ramczyk/Standard Press).

Broncos go back to the drawing board

By Mike Ramczyk
Correspondent

It seemed like every time the Union Grove got an inkling of momentum Friday night, the Burlington Demons answered in resounding fashion.

Case in point, late in the second quarter.

Union Grove quarterback Nash Wolf hit Ryan Davis on a 4-yard slant to cut the Demon lead to 14-6 with a little more than two minutes left in the half, and it seemed a like a game, right?

Wrong.

The ensuing kickoff was short and returned 68 yards by linebacker Jack Shenkenberg for a touchdown, and Burlington was in control at 21-6.

The sequence of events was a microcosm of the entire night, as the Broncos got within two scores two other times, but the high-powered Demons were once again too potent, running away with a 42-20 home victory in Southern Lakes Conference action.

Burlington is now 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the SLC, good for a first-place tie with undefeated Waterford.

The Broncos dropped to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the SLC.

Both teams put up around 400 yards of total offense, but Burlington head coach Steve Tenhagen was proud of his defense, which benefitted from a Ryan Koeppen interception.

“We continue to improve on the defensive side of the ball,” Tenhagen said. “It will be important that we run to the ball and tackle well as Badger is a good football team. It is encouraging to see our young players developing and contributing.”

Burlington travels to Lake Geneva Badger Friday, and Union Grove also hits the road at Delavan-Darien.

Union Grove head coach Craig McClelland seconded the notion that Burlington snatched any momentum his team gained.

“Tough loss, seemed any type of momentum we gained was taken away,” McClelland said. “The offense would score, and defense or special teams would allow them to answer. Then the defense stops them, and and the offense can’t convert.”

“It was definitely an incomplete game, and against that type of offense, that simply won’t do.”

Wallace goes off again
Zach Wallace followed up his four-touchdown performance against Westosha Central a week earlier with 232 yards rushing Friday night and three touchdown runs.

Touchdown runs from Dalton Damon and Wallace put Burlington up 14-0 early in the second quarter.

But the Broncos showed resilience with the touchdown from Wolf to Davis.

A short kickoff was returned by Shenkenberg, who broke a tackle before running down the left sideline.

Then, after a Ryan Koeppen interception, Wallace broke one down the right sideline, where he made a nifty cutback at the 20-yard-line and scored on the 59-yard run, extending the lead to 28-6.

The Broncos, however, were able to score on a five-yard touchdown run from Konner Goetsch with 15 seconds left in the half to cut the lead to 28-12.

Damon busted off a 41-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to push the Burlington lead to 35-12.

Once again, the Broncos answered right away, and it was Goetsch again with a 1-yard touchdown run.

Wolf’s two-point pass to Thomas Hempel made it a 35-20 game heading into the final quarter.

Wallace capped the scoring with a 33-yard touchdown run a little more than a minute into the fourth quarter, and the Demon defense held down the lead the rest of the way.

Damon finished 10-of-16 for 95 yards and added 64 rushing yards.

Wolf finished 10-of-17 for 194 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Garrett Foldy led the Broncos with 136 yards on 12 carries.

Davis totaled 124 receiving yards on nine catches.

Tenhagen is looking forward to the challenge of Badger, a team Burlington has beaten once (2018) in the last 10 years.

“This week will be a test for us,” Tenhagen said. “We will need to continue to score points and get off the field on defense. It will be important to match the physical play of Badger. We need to possess the ball and finish drives. We are looking forward to the challenge.”