Waterford’s defensive front swarms a Bradford rusher during the Aug. 23 season-opener, which saw the Wolverines defeat the Red Devils 15-0 (Jason Arndt/Southern Lakes Newspapers).

Wolverines edge Bradford 15-0, play Oak Creek Thursday

By Chris Bennett

Tanner Keller had a big day on the ground, and in the air, for the Waterford Union High School football team.

Keller, a senior, carried the ball 21 times and rushed for 219 of the Wolverines’ 301 total yards in the 15-0 Waterford shutout of visiting Bradford on Aug. 23.

In addition, Keller caught three passes for 30 yards while his backfield mate Dominic Miller rushed for 77 yards on nine carries.

“We’ve always been a run-first team,” Waterford coach Adam Bakken said. “Tanner and Dominic are just so explosive. They get an opening and they’re hard to catch and bring down once they’re in space.”

The Wolverines win, however, came after they carried a 3-0 lead entering halftime following a 29-yard Michael Durand field goal in the first half.

“It was kind of a long game,” Bakken said. “They threw the ball 45 times.”

Bakken said the Wolverines did a good job overall, but need to clean-up some aspects of their game. Waterford fumbled twice inside Bradford’s 10-yard line.

“It made the game a little bit closer than it should have been,” Bakken said. “It was just some week one jitters.”

Meanwhile, in the second half, Keller propelled the Wolverines to victory, courtesy of a one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter followed by an 85-yard dash for the end zone in the final frame.

Bakken praised the starting offensive line of Nolan Nielsen, Brett Deschler, Ambrose Newbury, Gavin Morawetz and Ian Schaal, along with reserve Brock Malecki.

Bakken also praised the Wolverines’ defense, which allowed the Red Devils 145 yards passing and 89 yards rushing while also keeping them out of the end zone.

“Our secondary did a really good job,” Bakken said. “We also got some pressure on the quarterback.”

Jacob Maydak led the Wolverines with nine total tackles.

The Wolverines, who played at home against Oak Creek Thursday, opens their Southern Lakes Conference slate Sept. 6 at Union Grove.