Vikings finish strong for conference victory over Pellston

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki Posen running back Mark Wisniewski runs the football during the first quarter of a Midwest Central Michigan 8-Man Conference football game against Pellston on Friday at Posen High School. Wisniewski finished the night with 132 yards on the ground and four touchdowns.

POSEN — For the first time since its perfect regular season three years ago, the Posen football team is 2-0 to begin the season.

The Vikings won their second consecutive home game by defeating Pellston by a final score of 50-22 on Friday.

Both teams began the game, exchanging possessions. Posen forced a Pellston punt on the Hornets’ opening possession and the Vikings chewed a lot of clock by running 15 plays to get near the red zone, but fumbled at the Pellston 21 yard line to come up empty on their first possession.

The Hornets were again forced to punt on their next drive and made a costly error as the snap went over the punter’s head and Posen took over at Pellston’s seven yard line. That set up the first score of the game as Mark Wisniewski plunged his way in from three yards out to give Posen the early edge.

“Pellston is a tough team and it was just a good old fashion grudge match tonight. Our guys really stepped it up in the fourth quarter and I was proud of them for that,” Posen coach Greg Pietsch said. “We’ve been training hard and a lot of guys are going both ways, but we have some kids that came into the game when they needed to and stepped up and that’s what makes good teams when you have that depth.”

The Vikings wasted little time extending the lead early in the second quarter when Sam Brunet sprinted in from 21 yards out to reach paydirt and put the home team up two scores.

Pellston was able to respond quickly after starting inside Viking territory when Lakota Worthington ripped off a huge chunk of yardage on the ensuing kickoff. Four plays later, the Hornets were in the end zone when Jaden Keiser rumbled his way in from two yards out less than two minutes after Posen’s touchdown.

The rest of the half belonged to Posen as Wisniewski found the end zone two more times, once from 22 yards out and the other for a 10-yard score as he went up the middle untouched to give the Vikings a 30-8 halftime lead.

Wisniewski finished the game with 132 yards on 33 carries and scored four touchdowns.

“We drew some things up on the board at the half and the biggest thing was just trying to execute. Our offense is pretty simple and if everyone executes and makes their blocks and the backs run hard and carry out their fakes, it’s very efficient,” Pietsch said. “As the game went on, I think our strength and conditioning really took over.”

Despite jumping out to a comfortable lead, the Vikings were anything but comfortable after the first six minutes of the third quarter.

Posen came out of the break sluggish and the Hornets showed some fight, scoring two quick touchdowns as Keiser and Alex Dreffs each reached the end zone to cut the Vikings’ lead to 30-22 with just over five and half minutes to play in the third.

The quick surge from the Hornets woke Posen up and the Vikings dominated the rest of the way.

George Kroll scrambled for a four yard touchdown and Wisniewski added his fourth score of the game late in fourth to put Posen up 44-22 with 3:12 to play. Chase Dubie finished the night in style with a 50-yard burst up the middle and into the end zone.

“We try to put our kids into positions that’s going to make them mentally tougher and that’s just something we’re going to continue to work on,” Pietsch said. “Football is a game of toughness and we may have gone a little soft early in the second half and fourth quarter they got tough again and went out and got that win and I was proud of them.”

Kroll finished the game with 23 yards on the ground, including a touchdown and went 6-of-9 through the air for 105 yards. Brunet collected 85 yards rushing on 15 carries and one score. Wisniewski led the Posen defense with nine tackles and Gage Kaszubowski and Ben Delekta each recorded eight tackles apiece.

The Vikings improve to 2-0 and won their first Midwest Central Michigan 8-Man Conference game. Posen will travel to Onaway on Friday for a showdown between two undefeated Presque Isle rivals.

“It’s a huge game between cross county rivals and it’s always a goal to beat them. It’s going to be tough beating them at their place. We have a lot of respect for Onaway and they’ve had our number the last two years,” Pietsch said. “They have a new coach, a new system and I know there is a lot of life in that program. It should be a great atmosphere and a great challenge and we’re looking forward to it.”

Jonny Zawacki can be reached via email at jzawacki@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5690.