Thunderbirds edge Bucs in gridiron opener

By: 
Jay Schneider, lrlife@frontiernet.net

WEM sophomore Brady Murphy recorded one of his nine solo tackles in a 22-6 loss to GFW Thursday, Aug. 31. (Jay Schneider photo)

The opening game for the WEM football team ended in a loss, with Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop picking up a 22-6 victory Thursday, Aug. 31 in Waterville.

A pair of early touchdowns by the Thunderbirds gave the visitors a 14-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game.

The two teams played a very evenly matched game for much of the final three quarters. Penalties hurt the Bucs in the second half. They started a pair of drives with successive penalties, forcing the team into some longer possessions.

WEM got the ball first and following a 12- yard run by Avery Breyer, they were forced to punt. A negative four-yard kick gave the T-Birds great field possession at the WEM 20-yard line. E i g h t y seconds later GFW scored on a 14-yard run by junior running back Justin Messner. Messner was tackled by Keegan Kuball on the two-point conversion which left the score 6-0 T-Birds with 8:44 left in the first quarter.

Kuball opened the second drive for the Bucs with two runs totalling 19 yards. The drive ended when Garret Schmidt forced a WEM fumble, which was recovered by Messner on the WEM 21-yard line.

Dominic Rose completed an 8-yard pass to Braylan Freitag, giving GFW a 14-0 lead with 5:08 left in the first quarter following a Rose two-point completion to Regi Mattes.

Each team had one more possession in the first quarter. Sophomore Brady Muprhy ended the GFW drive with a...

To see more on this story pick up the September 7, 2023 print edition of the LifeEnterprise. 

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