Bo Krueger (Left) and Nick Hertwig (Right)
It’ll be a birthdays to remember for Bo Krueger and Nick Hertwig, Gillett’s two most dominating players in a 49-8 home victory over Menominee Indian.
The two combined for seven total touchdowns and carried the ball 26 times, going for 202 yards.
“It’s pretty cool,” Krueger said of their birthday performances.
“We’re going to have a nice celebration after, especially with this win it makes it a lot better,” Hertwig added.
“Both those guys in the backfield, they’re like thunder and lightning you could say,” said Gillett head coach Jesse Witcraft. “They both have birthdays tonight so we’re going to celebrate that with a big sheet cake.”
There was plenty for Gillett to celebrate. The school recorded its first win in 8-man football, which was also the first head coaching win for Witcraft.
“It’s a good relief,” he said. “As a first year coach, it’s a little nerve-wracking because you don’t know how the kids are going to respond. We had a tough game last weekend, which I thought the kids did phenomenal in and we came out this week and responded even better and stronger. We won the turnover battle again. Our defense has been phenomenal this year so far and offensively we did some good things. I think there’s a few things we could work on yet, but we’re going to keep challenging these kids every week.”
The Tigers took advantage of four first half Menominee Indian turnovers-three of them fumbles-including one on the opening drive to set up the first score of the game. The fourth Eagle turnover was an interception that Hertwig took 26 yards for the score.
“It’s good to set that tone and set that tempo,” Witcraft said of the quick start. “We got a little bit lackadaisical in the second quarter, but they responded well in the second half. I’m pretty proud of them.”
The Gillett defense responded by shutting the Eagles out in the second half.
Menominee Indian scored their lone touchdown in the second quarter on a 51-yard pass and catch from Meshaen Waukau to Jarin Reiter to cut the deficit to 16, but the Tigers scored in the final minute of the first half to push the lead back to 22.
Krueger was the game’s leading rusher with four touchdowns and 138 yards and Hertwig added 64 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Adam Anderson also found the endzone for the Tigers.
Meshaen Waukau led the Eagles with 46 yards on 16 carries.
Gillett will get Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas next week on the road. Menominee Indian will host Gibraltar.