SHULLSBURG, Wis. — The Benton/Scales Mound/Shullsburg football team concluded its regular season with a 30-14 win over River Ridge on Friday night during Shullsburg’s Homecoming at Badger Park. The Knights (7-1, 5-1) will have a week off before playoffs begin, with no regular season game scheduled for next week.
“We are definitely where we want to be at this point of the season,” Benton/Scales Mound/Shullsburg coach Todd Bastian said. “We are playing very physical football, and it will be nice to get a week to take some time off to heal some bumps and bruises.”
The Knights didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard, scoring on their opening possession on a 5-yard run from senior Kaelan Shetler.
“I thought our backs, Kaelan, Will [Lawrence] and Brandon [Hoppman] all did a great job of finishing their runs tonight,” Bastian said.
Lawrence finished the game with a team-high 102 yards, while Shetler added 51 and Hoppman 48.
“We knew coming in that Ridge was a very good team and that they only lost to Black Hawk, one of the best teams in the state, by two points,” Lawrence said. “We needed to come out and score right away to make a statement and grab that momentum.”
The Knights’ defense then used an Aiden Dole interception to set up a second score, this time on a 1-yard run from Hoppman to put the tri-op up, 16-0, at the end of the first quarter.
The Wolves found the scoreboard early in the second quarter on a Cole Crubel pass to a wide open Brayan Barrita over the middle for a 49-yard score.
Benton/Scales Mound/Shullsburg added one more score before halftime on a 2-yard quarterback sneak from Chandler Kelly to put the Knights up, 24-8.
“As a senior, it’s pretty great to end our regular season with a win and know that we aren’t done playing yet,” Lawrence said. “I can remember years that we didn’t make the playoffs and how it felt, so that makes this feel even better.”
Hoppman scored his second touchdown of the night at the end of the third quarter on a 7-yard run, making the score 30-8 heading into the fourth.
The Timberwolves added a final score with 2:38 remaining on a 1-yard run from senior Will Esser. He finished the night with 150 yards rushing.
“Our defense gave up some yards to Esser, but we didn’t give up those big plays,” Bastian said. “I’m very happy with the effort they gave tonight.”
River Ridge (5-3, 2-3) finds itself in a must-win game next week against Southwestern in order to receive a playoff berth.