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High School

Big plays help lift Polo over Milledgeville

Senior running back Zack Hagemann tries to maintain his balance as Milledgeville tackler comes in to tackle. Photo by Jason Hickman
Senior running back Zack Hagemann tries to maintain his balance as Milledgeville tackler comes in to tackle. Photo by Jason Hickman

The big plays made the difference in the Marcos season opening victory over Milledgeville at home Aug. 24.

Polo scored on seven plays of 40 yards or more on their way to picking up a convincing 63-21 victory.

Offensively the Marcos had four running backs break the 100 yard barrier as Ethan Ditzler, Zach Hagemann, Dalton Haenitsch, and Brian Cavanaugh had solid days on that side of the ball.

Polo didn't just do it on offense though, they also had a pair of interceptions turned into touchdowns by Ivan Grogan from 40 and 85 yards out, and Cavanaugh also returned a punt for a 63 yard touchdown early in the fourth.

The big plays were welcomed by coach Andrew Hofer, but he does understand that it isn't going to be that way every week.

"We had a lot of big plays, and that is always nice, but now we really have to work on putting together a drive and being consistent," said Hofer. "We talked about that all summer and we still haven't gotten to that point yet. This is a step in the right direction for sure."

Now the team has to gear up for a trip to Galena next week along with match-ups against Dakota, Le-Win, E-PC and Forreston later this season.

"We just have to take care of our business and line up and play some football," said Hofer. "If we stay healthy and get in better shape hopefully we will be able to compete with some of the better teams in the upper division."

Polo gained a 6-0 lead early on a 79 yard run by Ditzler, but Milledgeville came right back with a one yard touchdown run by Daniel Walker as they jumped ahead 8-0.

Polo scored 22 unanswered points from there as Ditzler scored from five yards out, Haenitsch rumbled 82 yards for a score, and Cavanaugh scored from 17 yards out as the Marcos bolted ahead 28-8.

The Missiles got back into the scoring column as Kameron DawTyne connected with Jordan Harris for a 39 yard touchdown, but a nice one-handed catch by Cavanaugh on a pass from John Hanlon late in the second put Polo back up 34-14.

A minute later Grogan picked off his first of two passes and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown increasing the Marcos lead to 40-14 at the half.

Polo was pinned deep in their own territory facing a third and long early in the third when DawTyne picked off a Henson pass and returned it for a touchdown as Milledgeville narrowed the gap to 19, 40-21, but that was as close as they would get.

Grogan picked another ball and returned it 85 yards for a touchdown to finish off the third period, and Cavanaugh returned a punt 63 yards for a score early in the fourth as the Marcos went back ahead by a score of 56-21.

Hagemann finished off the scoring with a 77 yard scamper early in the fourth, and that carried Polo to the big victory, 63-21.

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