New Holstein trailed Amherst 7-6 at one point in the second quarter and was down by only 11 points going into the fourth quarter, but Amherst pulled away in the final quarter for a 31-13 victory Friday.
Unlike two previous visits to Amherst, the Huskies were in this game into the fourth quarter before some long pass plays by the Falcons put the Level 2 WIAA playoff game out of reach. Amherst is the top seed in the region, while New Holstein came in as the #4 seed.
Early in the first quarter Amherst looked like the team which has won a handful of state titles over the past decade and has two alumni currently playing for the Wisconsin Badgers. It held New Holstein to a three-and-out on the game’s first possession, then quickly moved 52 yards in nine plays for the game’s first score.
It looked like the Huskies had a quick answer just four plays later when Kadyn Judkins ran 45 yards for a touchdown, but an illegal block penalty brought the ball back and that drive eventually ended in a punt.
Undaunted, the Huskies held Amherst to a three-and-out and then drove 54 yards in nine plays to score. A 28-yard run by sophomore quarterback Henry Schnell was the key play in the drive. Junior quarterback Cameron Olson got the touchdown on a fourth-and-goal run from the 1-yard line. The extra point attempt—five yards further back because of a penalty—missed and the Huskies trailed 7-6.
The Falcons then ripped off four first downs on their way to a scoring drive and a 14-6 lead.
New Holstein looked to be on its way to mounting a scoring drive late in the first half but a holding call negated what would have been a key first down. That drive ended in a punt, and the Falcons were able to drive into field goal range. They booted an 18-yarder with no time on the clock to end the half as New Holstein thought it had stopped a fourth-down play but a pass interference call in the end zone allowed Amherst to kick the field goal on an untimed down.
After a scoreless third quarter, Amherst pulled away in the fourth quarter. A 2-yard TD run by Judkins with 28 seconds remaining allowed the Huskies their final highlight of the season.
(For more on this game please see the Nov. 7 issue of the Tri-County News.)