Special teams and defense paved the way for a 30-13 Kiel Raider victory Friday night, as the Kiel football squad christened the new athletic field with a non-conference win over Ripon. Hunter Scharenbroch chalked up 47 yard punt return for a touchdown to open Kiel's scoring, then closed the door on a Ripon rally with a 66-yard pick six with 1:36 remaining in the game.

Scharenbroch's first big play set the Raiders up with a 7-0 lead at the 9:48 mark of the first quarter, following Ripon's first possession.

Punt coverage on a pair of booming kicks from Nathan Goehring set up the next pair of Raider scores. Goehring backed Ripon up to it's own two yard line and Kiel nearly earned a safety before forcing the Tigers to punt. A wobbly kick led to a short field for the Raiders who capped a scoring drive at the 11:28 mark of the second period with a 5-yard run by Alex Kleinhans. Connor Voelker converted the kick for a 14-0 Kiel lead.

After an exchange of positions, the Raiders again made a great play to down Goehring's punt on the Ripon 1-yard line. This time the defense swarmed Ripon's backfield on first down, with Wade Kannich getting the safety with 6:17 to go in the half.

Ripon got on the board with eight remaining on one yard quarterback keeper by Maxwell Huseboe, and failed to convert the two point attempt.

Kiel's offense sputtered through turnovers and penalties through three quarters, but got a boost on another big play from Scharenbroch, whose 50-yard run sent up a 3-yard run by quarterback Mitch Mahler with 39 seconds to go in the third period.

Ripon wasn't about to let the Raiders get away easy. They converted on a 55 yard screen pass from Huseboe to Cameron Hahn to cut the Raider margin to 23-13 with 4:15 to play.

After the Raiders couldn't manage a first down, Ripon got the ball back, but Scharenbroch sniffed out the screen pass perfectly and stepped in to take the ball uncontested to the goal line.

Coach Mike Dressler's Raiders improved to 2-0 with the victory.

"We have upgraded our non-conference schedule," says Dressler.

"Playing good non-conference teams can expose some weaknesses you have and Kewaunee and Ripon have done that. These were two quality teams and we will work on those areas of concern as we head into a big conference opener next week against Sheboygan Falls."

Kiel ended Sheboygan Falls' three-year reign as Eastern Wisconsin Conference champion last year. The Raiders host Falls at Fifrick Field next week Friday, September 6, at 7 pm. Falls fell to arch-rival Plymouth, 14-7.

Dressler said it was a playoff atmosphere in Kiel's first appearance on their sprinturf.

"The fans were coming in two hours ahead of kick off," he states.

"There was a lot of excitement in the air and our guys really fed off of that energy early in the game. The Kiel community has a lot to be proud of over this great facility."