Spartans tame Mustangs to begin conference play
By Josh Staloch
LUXEMBURG – The Luxemburg-Casco High football team’s home jerseys for its week five matchup with Little Chute featured stars and stripes on the sleeves as the school paid tribute to the United States military during halftime on Friday, Sept. 15. Above the player’s number on the back read one word: BROTHERHOOD.
And the Spartans would play like a band of brothers, weathering a blistering effort from the Mustangs, who won the North Eastern Conference last season, early on before taking firm control of this year’s L-C rivalry game on their way to a 35-14 win.
“I love these guys to death. They worked really hard this week to beat the champions,” said Luxemburg-Casco head coach Neil Seering of his squad’s effort on Friday. “I’m very proud of our coaches and these kids. Little Chute is a great team, coach (Ted) Evers is a great coach and a great person. I respect their program a lot. So it means a lot to us to get the trophy back. We had to overcome a lot of things and it shows a lot of grit by this team.”
The Spartans got the ball first and they started at their own 44. The home team ran into a tough down right away when, on a third-and-nine play following a penalty, quarterback Max Ronsman found Trace Schoenebeck on a clutch pass play that resulted in a first down at the Little Chute 40.
Only a couple of plays later, Ronsman, on his way to an outstanding, five-touchdown night, took off for a 33 yard run down to the Mustangs’ five before running it in himself on third down from a yard out.
Little Chute picked up a first down and looked to be marching but Max Thayse brought down Mustangs signal caller Charlie VandenBurgt for a loss of 10.
Little Chute lost more yardage on penalties and the Spartans were looking to retake possession with a third-and-20 scenario looming.
But VandenBurgt somehow, from deep in his own territory, made a pass 45-yards downfield, against the wind, to Carson Kerrigan, who rumbled the rest of the way and into the endzone to knot it at 7-7.
With a crucial drive in front of it, the Spartans offense took over at its own 35 and went to work.
Ronsman started it out with another nice pass to Schoenebeck that moved the Spartans into enemy territory before finding Braeden Schley for a good gain to the Little Chute 23.
A pass play to Brady Massey set the Spartans up with a first-and-goal from the 10, setting up a run into the end zone by Ronsman on the next play for a 14-7 Luxemburg-Casco lead.
The home team’s defense did a good job to keep the charging Mustangs out of the endzone on their next drive. The visitors marched down the field and then went for it on a fourth down play, which was expertly defended by the Spartans.
Luxemburg-Casco went right back to work on its ensuing drive before an uncharacteristic mistake by Ronsman on a third down pass play led to a Little Chute interception.
This clearly did not sit well with the Spartans’ senior signal caller, who also plays defense and rarely is on the bench for a play.
On third and seven, VandenBurgt dropped back and fired a pass over the middle but Ronsman read the play perfectly and picked him off, redeeming himself almost immediately after throwing an interception of his own.
It got even better one play later when, operating from his own 35-yard line, Ronsman aired one out along the home team sideline for Schoenebeck, who fought through coverage to haul
it in and bring it across the goal line for a 66-yard scoring play and a 21-7 lead.
“Our coach,” Ronsman quickly answered when asked after the game how he bounced back from throwing an interception to coming up with one only a few plays later. “He talks a lot about, when you fail, you’ve got to just step up to the plate. I did that, got an interception the next play and it felt good.”
Editor’s note: The Kewaunee Storm and the Algoma Wolves also picked up wins on Friday. Kewaunee, playing at home, beat up on the Bonduel Bears 42-7 while the Wolves, also at home, handled Gillett 54-30.