WEST BEND - Speed, size, power: No. 4-ranked West Bend-Mallard has got a little bit - OK, a lot - of it all and the Wolverines put it on display against Northeast Hamilton in the 8-man District 2 opener here Friday night.
Coming off a 28-14 victory over 2012 state champion MMC Marcus in Week 2, the Wolverines (4-0, 1-0) showed no signs of a letdown in running out to a 24-0 first quarter lead and they added an unanswered 20-point run over the second and third quarters to hand the Trojans their first loss of the season, 60-18.
Veteran quarterback Jesse Zinnel accounted for 202 yards of total offense - he rushed for 67 yards and passed for 135 more on 10 of 16 completions - and three ground touchdowns for the Wolverines. Running back Davey Jergens chewed up 119 yards on just 10 carries.
"They're a very good team. Their whole backfield is a weapon and their line is humongous," NEH head coach John Seiser said. "They throw the ball pretty well and they run the option with power football, and those are things we can't simulate in practice."
There's always a "but" though, and Friday was no different.
The Trojans (2-1, 0-1) fumbled the ball away early and gave WB-M a short field, leading to Jesse Zinnel's first score of the night from three yards out that put the Wolverines ahead to stay.
WB-MALLARD 60, NE HAMILTON 18
Northeast Hamilton 0 12 0 6-18
West Bend-Mallard 24 8 12 16-60
WB-M - Jesse Zinnel 3 run (Davey Jergens run), 7:59.
WB-M - Je. Zinnel 13 run (Je. Zinnel run), 4:02.
WB-M - Jordon Buhs 37 run (Jergens run), 0:22.
NEH - Nick Jeffers 9 pass from Logan Seiser (run failed), 11:16.
NEH - Tyler Smith 24 pass from Seiser (pass failed), 8:54.
WB-M - Tyler McKimmey 1 run (Jack Fehr pass from Je. Zinnel), 7:05.
WB-M - Jergens 68 run (run failed), 10:08.
WB-M - Buhs 27 run (run failed), 6:06.
NEH - Austin Smith 19 pass from Seiser (run failed), 11:10.
WB-M - Jergens 6 run (Jason Zinnel pass from Je. Zinnel), 10:13.
WB-M - Je. Zinnel 3 run (Buhs run), 6:22.
RUSHING - NEH: Tyler Smith 30-126, Gabe Rapp 11-65, Kyler Rapp 3-14, Nick Jeffers 4-40. WB-M: Davey Jergens 10-119, Jesse Zinnel 11-67, Jordon Buhs 8-79.
PASSING - NEH: Logan Seiser 12-24-1 171. WB-M: Je. Zinnel 10-16-0 135.
RECEIVING - NEH: Austin Smith 2-32, Jeffers 2-16, G. Rapp 2-11, T. Smith 7-112. WB-M: Jason Zinnel 5-106.
TACKLES (Leaders Only) - NEH: G. Rapp 28, T. Smith 15, Seiser 10.
NEH also came up empty on three golden opportunities to score, first from inside the Wolverines' 1, then from the 5 and finally from the 13.
"I'm not saying we would have beaten them, but we definitely had our chances to make this a respectable game," Seiser said. "Our effort was god, but we made big mistakes and they exposed those, but that's what good teams do."
NEH moved the ball all night and finished with 416 yards of total offense. Quarterback Logan Seiser completed half of his 24 passes for 171 yards and all three of the Trojans' touchdowns. He connected with Nick Jeffers on a 9-yard scoring toss and Tyler Smith on a 24-yard hook-up to the end zone over a 2 -minute stretch of the second quarter that trimmed the Wolverines' lead to 24-12.
Austin Smith caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Logan Seiser early in the fourth quarter.
"Logan threw the ball extremely well and our routes are getting better," John Seiser said. "We did a good job of mixing it up because we cannot be predictable in the passing game."
Tyler Smith had another big game with 126 yards rushing and another 112 yards receiving on seven grabs.