Newman Catholic kicks off to Luck to begin the 2019 8-Player Football State Championship Game
The state's top 8-Player Football program since the game was re-introduced in 2012, Luck proved it once again with a convincing 42-27 victory over fellow unbeaten Newman Catholic in the 8-Player Football State Championship game at Dorais Field in Chippewa Falls on Saturday afternoon.
The Cardinals threatened to blow the game open early on, scoring on the first play from scrimmage and getting out to a 22-0 lead midway through the first quarter. All three touchdowns were scored by senior Levi Jensen, including a 98-yarder immediately following a big stop by Luck on a fourth down play.
Things did settle down for Newman Catholic, who answered late in the period when Ben Bates hit Joe Stephan from 29 yards out. Stephan would force and recover a fumble on the next Luck possession, and score from 15 yards out a few plays later to get Newman to within 22-14.
Luck would answer, with Jensen taking it in from a yard out to put the Cardinals back on top by two scores. That's where things would stay into the third quarter, when Bennett Jensen dashed 43 yards for a touchdown less than two minutes into the second half.
Again up by three scores, it again seemed that Luck may run away with things. However, once again Newman Catholic would answer when Bates found Dylan Ackermann from 35 yards out late in the third. On the opening drive of the fourth quarter, Bates scored on a sneak and it was suddenly a one-score game at 34-27.
That set up a key turning point in the game on Luck's next drive, when Levi Jensen scored from 38 yards out on a fourth and one play to give the Cardinsl a cushion they would not relinquish.
The Luck running game was too much for Newman Catholic, rolling up exactly 500 yards on the ground. Levi Jensen was the star of the game, carrying the ball 25 times for 432 yards and five touchdowns, also leading the team in tackles on defense.
Ben Bates completed 29-of-51 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw an interception and missed on several deep balls early that would have made a big difference. Charlie McCarty caught 18 of those passes for 180 yards.
Travis Wilson serves as the WisSports.net General Manager, Football Editor, and contributing writer for other parts of the site. Wilson was selected as part of the Sports 40 Under 40 list by Coach & AD Magazine and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association for 2019. The Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) named Travis the 2015 recipient of the Dave McClain Distinguished Service Award. He currently serves on the WFCA Executive Board as the Website and Communications Director and is a member of the Executive Board of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. A graduate of Richland Center High School and Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Travis was a three-sport athlete in high school (football, baseball, basketball) and currently resides in Reedsburg. You can follow him on Twitter at @travisWSN.
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