NEWPORT — Saturday was a day of milestones for the Nokomis Regional High School football team, but rather than dwell on the day’s success, the Warriors were looking to the future.

Nokomis beat Madison 27-12 to end the season with a 3-5 record, the best record in the six-year varsity history of the program. Sophomore running back Noah Kershner gained 184 yards on 37 carries. Kershner scored all four Nokomis touchdowns, and set a school record by going over 1,000 yards rushing this season.

“We have the (football) talent in this school, now we just have to get it out here,” Kershner said. “We’re improving each year. Instead of three wins, we need to get six wins and make the playoffs.”

Added Nokomis head coach Haggie Pratt: “We’re getting a little bit better. By the middle of the season, we started to play better.”

With the field becoming more muddy by the minute, Nokomis utilized its power running game, grinding out yards and long drives. The Warriors had three drives of at least five and a half minutes, including a 24-play drive that began with 8:43 left in the third quarter and didn’t end until there was 10:17 left in the game. While Nokomis did not score on that drive, it kept the ball out of the hands of the Bulldogs, preventing Madison from gaining any second half momentum.

“We knew what they liked to do, and they did it well,” said Madison head coach Scott Franzose, whose team ends the season at 2-6. “We played a little flat early, and dug ourselves a hole.”

Nokomis took the game’s opening drive 57 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a 6-yard Kershner run for a 6-0 lead with 7:17 left in the first quarter. After forcing Madison three-and-out, the Warriors needed just three plays to score. Kershner’s 5-yard touchdown run was set up by Jake Winslow’s 70-yard reception from Chandler Foss.

Kershner added a 6-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and a 4-yard scoring run in the fourth.

“It was a really nasty day, so we just put the ball in our stud’s hands,” Pratt said.

Added Kershner: “They ran it to me a lot. I just sucked it up and kept pushing. It was all because of my blocks.”

Madison scored on a pair of touchdown passes from Cody Saucier to Rhett McKenney. With 5.5 seconds left in the first quarter, Saucier and McKenney connected on an 8-yard scoring strike to cut the Nokomis lead to 14-6. With 41.7 seconds left in the first half, McKenney caught a 37-yard pass from Saucier to make it 21-12 at the break.

McKenney caught eight passes for 127 yards. Saucier threw for 155 yards.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

 

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