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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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November 18, 2019

10/12/2019 7:34:00 AM
Football: Merrill 27, Rhinelander 21, OT

Jeremy Mayo
Sports Editor

When it comes to playoff chances, the Rhinelander High School football team is down to its final strike.

Eddie Collinsworth scored from a yard out in overtime as Merrill stunned the Hodags 27-21 Friday at Mike Webster Stadium.

It marked the second straight week Rhinelander blew a halftime lead. This time the Hodags were up 13-0 less than six minutes into the game following a Drake Martin 7-yard score and a 46-yard screen pass from Quinn Lamers to Peyton Erikson.

Merrill got back within a score with 7:51 left in the half as Caleb DeJong scored from three yards out to make it 13-7 Hodags at the break.

DeJong and the Merrill option attack could not be stopped in the second half. He scored from a yard out with 1:35 left in the third quarter, and again with 2:40 left in regulation, to put Merrill up 21-13.

Rhinelander responded to force overtime. Facing fourth and 10 from its own 26, Lamers from Erikson for 15 yards to move the chains and then Travis Towne caught a deflected pass on a deep ball down at the Merrill 11, setting up a Martin two-yard score with 14 seconds left in regulation. Martin scored on the subsequent two-point conversion to send the game to overtime.

Martin rushed 22 times for 130 yards and two touchdowns and, in the process, eclipsed the 1,100-yard mark on the season for the third time in his career. Lamers finished 5 of 19 passing for 105 yards and a touchdown.

DeJong rushed for 143 yards and three scored for Merrill (2-6, 2-3 GNC) as the Bluejays won despite being outgained 270-196 in the contest.

Rhinelander (5-3, 2-3 GNC) travels to Ashland next week and must win to become playoff eligible.

A full report will be published in Tuesday's River News.

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232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361

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