Tritons Notch Win Over Menasha


Joey Bonadonna, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

It had been 524 days since their last football game and 581 days since their last win, but on a chilly Thursday night in Menasha, the Tritons ended both droughts with a 13-10 victory over the WSN Medium #1 ranked team in the state, the Menasha Bluejays.

The game started out slow offensively, tied 0-0 at halftime, but the Bluejays rattled off 10 points in the third quarter and held the Tritons to none, making it 10-0 at the end of the third.

Hope started to fade until a crucial forced fumble by senior Hogan Anderson ignited a flame underneath the Tritons. Immediately, quarterback George Kress found a wide open Braedon Curtin on first down to set up a first and goal. Senior Will Zellner capped off the four-play drive with a score, but after a botched snap on the extra point, the score was 10-6.

The Triton defense continued to get stops, forcing two “three-and-outs” in the next two possessions. The offense got one more shot to score a touchdown. Junior Sam Lagowski checked in at quarterback and picked up a 15-yard gain on first down. On the next play, Zellner picked up 13 yards to pick up a first and goal. From the five-yard line, Kress tossed it to Zellner on the option play who ran it in for the eventual game-winning touchdown. 

The win marked the Tritons’ first win since taking down Sheboygan North 45-6 on August 22, 2019.

“We said all week that we were blessed to even be out on the field at all,” Head Coach Mike Rader said. “To come out with a win made it that much more special.”

The win was filled with big plays from the seniors on the team, like Kress, Zellner and Anderson, on top of many others. Their off-the-field contributions, however, have made a big difference as well.

“I think our seniors have really stepped up in this awkward offseason,” Rader said. “We had a lot of kids step up in the weight room in terms of effort and commitment. Obviously, when you have good leadership, it’s easier for other kids to follow.”

With the offensive struggles early on, the Tritons needed someone to step up to put points on the board late in the game. Zellner did just that, scoring two offensive touchdowns late in the game.

“Perseverance was a big part in getting that win,” Rader said. “(Zellner) just stuck to it, kept working hard, and eventually, things broke the right way.”

The Tritons will continue their alternate fall season with a quick turnaround next Wednesday night at Racine Case.

The game at Case will be the first of three longer road trips this season for the Tritons, including trips to Stoughton, south of Madison, and Eau Claire Memorial.