OSMOND — Focused.
With a potential postseason berth on the line, Elgin Public-Pope John took care of business Friday night, defeating Osmond 42 to 22.
Picking up their second victory of the season, the Wolfpack remained in contention for one of the final spots for the 32-team Class D2 State Football Playoffs. Playoff pairings will be announced after the regular season concludes Friday night, Oct. 25.
The Wolfpack racked up more than 300 yards of total offense in the game, taking the lead midway through the first quarter and never looking back to claim their second victory of the season.
Senior Conor Ramold ran for two touchdowns and threw for another to lead the way.
EPPJ got on the scoreboard less than two minutes after receiving the opening kickoff. Ramold, who finished with 96 yards rushing, took a pitch from quarterback Paiton Hoefer and raced 25 yards to the endzone.
Then, on their second possession, the Wolfpack fumbled the ball deep in their own territory. Zach Huwaldt fell on the ball, setting up Osmond with a first down on Wolfpack 30 yard line.
Tigers’ quarterback Joshua Gansebom then found Zach Reikofski with a touchdown pass. The two-point conversion was good, giving Osmond an 8 to 6 lead.
The ground game, led by senior center Lane Bartak, pushed the Tigers out of the way for EPPJ’s go-ahead touchdown. Senior Cory Romej burst up the middle 26 yards to score with 13 seconds remaining in the first quarter as the Wolfpack took a 12 to 0 lead.
EPPJ added one more touchdown before halftime when Hoefer connected with sophomore Colton Wright on a 34-yard touchdown pass to cap a long drive. Hoefer found Ramold for the two-point conversion.
Osmond (2-5) had one last chance to score before halftime, but the drive died at the Wolfpack 10-yard line.
The Tigers took the second half kickoff. Using a reverse, Connor Gutz went 71 yards to make the score 20 to 14.
The teams traded possessions before the Wolfpack put together a 37-yard drive, capped by a Ramold touchdown run. Hoefer connected with Jack Wemhoff for the two-point conversion, making the score 28 to 14 with 4:00 left in the third quarter.
EPPJ then added two fourth quarter touchdowns. Running the option, Hoefer kept the ball and raced 49 yards for one touchdown. Then, after a quarterback sack by Adam Dreger forced the Tigers to punt, the Wolfpack scored their final touchdown of the night when Ramold found Hoefer with a six-yard touchdown pass.
Osmond added a late score on a run by Bryan Solorzano.
Romej led Wolfpack ball carriers with 103 yards rushing, Ramold had 96 yards on the night.
On defense, Wemhoff led tacklers with 13, Hoefer had 11 and Romej added eight, Dreger had seven and Austin Bauer added six.
The Wolfpack (2-6) will have a bye this week, waiting to learn if they have made the playoffs. Pairings will be announced Saturday.
Wolfpack 42, Osmond 22
Wolfpack……..12 8 8 14 — 42
Osmond……….8 0 6 8 — 22
EPPJ — Conor Ramold 25 run (PAT failed)
OSM — Joshua Gansebom 30 pass to Zach Reikofski (Gansebom run)
EPPJ — Cory Romej 26 run (PAT failed)
EPPJ — Paiton Hoefer 34 pass to Colton Wright (Hoefer pass to Ramold)
OSM — Connor Gutz 71 kickoff return (PAT failed)
EPPJ — Ramold 15 run (Hoefer pass to Jack Wemhoff)
EPPJ — Hoefer 49 run (PAT failed)
EPPJ — Ramold 6 pass to Hoefer (Ramold run)
OSM — Bryan Solorzano 33 run (Solorzano run)
Team stats EPPJ
Total plays 41
Passing Yds 41
Total Yds 304
First downs 9
Rushing (Car/Yds) — Jack Wemhoff 1/2, Cory Romej 16/103, Paiton Hoefer 9/58, Austin Good 1/1, Conor Ramold 13/96, Cale Kinney 1/3. Team totals: 41/263
Passing (Att/Comp/Int – Yds) — Paiton Hoefer 1/4/0 — 35, Conor Ramold 1/1/0 — 6. Team totals: 2/5/0 — 41.
Receiving (No/Yds) — Paiton Hoefer 1/6, Colton Wright 1/35. Team totals: 2/41.
Tackles (Solo/Asst) — Layne Bullock 0/6, Jack Wemhoff 3/10, Cory Romej 2/6, Norman Gropthe 0/2, Paiton Hoefer 5/6, Austin Good 0/1, Conor Ramold 3/3, Cale Kinney 0/2, Colton Wright 1/3, Adam Dreger 2/5, Carter Beckman 0/1, Lane Bartak 1/2, Austin Bauer 1/5, Ethan Hinkle 1/1.
Quarterback sacks — Adam Dreger 1.
Blocked punts — Conor Ramold 1.
OSMOND — Focused.