Phantoms cruise to victory

A quick start led to a rout of Oconto Falls on their home turf.

Image via Wisconsin High School Helmets (

Image via Wisconsin High School Helmets (

West De Pere didn’t need more than a few minutes to take charge in a 56-8 rout of winless Oconto Falls on Friday in a Bay Conference football game.

A 42-yard touchdown strike from Michael Linssen to Travis Mason on third-and-long started the scoring 2½ minutes into play.

A minute later, Zac Rottier scored on a 54-yard punt return, and the Phantoms were off and running with a 15-0 lead.

“We knew we had to get off to a good start,” Mason said. “We started off strong.”

That opening sequence started a trend in which West De Pere (3-1, 2-1 Bay) alternated between scoring touchdowns on offense and on special teams or defense as it built a 42-0 halftime lead.

Linssen had a hand in two more TDs — on a 27-yard throw to Tyler Van Sistine and a 1-yard sneak — before calling it a night for the final two quarters.

Linebacker Ben Jensen and Mason, who doubles as a cornerback, each chipped in with a 30-yard interception return.

Of course getting five interceptions and a fumble makes things easier.

The Phantoms’ defense had six takeaways, including five interceptions of quarterback Alex Kratz. Four of the picks came in the first half.

“We’ve got to have that,” said West De Pere coach Bill Turnquist, whose team came into the game at minus-one in turnover ratio.

West DePere should have had a shutout but that went out the window on a miscue.

The only points for Oconto Falls (0-4 overall and Bay), which has lost 14 straight games since 2007, came on the Phantoms’ lone miscue.

Matt Samsa picked up a fumble and ran 50 yards the other way to close the gap to 42-8, putting a halt to the running clock late in the third quarter.

The running clock returned though as West DePere scored two more times.

West De Pere completed the scoring with touchdown runs of 5 yards by Rottier and 52 yards by backup quarterback Jay Tollefson. (Source: Football: West DePere starts quickly, cruises past Oconto Falls – Green Bay Press Gazette)

Next up for the Phantoms – the Marines of Marinette.

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