After winning their previous games this year by at least 34 points the West DePere Phantoms survived a tight game Saturday afternoon.
The Phantoms survived, pulling out a 28-21 win over Seymour in a WIAA Division 3 second-round game after going ahead in the final minutes on a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jay Tollefson.
A nail-biter was expected at some point in the playoffs for a West De Pere squad that dominated competition during the regular season. It came against a familiar opponent in Seymour, a fellow member of the Bay Conference that lost to the Phantoms 38-0 in a season-opener in August.
But this was a different Seymour team. It was one that came out and threw the ball for much of the afternoon, using the versatility of quarterback Troy Rottier to give the Thunder a chance for an upset.
And were it not for that vaunted Phantoms defense the season may be over.
West De Pere and its vaunted defense did just enough to send the Phantoms into the quarterfinals, with senior defensive back Alex Bodinger sealing the win with a leaping interception on Seymour’s final drive of the game.
Things were uncomfortable for the Phantoms, but perhaps this will end up being a good thing during their hopeful run to a second straight title game.”I think it is,” Tollefson said. “Monday we are going to come out harder. We know what we have to do. We now know that every team can play with us. We have to come out hard every week.”
The big question going into next weekend’s quarterfinal game is will the Phantoms be without standout running back Zak Rottier.
The Phantoms (11-0) could have to go the rest of the way without standout Zak Rottier, who was injured on the third play of the game after gashing Seymour for a 27-yard run to the Thunder 11. It led to a 5-yard TD pass from Tollefson to Jordan Forrest three plays later.
Rottier was helped off and never returned. The senior has been invaluable at running back, outside linebacker and as a punt returner. Backup linebacker Mike Oudenhoven replaced Rottier and performed well, but the loss could have a significant impact.
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