Week 2 Rewind: Pep talk helps Gonnering in victory

Running back Isaac Gonnering talks with a coach during last week's game at Winneconne. Gonnering rushed for 149 yards in the win. (Doug Ritchay/WLUK)
Running back Isaac Gonnering talks with a coach during last week's game at Winneconne. Gonnering rushed for 149 yards in the win. (Doug Ritchay/WLUK)

Every game I cover I stand on the sideline and during every game there are always moments that stand out, whether it’s coaches talking, players yelling or idle chatter that was not meant to be heard by anybody (that’s right kids, I hear everything).

An interesting moment happened during last week’s GameTime Game of the Week, when Freedom running back Isaac Gonnering fumbled. The junior was taken out of the game for one play and an assistant coach gave him a quick pep talk and told him, “We need you.”

Gonnering re-entered the game after one play and was a major part in Freedom’s 21-0 win over Winneconne as he carried 19 times for 149 yards. On Gonnering’s first carry after the fumble he covered up the ball like it was made of glass.

Now, this isn’t the first time this has happened on the sideline, it happens every week. A player makes a mistake, a coach talks to him and he returns to the game and everything is OK.

Still, it never gets old watching a coach teach a kid on the sideline and then send him back out with confidence.

Notre Dame 2-0
There are three teams 2-0 in the Fox River Classic Conference and no doubt people can name two in Ashwaubenon and Bay Port. The third, though, might take a little time … It’s Notre Dame.

The Tritons have defeated Sheboygan South and De Pere so far and host Green Bay West this week. OK, not the toughest schedule to open the season but any time a team wins it builds confidence and the Tritons will need that in the following weeks

After West, it plays at Bay Port in Week 4, at Sheboygan North in Week 5 and at Green Bay Southwest in Week 6. We should know more about Notre Dame then, and to end the regular season the Tritons play at Ashwaubenon.

Appleton North responds
Many people were surprised with how Appleton North was handled by Fond du Lac in the season opener (27-7) and it left maybe a shred of doubt of how good the Lightning is.

Rob Salm’s crew responded the way you would expect, with a 35-0 at Oshkosh West in Week 2. Salm mentioned after the loss to Fondy players might have thought because the jersey says “Appleton North” it would win no matter what.

That wasn’t the case but it seems that was taken care of. This week, North hosts D.C Everest, likely ready to start a winning streak.

This time, Berlin comes back
After squandering a third-quarter, 24-point lead to Xavier in the season opener, Berlin constructed a comeback of its own, sort of.

Trailing 21-20 in the fourth quarter, the Indians scored a fourth-quarter TD to beat Fox Valley Lutheran, 26-21. OK, not the biggest comeback ever, but keep an eye on Berlin.

It really could be 2-0 this season and a playoff spot seems possible.

What Else?

  • Luxemburg-Casco is 2-0. With wins over Seymour and Denmark, and Friday the Spartans travel to West De Pere. L-C has made early noise, scoring 28 points in each of its two games, but Friday’s game will be its biggest test thus far.
  • Ashwaubenon’s defense still stern. The Jaguars shut out Green Bay Preble in the second half of the season opener and allowed just seven points in their Week 2 win. For all the hype QB James Morgan gets the defense cannot be overlooked.
  • Kewaunee’s to win? Kewaunee has outscored its first two opponents by a combined score of 105-0, seriously. The Olympian-Packerland Large promises to be a good race with Roncalli, Wrightstown and Southern Door, but so far Kewaunee has been more dominant than any team in the league.
  • Neenah for real. Two games into the season the Neenah has allowed 14 points, all coming in a season-opening win against Kaukauna. With the Valley Football Association’s South Division play kicking off this week can the Rockets, who blanked Appleton East last week 22-0, keep it going? It has a favorable matchup this week against Oshkosh West.
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