Jack Janke 102221.JPG

Having the most dominant consecutive seasons in their program history, Ellsworth couldn’t close it out with a state title. Catholic Memorial ran up a three-score lead before the Panthers could get on the board.

Turnovers and a pair of onside kick recoveries in favor of Catholic Memorial were enough to end Ellsworth's undefeated season 21-12 in the Division 4 state championship Thursday evening in Madison at Camp Randall Stadium.

“I was proud of the way those guys competed,” head coach Rob Heller said on the phone after the game. “That was by far our best opponent this season. They made us beat them with other guys.”

The Panthers didn’t win the title, but did break several school records. They ended the season with the most wins in a single season (12), most consecutive wins (20) and most points scored in a single season (579).

The loss doesn’t diminish all that the program was able to accomplish in the last two seasons.

Heller credited the seniors this season, who really bought into the 1-0 mentality and did a fantastic job of continuing what the seniors the season prior had started.

So many of the Ellsworth playmakers got their chance to get statewide recognition in the spotlight of the state championship.

“I was glad these kids got to show off their abilities on a big stage,” Heller said. “The talent these guys have, there’s a lot of them that could end up playing Saturday nights next year.”

All of the scoring happened in the first half. Catholic Memorial scored three times in the first quarter to take a 21-0 lead. The Panthers fought back on a third-down completion to Ashten Quade, who snatched the ball from the defender to make the catch, then handed the ball to Quade who ran to the edge and scored. Jack Janke plunged into the end zone from a yard out with 1 minute, 10 seconds to go in the half to cut the deficit to 21-12. That’s where the score stood as the Panther defense held Catholic Memorial mostly in check, but struggled to find rhythm offensively as they were forced to attempt long down-field passes.

Stats

Passing

Jack Janke, 6-for-11, 66 yards, three INT.

Rushing

Ashten Quade, 15 attempts, 88 yards, TD; Jack Janke, 12 attempts, 53 yards, TD; Max Grand, 12 attempts, 30 yards.

Receiving

Quade, three receptions, 40 yards; Grand, two receptions, 10 yards; Ryan Matzek, one reception, 16 yards.

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