JANESVILLE — On Tuesday night the Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton football team played in the opening round of their section tournament where they hosted New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva.

It was a defensive battle throughout the game and the Bulldogs came away with an 8-0 victory to advance towards the next round.

Neither team allowed a touchdown in the first half but JWP was able to crack through the Panther defense in the third quarter to find the end zone. The Bulldogs were on the Panther seven-yard line when quarterback Kobe Weimert handed the ball off to Jagger Ignaszewski who found the end zone for the first score of the game. JWP completed a successful two-point conversion after Weimert was able to run it in on his own.

The rest of the way both teams made it tough on each other to get their offense flowing and there were multiple stalled drives. JWP finished the game with 20 first downs and NRHEG finished with nine. The Bulldogs stuck to running the ball all game and finished with 248 rushing yards. The team had 280 yards of total offense. Running the ball all game helped keep the Panthers offense off the field and JWP controlled the time of possession with 36 minutes.

The Panthers finished with 226 yards of total offense and 194 of those were passing. The team accumulated 32 rushing yards in the loss. NRHEG struggled on third down conversion where they were 2-13.

“An end to the season, we didn’t expect. 0-8 is not the way I thought it would be. It was a very even game, each team playing really well. We had the ball three times in scoring position and couldn’t capitalize,” coach Marc Kruger said. “We knew the season would have a lot of ups and downs with our inexperience. I feel like we made some great progress at times but even up to the end we made those same mistakes that go with a young team. We fought and gave it all we have every play, every game and I am proud of that. Our seniors will be missed, not just from their talent, but their leadership. Blake Ihrke, Lonnie Wilson, Hunter Knutson, Mason Ferber and Andrew Rechie. All are great players and people.”

Panther Lonnie Wilson had four receptions for 118 yards and Nick Staloch had three receptions for 38 yards. Bulldog Jagger Ignaszewski rushed for 226 yards on 50 carries in the team’s win.

JWP now advances to the next round where they will play against Blue Earth Area. The boys are set to hit the road and match up with BEA on Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Reach Sports reporter Shafin Khan at 507-835-4283.

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