EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — A couple of big scoring plays and two big defensive stops in the final minute propelled the Blair-Taylor High School football team into next weekend’s WIAA Division 6 state semifinals.
Senior quarterback Hank Kujak threw a 92-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and ran for a 72-yard touchdown in the fourth to help the Wildcats knock off Eau Claire Regis 23-21 in a quarterfinal game at Carson Park on Saturday.
Kujak’s 72-yard run with 2 minutes, 26 seconds left gave Blair-Taylor (11-1) a 23-15 lead, but a missed extra point kept the Ramblers (9-3) in the game.
Marco Ortiz finished off the next Regis possession by scoring from the 1-yard line with 35 seconds left. Senior Michael Haarsma then stopped quarterback Joe Lorenz at the 1-yard line to stop the 2-point conversion try and preserve the lead.
“It was a play-action pass and (Lorenz) rolled out,” Blair-Taylor coach Jeff Eide said. “Haarsma got him right at the 1-yard line to keep them from tying the game.”
Regis recovered an onside kick at midfield for one last chance at the victory.
The Wildcats assured themselves of a trip to the semifinals by tackling a Regis runner inbounds around the 30 as time expired.
That means the Wildcats draw Edgar (12-0), last year’s Division 6 champ, in a semifinal in Chippewa Falls, Wis., on Saturday. A game time has not yet been determined.
Kujak rushed for 153 yards, passed for 166 and two touchdowns and kicked a 32-yard field goal. His kick gave Blair-Taylor a 17-15 lead in the fourth.
His 72-yard scoring run with 2:26 left followed a missed field goal attempt by Regis.
It also helped the Wildcats along the way in reaching a goal that was set at the beginning of the season.
“At the beginning, we told the boys that we want to eventually be playing Edgar,” Eide said. “We wanted to play well (against Regis) and give ourselves that opportunity, and we did.
“They have a very good team, but we’re excited about getting the opportunity.”