POYNETTE — Just as quickly as it’s gained, momentum can be lost.
The Poynette football team was a prime example Friday night as the Pumas gave up 43 straight points en route to a 43-14 loss to Rosendale Laconia in a non-conference game at Elgie G. Noble Field. Senior Christian Bault hauled in a pair of passes for 93 yards, both touchdowns, to lead Poynette in the loss.
“We talk about it a lot, but momentum is a funny thing,” Poynette coach Greg Kallungi said. “Once they got it, we weren’t able to get it back; we weren’t able to stop them defensively and we weren’t able to get anything going on offense either during that stretch.”
The was far from the case early as Poynette scored on its opening drive. Facing a third-and-21 from their own 38-yard line, the Pumas converted as senior quarterback Jackson Elsing delivered a 62-yard touchdown strike to Bault for a 7-0 lead with 9:01 left in the first quarter.
The Spartans wasted little time answering, just 42 seconds in fact, as they went 63 yards in two plays, scoring on a Jake Davies 52-yard touchdown run. Laconia’s pass attempt fell incomplete on the ensuing two-point try to keep Poynette in front 7-6 with 8:19 remaining.
After trading punts, Poynette appeared to score on the following drive when Elsing rattled off a 55-yard touchdown run. The Pumas were hit with bad news twice on the play as the scoring run was called back on a holding penalty and Elsing left the game with a left leg injury.
“It’s funny how quick it can shift and it kind of zapped us, not only taking the seven points off the board, but when kids see your starting quarterback get hurt and go out, that kind of took the wind out of our sails,” Kallungi said.
Two plays later, Poynette senior John Bergeman fumbled and the Spartans pounced on the loose ball at the Poynette 40-yard line. Five plays later, Laconia found the endzone again as Davies took a reverse in from 15 yards out with 11:49 left in the second quarter for a 12-7 lead.
The touchdown run was the beginning of a tumultuous quarter for the Pumas as the Spartans piled up 30 points to take a 36-7 halftime lead. Laconia forced a three-and-out on Poynette’s following drive and later scored with a 25-yard touchdown pass from junior Eli Leonard to Davies.
Leonard then ran in for the two-point conversion to give the Spartans a 20-7 lead with 9:22 left until halftime. Things went from bad to worse as Poynette senior Noah Stark was picked off on the Pumas’ next drive leading to a 19-yard touchdown run by Davies for a 28-7 lead with 7:42 remaining.
Davies finished off the scoring in the quarter, plunging in from four yards out with 1:17 left before the break for a 36-7 lead. Davies ended his night with 238 total yards, including 160 yards and four scores on 13 carries, as the Spartans racked up 353 rushing yards on 40 attempts.
While the Spartans thrived, the Poynette offense sputtered with just 66 yards rushing on 27 carries, which Kallungi attributed to having to change the gameplan after losing Elsing.
“During that stretch in the first half, we were pretty one dimensional; we were kind of trying to only run the ball basically for a while and we had a couple negative plays where there was a fumbled snap, bad snap or a penalty,” he said. “When you’re running the ball a lot and looking at first-and-15 or second-and-20, that’s a huge struggle.”
Leonard ultimately put things to bed late in the third quarter as he rushed in from nine yards with 2:45 left for a 43-7 lead and a running clock. Poynette continued to battle, scoring on its ensuing drive when Stark connected for a 31-yard touchdown pass to Bault with 10:25 left in the fourth quarter.
Following a second consecutive loss things don’t get any easier for the Pumas as they will host Capitol North Conference title favorite Lake Mills in next week’s league opener. While he believes his team will be healthy ahead of the clash with the L-Cats, Kallungi knows they can’t dwell on the defeat.
“Every week we talk about whether you win or lose, you have 24 hours to enjoy it and feel good about yourself, or you have 24 hours to mope around and have to get right back to it,” he said.
ROSENDALE LACONIA 43, POYNETTE 14
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Laconia 6 30 7 0 — 43
Poynette 7 0 0 7 — 14
Poy — Bault 62 pass from Jackson Elsing (Bault kick), 9:01, 1st.
Lac — Davies 52 run (pass failed), 8:54, 1st.
Lac — Davies 15 run (run failed), 11:49, 2nd.
Lac — Davies 25 pass from Eli Leonard (E. Leonard run), 9:22, 2nd.
Lac — Davies 19 run (Davies run), 7:42, 2nd.
Lac — Davies 4 run (Davies pass from E. Leonard), 1:17, 2nd.
Lac — E. Leonard 9 run (Davies kick), 2:45, 3rd.
Poy — Bault 31 pass from Stark (Bault kick), 10:25, 4th.
First Downs — Lac 11, Poy 5. Rushes-Yards — Lac 40-353, Poy 27-66. Passing Yards — Lac 84, Poy 139. Passing (Comp-Att-Int) — Lac 3-8-0, Poy 6-10-1. Fumbles-Lost — Lac 2-1, Poy 3-2. Penalties-Yards — Lac 8-60, Poy 4-40. Total Yards — Lac 437, Poy 205.
Rushing: Lac, Davies 13-160. Poy, O’Connor 13-23.
Passing: Lac, Leonard 8-3-84-0. Poy, Elsing 3-3-94-0.
Receiving: Lac, Davies 2-78. Poy, Bault 2-93.