The Oregon football team is off to a 1-2 start ahead of tonight’s home game against Madison Edgewood.
The Panthers started their season Aug. 23 with a 20-6 road loss to Reedsburg. Oregon bounced back to beat Beaver Dam 21-14 on Aug. 30, and nearly pulled off a 22-point comeback Friday, Sept. 6, in a 42-34 home loss to rival Stoughton.
Edgewood comes into Week 4 winless. The Crusaders were shut out by DeForest (47-0) in Week 1, and Watertown (41-0) in Week 3. Edgewood also lost 19-13 to Sauk Prairie.
Stoughton 42, Oregon 34
Mason Grender returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown, and running back Teague Szudy rumbled into the end zone from 2 yards out to pull the Panthers within a score with 1:14 left in the fourth quarter.
However, the Panthers’ ensuing onside kick was wiped out by illegal touching, and Stoughton ran the clock out.
The Panthers tied the game at 7 on Szudy’s 2-yard touchdown run. After two Vikings’ touchdowns, Oregon’s Matt Kissling broke a tackle on his way to a 9-yard touchdown with 1:23 left before halftime to make it 21-14 Stoughton.
The Vikings responded with a touchdown right before halftime and another to start the second half to increase their lead to 35-14 lead.
Austin Saunders ran in for a touchdown from 4 yards out for Oregon, but Adam Hobson responded with a 9-yard touchdown run of his own to extend Stoughton’s lead to 42-20 with 2:33 left in the third quarter.
Matt Kissling rushed for 47 yards on six carries, while Szudy rushed for 37 yards on 12 carries. Quarterback Erik Victorson completed 7 of 17 passes for 148 yards. Donovan Johnson had three receptions for 84 yards.
“I thought our offense did really well and kept us in the game,” Oregon coach Dan Kissling said. “Once we settled down, we really played well.”
Oregon 21, Beaver Dam 14
Grender scored a go-ahead 24-yard touchdown run to propel the Panthers past the Beavers.
“I got sort of stuck in the backfield, but I saw our linemen kept moving forward,” Grender said. “I juked a guy out pretty hard and raced to the pylon to score.”
Oregon rushed for 292 yards on 38 carries, including Grender’s burst with 7:55 seconds remaining.
Oregon marched down the field for touchdowns on its first two possessions. Ryan McCorkle ran in from 2 yards out, and Austin Saunders raced around the right side for an 8-yard score.
Matt Kissling led the Panthers’ rushing attack with seven carries for 84 yards. Szudy added 11 carries for 67 yards, Grender rushed for 42 yards on two carries, and Damien Johnson added three carries for 32. Johnson started the game with a 27-yard scamper, Saunders carried five times for 23 yards, and McCorkle rumbled for 19 yards on eight carries.
Victorson was an efficient 5-for-8 for 56 yards through the air. Szudy also had three catches for 38 yards, all on screen passes.
Reedsburg 20, Oregon 6
The Panthers’ offense struggled to find a consistent rhythm in a season-opener loss to the Beavers.
The Panthers ran just 16 plays for 32 yards and two first downs in the second half.
Oregon tied the game at 6 with 7:01 left in the second quarter. Johnson’s 50-yard catch and run set Oregon up at the Reedsburg 27-yard line. Defensive holding on fourth down extended the Panthers’ drive, and McCorkle capitalized with a 1-yard touchdown run on fourth down.
The Beavers took the lead for good with a touchdown right before halftime, and tacked on another score late in the fourth quarter.
Victorson finished 6-for-17 for 117 yards and an interception. The Panthers’ ground attack totaled 50 yards on 21 carries. McCorkle led the way with 23 rushing yards.