The Poynette prep football team had a chance to play a role in Columbus’ playoff dreams last Friday. A win by the Pumas would knock the Cardinals from playoff contention.
However, Columbus scored 20 unanswered points to close out the game and knock off Poynette 39-13.
“We played very well overall until I think we got wore down a bit late,” Puma coach Greg Kallungi said. “We came out and executed offensively and were able to move the football very effectively most of the game. Defensively we gave up a couple of big passes in the first half, but did well once we got that coverage squared away. We had some big turnovers that hurt us and ended up making the final score look a lot more lopsided than the game was.”
After winning the first two games of the season, Poynette dropped its final seven games of the 2019 campaign.
“Football is a great microcosm of life and I think we had a bit of everything this season,” Kallungi said. “We were faced with adversity in terms of some injuries at key positions at different points in the year. I thought our senior leadership was very good in keeping everyone together and on the same page. We had guys step up when people went down and give us everything they had.”
The Pumas (2-7 overall) finished 0-5 in the Capitol North Conference.
“The Capitol North is obviously a very strong conference and we had a chance to win a couple of those games in the fourth quarter,” Kallungi said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make the plays late in those games in order to do that. This group was a very enjoyable group to coach this season. The seniors are good leaders and work hard. They’ll definitely be missed.”
Lake Mills claimed the Capitol North title with a 5-0 record, followed by Lakeside Lutheran (3-2), Columbus (3-2), Lodi (2-3), Luther Prep (2-3) and Poynette.
After a scoreless first quarter, Poynette took its only lead of the game with a 25-yard field by Christian Bault early in the second quarter.
Columbus answered with back-to-back touchdown passes by William Cotter. He tossed scoring passes of 35 and 28 yards to Jevin Burbach.
The Pumas only trailed 12-10 at halftime after a 38-yard touchdown run by Braydon O’Connor. Bault added the extra-point kick.
Columbus scored the only touchdown in the third quarter. Trace Kirchberg returned an interception 75 yards for a score.
The Pumas cut the deficit to 19-13 early in the fourth quarter with a 22-yard field goal by Bault.
“We had a chance to win the game in the four quarter and were very happy with the effort of our guys,” Kallungi said. “We challenged them to give us everything they had for four quarters and that’s exactly what they did.”
However, Columbus started to pull away with touchdown runs of 2 and 33 yards by Caden Brunell.
The Cardinals closed out their scoring with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Cotter to Alex Campbell.
O’Connor finished the game with 75 yards rushing on 20 attempts.
Poynette quarterback Jackson Elsing was 16-of-39 passing for 193 yards, while Colby Savich caught eight balls for 91 yards.
Cotter was 10-of-17 passing for 162 yards and three touchdowns, while Brunell rushed for 50 yards on 16 carries. Burbach finished with three catches for 99 yards.