The last time the Poynette prep football team hosted Belleville in a Week 3 non-conference game in 2011, the Pumas performance was so dominating in a 38-0 victory that the Wildcats called the game in the third quarter due to a lack of healthy players.
This would not be the case this time around last Friday. The visiting Wildcats had the upper-hand in all facets on their way to a 20-0 victory.
“They were the better team, no question about it,” Poynette coach Greg Kallungi said. “They out-executed us.”
With the loss in their home opener, the Pumas had their six-game non-conference win streak come to an end. They are now 2-1 on the year.
Poynette was its own worst enemy at times on Friday. They committed 10 penalties and had two turnovers.
“We had a ton of penalties,” Kallungi said. “A lot of that is on us and we have to clean it up. We can’t have mental penalties and expect to win a game.”
The Pumas did not have an answer for the Wildcat’s passing attack. Belleville passed for 259 yards and finished with 379 overall.
Wildcat quarterback JJ Wegner was 15-of-27 passing for 269 yards and three touchdowns.
“We had all kinds of trouble with their quarterback,” Kallungi said. “When you let an athletic quarterback like that have extra time to throw, you are putting your secondary in a tough spot.”
Josh Grebel caught six of Wegner’s passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
After rolling offensively in the first two games of the season, Poynette was limited to 195 yards of total offense and was kept out of the end zone.
Puma quarterback Jackson Elsing was 9-of-27 passing for 113 yards and two interceptions. Colby Savich caught four balls for 40 yards.
Brayden O’Connor led Poynette’s rushing attack with 45 yards on 14 carries.
The Pumas defense kept things close in the first quarter with interceptions on the Wildcat’s first two drives. Jimmy Heath and Christian Bault both garnered takeaways for Poynette.
“Our defense was able to come up with a couple of takeaways and we moved the ball on offense early, but couldn’t finish,” Kallungi said.
Poynette missed a 29-yard field goal attempt on its second drive of the contest.
Belleville broke the scoreless tie after an interception midway through the second quarter. Quarterback JJ Wenger threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Josh Grebel.
The Wildcats increased the lead to 14-0 just before halftime, after Wenger hit Sean McDermott for a 14-yard scoring strike.
The Pumas had a chance to get on the scoreboard on their second drive of the second half. They took the ball inside the Wildcat 10-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs.
“We had chances, but couldn’t take advantage,” Kallungi said. “We didn’t execute well enough to score.”
Belleville added a third touchdown in the fourth quarter. Wenger and Grebel hooked up for another score, this time from 46 yards out.
John Bergeman led Poynette’s defense with eight tackles, while Heath, O’Connor and Bault had six apiece. Austin Falk came away with two sacks, while Payton Horne had one.
The Pumas will close out their non-conference schedule this Friday. They will host Laconia at 7 p.m.
“We have to bounce back,” Kallungi said. “We have 24 hours to feel sorry for ourselves and then it is back to work.”