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Comets, Pittman streak past Vikings

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The Denmark News

DENMARK – An already young team made younger still by key injuries proved no match for Waupaca and its elusive back Xzaver Pittman, who put on his own personal track meet in a 50-14 demolition of Denmark on Friday night in Denmark.

Pittman needed only 13 carries to tally 306 yards. More amazing yet is nearly half of his carries – six – reached paydirt as he ripped off long touchdown gallops of 81 and 87 yards.

Denmark was without starting quarterback Sean Malay, starting running back Eli Kapinos and starting lineman Garret Collins but while injuries played a role in the lopsided loss, the Vikings simply looked outmanned against the 1-2 Comets, who largely had their way on offense in racking up 449 total yards and scoring seven touchdowns on 10 possessions. When Pittman did meet resistance, too often he escaped. And all too often he ran largely untouched. Comet quarterback Ethan Harms completed his first seven passes and finished 10 of 14 for 115 yards and a touchdown.

The beginnings of each half provided the Denmark highlights, both compliments of Steven Kielpikowski, who ran the opening kickoff back 75 yards to the five and picked off a Harms pass on the first play of the second half.

Kielpikowski scored on the first play from scrimmage following his kickoff return, giving Denmark a short-lived 7-0 lead with a five-yard run just 19 seconds into the game. But Waupaca marched 64 yards in five plays and the Xzaver Pittman show debuted with a 35-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion put the Comets up 8-7 less than three minutes into the contest and Denmark never led again.

The Comets added to that lead with 6:16 left in the opening period, cashing in on a Denmark fumble and scoring on Pittman’s 15-yard scamper. But running back Garrett Taicher found a seam on an inside handoff and raced 60-yards and just like that Denmark was within a point at 15-14, still with four minutes left in the first quarter. 

Folks settled in for what looked certain to be a scoring fest. It was, but only for the Comets thereafter. The Vikings got a stop but failed to generate offense and a high snap on fourth down set Waupaca up at the 15 and Pittman cashed in his third score from there. Midway through the second period, Pttman got loose and raced 81 yards for another touchdown and Waupaca capped the half with a 33-yard touchdown pass and Denmark limped to the locker room trailing 36-14.

The Vikings came out of intermission with renewed energy. After a big rush forced an errant pass that Kielpikowski picked off at the Denmark 41, the Vikings began a promising drive that might have gotten them back in the game. Four first downs put the Vikings with a first-and-goal from the three. But they couldn’t punch it across and, one play after they turned it over on downs, Pittman was off and running again, this time covering 87 yards.

Denmark was once again beset with mistakes, from penalties to missed tackles to high snaps that resulted in big losses. There were a couple of bright spots. With backup quarterback Tommy Bienapfl receiving little time to generate anything in the passing game, the Vikings turned to the combo of Kielpikowski and Taicher. Kielpikowski led the way with 123 yards on 33 carries, while Taicher finished with 67 on three. Denmark managed just 168 total yards.

Kielpikowski finished with six tackles, while Calvin Lamack, Nathan Lemmens, Hayden Teege and Devon Wautlet each collected four.

Denmark travels to equally struggling Seymour on Friday. This will be Seymour’s fourth straight North Eastern Conference opponent. The Thunder have been outscored by Wrightstown, Freedom and Little Chute by a combined 98-22.




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