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Fenton needed a win in Friday's regular-season finale against Riverside-Brookfield to punch its ticket to the playoffs. And win the Bison did in decisive fashion.
Behind a balanced offense and a defense that provided good field position, Fenton rolled to a 43-14 victory over the host Bulldogs in Brookfield. After missing the postseason last year, the Bison were in a celebratory mood after the final horn sounded. Next week's opponent will be announced Saturday night.
"It feels great," said Fenton running back Alex Cowan of making the postseason. "Marching the ball down the field, that all we needed to do."
Cowan and the rest of Bison did lots of marching, piling up 340 yards of total offense. Cowan accounted for 142 of those yards on 17 carries, including touchdown runs of 40 and 23 yards. The senior did a terrific job juking defenders and broke some tackles too to give his team the early advantage. He also caught 5 passes for 47 yards.
Fenton quarterback Willie Wassmann provided a lot of balance at the helm. He threw for 3 touchdowns on 10-of-13 passing for 108 yards. The junior was impressive in scrambling to keep plays alive after the protection broke down.
"They have been consistent all year," said Fenton coach Mark Kos, talking about Cowan and Wassmann. "They are multiple-sport athletes and are the kind of athletes you want representing your program. They work hard and are competitors."
Running back Tom Corona also scored for the Bison (6-3, 3-1 Metro Suburban Conference) from 18 yards out.
After stopping R-B (1-8, 1-3) in its first series thanks in part to a monster sack by defensive lineman Matt Lucas, Fenton needed only four plays to get on the scoreboard. Cowan raced up the near sideline on a 40-yard run to hit pay dirt with 7:33 to play in the first quarter and was helped by a strong block by wide receiver Zach Jakalski.
For his good work blocking, Jakalski was rewarded with a couple of touchdown passes from Wassmann. His second reception for a score gave the Bison a 29-0 lead early in the third quarter.
Fenton's offensive play calling was particularly sharp. On a third-down play, they loaded up on one side with three receivers and once the ball was snapped, Wassmann rolled the other direction and completed a pass for a big gain. Tight end Greg Wagner also had a touchdown catch.
"Our play calling was really good and we executed real well," Wassmann said.
The Bulldogs did not get much going until the second half when they went no-huddle.
"Fenton has a great squad — hats off to them," said R-B coach Brendan Curtin. "We did not come out and play our best football in the first half of the game."
The Bison are fired up for their season to continue.
"We missed the playoffs last year and that was a bit of an ax to grind for the players because they always fight for more weeks to keep this football family together," Kos said. "We have earned that right. We don't know where we are going next week, but we are glad we are going somewhere."