TWO RIVERS — The Two Rivers high school football team is on the verge of doing something this Friday night that they haven’t done in 32 years – win the Eastern Wisconsin Conference.
The undefeated Purple Raiders (8-0, 6-0) head to Chilton on Friday to play the Tigers who are undefeated in the conference as well.
“We knew Chilton was going to be here at the end of the year,” said Two Rivers head coach Kevin Shillcox. “We knew they had a lot coming back. They’re a good football team – we’ll be ready.”
Some players on the team had no idea the team has been in a conference title drought that has lasted over three decades.
“I didn't know it was that long when I first came here,” said junior running back and linebacker Chase Matthias. “All the coaches, everybody, they’re very excited for it and that’s just getting me more excited.”
“Since I've been a kid, I've been just been looking forward to this moment and it’s here on Friday,” said senior wide receiver and defensive end Elijah Mott.
Their offense is just terrorizing opposing defenses. The Purple Raiders are averaging almost 53 points per game. They lead the state in scoring.
“Explosive,” is how junior quarterback Justin Klinkner described the offense. “We can hit you from all sorts of places and if you stop the run, then we can throw.”
Klinkner has gone scorched this season. On the year he has 26 touchdowns, only two picks and has over 1,900 yards passing. He can also get it done rushing the ball. He has 414 yards on 54 attempts for 414 yards (7.7 yards per carry) and six rushing touchdowns.
“(He) really took leaps and bounds over the summer, said Shillcox. “Had a great summer throwing the football and it’s proving here. Smart kid, makes good decisions – very humble.”
Matthias balances out the Purple Raiders offense on the ground. The junior has a ridiculous 21 rushing touchdowns, and is averaging almost 8 yards per carry for 842 yards (7.9 ypc).
“He runs hard, he’s quick and he’s got good vision,” said Klinkner. “He’s got probably one of the best hands on the team. You can use him in many different ways and you don’t know how to game plan for him.”
Matthias also is averaging 38 yards per catch and has five receiving touchdowns. The top four receivers for Two Rivers are averaging 19 yards per catch or higher.
“Those guys are all just multi-sport athletes,” Shillcox said. ”It’s kind of special to have that many skilled guys out there and they’re all on the same page.”
Although this is the biggest game of their lives, they've been playing every matchup that way this year.
“There's definitely pressure, I mean coaches give us a great game plan. they’re always doing their best. we just got to follow through,” said Matthias.