WIAA Division 7 Championship: Burlington Catholic Central 34, Hilbert 17
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- It sounded like a broken record: Burlington Catholic Central quarterback Reese Hartlage finding a wide-open target in Thursday's WIAA Division 7 state football championship game.
And after that play was called over and over, the end result was a slew of broken records and a state title for the Hilltoppers, who rolled over Hilbert 34-17 at Camp Randall Stadium.
Hartlage, wide receiver B.J. Ritzman and even punter Ben Wilde etched their names in the record books as Catholic Central earned its first WIAA championship after winning five private-school titles.
Ritzman caught six passes for 136 yards and three touchdowns, matching or establishing Division 7 marks in all three categories.
Hartlage connected with Ritzman on a 63-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter to take a 7-0 lead. Hilbert bit on a play-action fake to running back Max Vos, and Hartlage found Ritzman waiting at the Wolves 40.
Ritzman spun away from one defender after making the catch, then raced down the right sideline for the score. The touchdown set a Division 7 record for longest pass play, and completed a six-play, 93-yard drive.
The Hilltoppers used play-action to great effect, as Hartlage rarely had trouble finding an open receiver. The senior QB was 11-of-20 for a Division 7-record 219 yards.
"Reese just knows where to put the ball perfectly every time," Ritzman said. "There's not a better quarterback anywhere."
Ritzman gave the Hilltoppers some extra cushion with two fourth-quarter TD grabs.
Vos rushed for 155 yards and two touchdowns for Catholic Central. He did most of his damage in the second half, when he racked up 109 yards and a TD.
"I wanted to get the ball. I want the pressure," Vos said. "That opens up the passing game and you saw how good it was today. It was stop one or the other but they couldn't do both."
Vos also recovered one of four Hilbert fumbles. Defensive end Andre Jacobson got another, and also blocked a punt. The Hilltoppers converted the miscues into 27 points.
"In a game of this magnitude, you can't have those turnovers," Hilbert coach Mike Breckheimer said. "That's an absolute no-no."
Quarterback Luke Pattermann rushed for 112 yards and a pair of TDs for Hilbert. Pattermann gave the Wolves new life in the second half, with a Division 7-record 80-yard scoring run that pulled Hilbert within 24-14.
But the Hilltoppers answered immediately with an 11-play, 76-yard drive that ended when Hartlage found Ritzman streaking down the middle for an 11-yard touchdown.
Wilde set Division 7 records for longest punt (51 yards) and punting average (42 yards).
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