WIAA D5: Lake Country Lutheran storms back, tops Stratford 22-13

Things weren’t looking great for Lake Country Lutheran early on.

Stratford scored on its opening two possessions — a two-yard run by Beau Gross and a 17-yard strike to Justin Radke from quarterback Max Schwabe — to open a 13-0 lead.

The tides turned, however, late in the second quarter.

2019 WIAA Football Championships

After being stopped on its first four drives of the game, Lake Country Lutheran used a bit of trickery to get into the end zone, as Andrew Schumacher caught a five-yard pass from receiver Jacob Studer to make it 13-6.

The Lightning never looked back.

Lake Country Lutheran went on to score 22 unanswered points to erase the 13-point deficit and secure the D5 championship with a 22-13 victory — the school’s first football title since it opened in 1999.

Quarterback Luke Haertle put the Lightning ahead for good with a 20-yard touchdown rush with four minutes to play.

Chase Caliendo was a monster on the defensive line, logging 3.5 sacks and the game-sealing safety in the fourth quarter.

Schumacher put on a show, as he hauled in five receptions for 97 yards and two scores. Zech Hans tallied four catches for 105 yards and also intercepted a pass from backup quarterback Chandler Schmidt on a trick play in the fourth.

Stratford has now suffered two consecutive losses in the D5 state championship. The Tigers fell 20-17 to St. Mary’s Springs last year. Stratford hasn’t won a state title since taking home six straight championships from 2003-08.