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Robins look to rebound after first week's loss, travel to Maroons Friday
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Antigo looks to rebound after losing this past week to the dreaded Rhinelander Hodags, 19-8 in a non-conference affair at Mike Webster Stadium. Traveling to Menominee, Mich., to face the Maroons on Friday, the Red Robins need improvements in its pass defense and offense that was shut down in the second half in Rhinelander.

Tony Libit returns behind center after a difficult first start last week. Attempting just eight passes, Libit finished his evening with two completions for 16 yards and an interception, while taking four sacks and losing a fumble. Libit’s offensive line, averaging just over 300 pounds, will need to do a better job protecting Antigo’s senior quarterback.

Max Nowinsky was the Robins’ workhorse on offense against the Hodags, rushing 27 times for 103 yards. Aeric Berner had the only touchdown for Antigo, a second quarter score that was one of his four carries that garnered him 18 yards that evening.

The run-emphasis game plan employed by Coach Matt Weberpal was prolific in terms of yardage in Antigo’s 20-0 loss at home to Menominee last season, yet failed to secure points on the board. The Robins rushed the ball 46 times for 195 yards, including a 119-yard performance from departed running back Jake Maly.

“They’re (Menominee) is a very well coached teams,” Weberpal noted. “They are fundamentally sound and do not make many mistakes.”

Defensively, the Robins could not contain quarterback Justin Brilinski, whose two rushing scores and a passing TD left the hosting team scoreless. Brilinski, returning this year as a three-year starting QB, leads a Menominee team that’s only loss in 2013 (13-1 overall) was the Division 5 Michigan State Football Championship at Ford Field.

The Maroons’ Head Coach Joe Noah, whose team scored on average nearly 46 points per game in 2013, said “We like to try to keep consistency with our offense. Pretty much 50/50 run and pass.”

Coming off of a week in which the Robins allowed 215 passing yards to the Hodags (at 10.8 average yards per reception), Antigo will need to contain Brilinski in order to keep pace. Brilinski finished the 2013 game against the Robins 9-15 for 167 yards and a touchdown while also throwing two picks.

The Maroons are not at a loss for talent this season as they return 16 seniors this year. Of the returning players, 10 are starters, including an even split of five on offense and five on the defensive side of the ball.

Menominee football is fielding its 121st team for the 2014 season, and history favors the Maroons over the Robins by just one game in the overall series (4-3). The past four meetings between the two teams has seen the Maroons take all four games, outscoring Antigo 138-35 collectively.

“We’re a talented group this year and we’re looking forward to our season beginning,” Menominee’s Coach Noah said. “After our 27-14 loss (in the championship game) last year, we’re itching to play football again.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Blesch Field in Menominee, Mich.  
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ANTIGO DAILY
JOURNAL
612 Superior Street
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

WEEKLY
JOURNAL
EXPRESS
612 Superior Street,
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

*Member WNA & NNA

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