Paw Paw picked up a 35-6 homecoming win over Vicksburg for football week seven Friday night, securing their first 7-0 start to a season since 2013.
Despite the lopsided final score, it was only a one-possession game early in the third quarter. However, Paw Paw’s running attack would control the game from there offensively and the defense would lock down, stopping Vicksburg’s pass attack with help from the constant rainfall.
Both teams only had three proper drives in the first half with Paw Paw scoring on the first two via a four-yard Mason Popp rushing touchdown and a nine-yarder by Kolby Hindenach. Vicksburg’s first drive ended in a Hindenach interception near the red zone, followed by two punts for a 14-0 halftime score.
The lone Bulldog touchdown came 47 seconds into the third quarter as quarterback Jacob Conklin hooked up with Chase Myers on a 45-yard post pass. The PAT was blocked to keep Vicksburg at six, where they stayed for the rest of the night. Girls soccer all-state kicker Claudia Muessig would make all five of her extra points for Paw Paw.
Hindenach really came alive in the second half, as the junior running back put up roughly half of his 207 rushing yards in third quarter. Big runs set up an eight-yard Nolan Beck TD run two minutes into the third quarter for a 21-6 lead. Hindenach left briefly for an injury, but exploded for a 26-yard touchdown in his first carry back. He added a four-yard score in the fourth quarter.
Paw Paw stayed true to their defensive average on the season, allowing only one touchdown on the night. After the 45-yard TD pass, Conklin would be held to only one completion of 13 yards for the rest of the game.
The loss drops Vicksburg to 5-2 on the season. One win from clinching a playoff spot, the Bulldogs host Dowagiac (4-3) in week eight and travel to Otsego (4-3) in week nine.
Tied for the top ranking in the Associated Press Division 4 poll, Paw Paw improves to 7-0 and seems destined for a Wolverine Conference championship showdown at home week nine against fellow unbeaten Edwardsburg. You can listen to that game in two weeks live via JoeInsider.com. Prior to that, Paw Paw heads to winless South Haven in week eight.
PP- 4 yard rush Mason Popp, Claudia Muessig PAT (7:59)
PP- 9 yard rush Kolby Hindenach, Muessig PAT (10:21)
VB- 45 yard pass Chase Myers from Jacob Conklin, PAT blocked (11:13)
PP- 8 yard rush Nolan Beck, Muessig PAT (10:00)
PP- 26 yard rush Kolby Hindenach, Muessig PAT (4:46)
PP- 4 yard rush Kolby Hindenach, Muessig PAT (11:08)
Total Yards: Paw Paw 445, Vicksburg 138
Turnovers: Paw Paw 0, Vicksburg 1
Paw Paw Rushing: Kolby Hindenach 207, 3 TD; Nolan Beck 83, 1 TD; Mason Popp 40, 1 TD; Jackson Kanniainen 37, Niko Martinez 18, Connor Hindenach 15, Will Marshall 14, Gavin Lorenz 2, Cade Shipley 2, Jason Rocz -3
Vicksburg Rushing: Jacob Conklin 28, Brandon Thompson 6, Jayce Todd -14
Paw Paw Passing: Mason Popp 2-2, 32 yards
Vicksburg Passing: Jacob Conklin 8-18, 118 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Paw Paw Receiving: Nolan Beck 2-32
Vicskburg Receiving: Chase Myers 4-79, 1 TD; Toby Stock 2-22, Lucas Hatridge 1-10, Ethan Razmus-Buscher 1-7
Records: Paw Paw 7-0, Vicksburg 5-2