Baldwin-Woodville scored 28 of its 35 game points Friday in the third quarter alone to beat Ellsworth 35-6 and spoil the Panthers' Homecoming festivities at Fuller-Symes field.
The Panthers played the undefeated and No. 4 ranked Blackhawks to a 0-0 tie after one half of football.
On the opening kick-off of the second half, Ellsworth tired an onside kick that failed. It set up the Blackhawks for their first touchdown, a 17-yard off tackle run on a fake-dive play by quarterback Jordan Weyer.
Ellsworth went for it on 4th and 2 on their own 23-yard line in their first possession of the second half and failed to covert. With another short field to work with, Baldwin-Woodville score its next touchdown on a 13-yard run by running back Riley Anderson.
Ellsworth head coach John Groh doesn't regret the high stakes gambles the coaching staff made at the start of the second half.
"I have no regrets because we came to beat Baldwin-Woodville, not play them close," Groh said. "We had to take chances to do so and remember, our defense was on the field a lot in the second quarter, and I did not want to get into a situation where they would grind it out on us. I wanted us to have the ball."
But Baldwin-Woodville's good field position was also due to problems with the Ellsworth punting game. Blocked punts have forced the Panthers to use quarterback Bryce Stockwell to make quick kicks on fourth down. Some were okay but others didn't go very far, including one that was -4 yards in the first half.
"Our kicking game is fixable and we better do it fast if we want to have a chance to win our next few ballgames." Groh said.
Stockwell was much better finding receivers Friday, including Alex Campbell on a 20-yard touchdown pass on a fourth down and 10 play.
But Baldwin-Woodville also went to the state's top player in Jake Keefer in the second half and University of Wisconsin bound running back scored on a two-yard run and caught a diving 11-yard touchdown pass. He also made a crushing block that took out two Ellsworth players which sprung Weyer for the game's first score. Anderson also scored on a 33-yard touchdown run.
Ellsworth drops to 1-5 overall and 1-3 in the Middle Border Conference. But the Panthers still can make the playoffs if they win their last three ballgames starting with New Richmond at home Thursday.