Students of John Hustis Elementary School were a bit hyper during a recent morning assembly. The excitement stemmed from their expected visitors, which included members of the Husticon football team. The young fans formed a tunnel, and stuck their hands out hoping to connect when the players walked through.
Horicon/Hustisford senior running back Alex Davis weaved his way through the tunnel, taking it all in and enjoying the moment.
"It feels great, we have a lot of support and it makes me think about how far we've come."
The Marshfalcons defeated Lake Country Lutheran, 21-7 Friday night, November 3 in a WIAA Division 5 Level 3 playoff game and earned a spot in the state semifinals for the first time in program history.
Not bad, considering that just two years ago Husticon finished their football season with an 0-9 record, and last year they finished 3-7.
"We've gone through years where we didn't win a game, and we didn't think we'd get better...it was just, not fun," Davis admitted. "Now, to come all this way and be this good really means a lot. It's really special."
Horicon/Hustisford will play two-time defending Division 5 state champion La Crosse Aquinas at Wisconsin Dells on Friday, November 10 at 7 p.m.
Davis leads the team with 1,146 yards rushing, 16 touchdowns and 6.3 yards per carry.
The team captain was a part of many big victories this season, including a 46-34 win over Palmyra-Eagle on September 8. Davis had 179 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Husticon finished with a total of 405 rushing yards and they didn't look back, winning their next nine games.
Davis told WTKM Sports that their final regular season game against Waterloo, a 36-20 win, also provided the team with a spark.
"We were really feeling like we had a good team, and our defense stepped up and played really good against Waterloo. It gave our whole team confidence, stopping the other team and getting off the field so our offense could operate."
Another big highlight for the Marshfalcons, and a clear indication on how far this team has come, was beating a good team twice this season. That team is Lomira, and it included a 26-13 win in the first game of the year and then a WIAA Level 2 playoff victory of 27-26.
It's hard to do. And it's also hard to make a key stop on defense, or create a turnover but Davis, who also plays linebacker, was able to do just that during their Level 3 game against Lake Country Lutheran.
It happened early in the fourth quarter - the Lightning drove the length of the field to the red zone and were in position to score. Davis made a quick read on a pass play and came up with his first interception of the season. He returned it 40 yards to midfield with around 8:00 left in the game.
"Our coaches talked a lot about take aways, and how important it is. That really set up a good situation for us late in the game."
The senior linebacker has provided solid leadership on the defensive side for Horicon/Hustisford, with 57 tackles and two tackles for loss.
Davis also expressed his appreciation for the coaches, including first-year head coach Jason Fiacco.
"There is some pressure, but our coaches help us with it and we've come so far. We are having fun and just trying to play our best. If we play our best, then we'll have a good outcome."
Photo by Hustisford High School.