I can’t say this is unheard of, but Two Rivers is doing something that not a lot of high school football programs could only dream of doing. Through two non-conference games and their first Eastern Wisconsin Conference outing, Two Rivers has not allowed a point. Their defense has been phenomenal, but the one-two combo of Justin Klinkner and Chase Matthias is what has made this team special.
After a 54-0 blowout to start the season, Two Rivers began to turn some heads. It wasn’t Chase Matthias rushing for 300 yards, instead, Justin Klinkner put on a show. A week after, the Raiders didn’t let their first road trip slow them down as it was a 72-0 routing of Brown Deer. A 34-point first quarter and 32-point second quarter resulted in their 66-0 lead at the half…
Then came Roncalli. The Jets lost a heartbreaker last week after starting their season 1-0 for the first time in three years. Roncalli knew they were in for a challenge, and a 64-0 blowout loss was the result. Justin Klinkner was 10 for 11 with a trio of touchdowns while Matthias had just four yards over 100 and still finished with four TD’s on the night.
Justin Klinkner has a perfect passer rating after three games. This kid is on a different level right now. Klinkner is 32 for 41 with 647 yards and 11 touchdowns. That comes out to a 78% completion percentage, 15.8 yards per passing attempt, and no interceptions to go along with it. This has also allowed the Raiders backup, Parker Glandt, to start his season 7 for 9 with 3 touchdowns.
At this point, Chase Matthias only has 373 rushing yards on the season. I use the term “only” loosely only because we saw Chase rush for that many in one game last season. Matthias, along with the entire running back core, haven’t fumbled all season.
Two Rivers hasn’t thrown for an interception or fumbled in their first three games.
Matthias has a total of 11 touchdowns so far, but his counterpart, Justin Klinkner, is slowly catching him in the rushing yards category. Klinkner is rolling out of the pocket and finding space, as seen in his 13 carries for 203 yards and 3 touchdowns. Matthias and Klinkner are the only Raiders with a rushing touchdown on the season, however Zander Popp, Damien Gretz, and Trevor Miller have all been given opportunities.
Looking at Klinkner’s numbers, it’s no surprise to hear that three Raiders receivers have over 100 receiving yards already. Not only that, but four receivers have a pair of reception touchdowns. Zander Popp leads the way in receptions (8) and yards (157) but only has hauled in one touchdown. Elijah Mott is a big-time factor on the field with his 7 receptions for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
Other teams need to be watching out for #16. Austin Phillips only has four receptions, but two of which have resulted in him crossing the goal line. Phillips is the deep ball threat as he has 31.2 yards per catch. Chase Kellner is tied with Mott at 7 receptions; however, Kellner only has 84 yards to show for it. Damien Gretz and DeAndre McPherson are the other Raiders with two receiving touchdowns on the season. Chase Matthias and Orian Gauger make up for the final reception touchdowns that Klinkner is responsible for.
Speaking of Orian Gauger, is anyone having a better defensive start than him? Gauger made the statewide stat leaders list coming into week 3 as he and Ben Healy (Hudson) had four interceptions each. Gauger added one more interception to that list at the expense of Roncalli’s Chalupny, putting Gauger at five interceptions through three games. Klinkner, Popp, and Richards all have an interception also, but that’s it for the rest of the team. Orian Gauger has more interceptions than the rest of his team combined.
Damien Gretz has a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, and he even made his way into the end-zone as one of those was a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Chase Matthias is the man who leads the way with two forced fumbles. When it comes to sacks, Gretz’s name has to be mentioned once again as he leads the way with three. Four other Two Rivers players have a sack recorded this season.
Orian Gauger and Damien Gretz are the two key names defensively for this program. Gretz continues to get attention in this article as he leads the team in total tackles (19) and tackles for loss (5). Seven different TR players have 10+ total tackles on the season, but Gretz is the only man with double digit solo tackles.
Two Rivers is the only undefeated team in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference. New Holstein is 2-1, four teams are 1-2, and shockingly, Brillion and KLC are 0-3. Two Rivers doesn’t play New Holstein until October 7th, so who knows how the Huskies will be when October comes around. Next week the Raiders host Brillion, a team coming off a heartbreaking 27-20 loss to Kiel. Not many expected the Lions to start 0-3, but it’ll be a tough ask for them to get their first win at the expense of Two Rivers.
If you count the odd 2020 season, Two Rivers has now started 3-0 or better in three of their last four seasons. This Raiders team seems unstoppable. Getting into conference action, we’ll really begin to understand where they rank not only in the EWC, but the entire state of Wisconsin.
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