Falcons rally to defeat Stratford in a game for the ages


The week of October 14, the final week of the regular season, was supposed to end with one of the best conference championship games in the state: Two teams meeting on the gridiron to decide the CWC-Large conference champion. However, due to an ineligible player, Amherst had to forfeit their six previous wins. Nonetheless, with the hopes of a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) putting them in the playoffs and restoring their wins, the Falcons headed to Marshfield to play as if the conference championship remained on the line.








Following the opening kickoff, only Stratford could find the endzone in the first quarter. The tigers found the endzone again but senior quarterback Matthew Glodowski would soon walk it in to make the score at halftime 14-7 in Stratford’s favor. Amherst would control the second half, scoring 20 unanswered points as Glodowski and senior Jake Derezinski found the end zone in the fourth quarter. That streak would end when Stratford scored a passing touchdown. However, on the first play of the drive, Glodowski burst through the line to take it the distance, giving Amherst a  28-21 with just minuates remaing in the fourth quarter. The last play for the Amherst defense, an exclamation point on a dramatic season, came on a game-winning stop on the one inch line. That turned into a turnover on downs resulting in a first down for Amherst, cementing the win for the Amherst community.

Although the 2022 falcon football campaign ended 1-8 (1-6), the students, parents, and fans think of this team as champions. When the team arrived back to Amherst, they walked onto Heartland Farms Field to the cheers and celebratory applause of the community; a final celebration organized by Amherst High School Principal Mike Klieforth.

Quarterback Matthew Glodowski (11) runs the ball during a play when the Falcons faced the Stratford tigers on Oct. 14th.

A couple of days later, on Oct. 17, a Portage County Judge ruled in favor of the WIAA, ending Amherst’s season. With this in mind, members of the team made their way to Stevens Point to support the school. Zaleski Sports broadcaster, and the play-by-play voice of Amherst Athletics Mike Wendlandt said on social media after the hearing, “These high schoolers were nervous and knew that their football future was going to be decided within the next hour and from the prayer that they shared before the hearing and the realization that their season would end around 90 minutes later, they never wavered, never lashed out or reacted in a negative way, and kept their heads high.” Wendlandt went on to write: “They even nicknamed themselves the Black Sheep, and remarked on their legacy in Falcons program history. Even though officially the record will show 1-8, this team is one that will not be easily forgotten.”

Thank you to all of the students, coaches, parents, and fans who made this season a remarkable one. Every 2022 Amherst football game can be rewatched on the Amherst Falcons Athletics and Zaleski Sports youtube channels.

Members of the Amherst football team line up on the end line during the pre-game announcements
Senior Jake Derezinski (12) and junior Michael Benjamin (7) after Derezinski hauled in a passing touchdown
Glodowski receives a play call from head coach Mark Lusic during the game on Oct. 14th.
Glodowski running in a touchdown