LAKE MILLS — The moment was not too big for Quinn Faust.
It helps when, in a sense, you can revert to drawing it up in the dirt, just like you did in the neighborhood all those years ago.
“It’s just backyard stuff,” said Quinn’s older brother, Riley Faust. “We’ve been working on that stuff since, I don’t know, we were 6 years old. We’ve been doing it all our life.”
Little brother to big brother proved to be the difference Friday at Campus Field, as Quinn Faust converted a fourth-and-10 for a 28-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Riley Faust for what proved to be the winning score in Lodi’s 17-14 triumph over Lake Mills in a WIAA Division 4 first-round playoff game.
The win avenged a regular-season loss to Lake Mills, on Lodi’s home turf, and keeps alive the sixth-seeded Blue Devils’ quest to defend their state title.
Quinn Faust entered the game at quarterback late in the second quarter for junior starter Zach Potter. Lodi coach Dave Puls said Potter had been battling elbow and arm soreness all week. And as Friday’s contest devolved more into a field-position and ball-control game, the Blue Devils went with the younger Faust, who is a little better runner on the edges.
But it was the combination of arm and legs that made the biggest play of the game for Lodi (8-2). Facing a fourth-and-10 and protecting a 10-7 lead, Quinn Faust bought some time by rolling to his left and lofted a pass down the sideline to Riley Faust for the touchdown to push Lodi’s lead to 17-7 with just under 7 minutes to play.
Riley is a senior while Quinn and Conner are twin sophomores.
“I mean, at times, yeah, he’s my brother, so he makes mistakes and I have to be honest with him, but yeah, he’s a great player and I love to have him out there,” Riley Faust said of Quinn.
Both Fausts were also part of a Lodi defense that handcuffed the L-Cats’ offense and sophomore quarterback Adam Moen. Lodi held third-seeded Lake Mills to 17 yards in the first half, after Moen racked up 272 yards of total offense in the regular-season meeting — a 25-14 Lake Mills win.
Quinn had a first-quarter interception that set up a Lodi field goal and Riley Faust had the game-ending interception after Lake Mills (7-3) cut its deficit to 17-14 with 2:43 to play. An interception by Faust moments earlier was nixed because of offsetting penalties. Lodi intercepted Moen three times on the night.
“We tried limiting those big plays and keeping everything in front of us, tackling everything in front of us and limiting the big plays, which we did pretty well,” Riley Faust said.
Moen led Lake Mills to two second-half touchdown drives, but it was the first half that made the difference, L-Cats coach Dan Ferkovich said. Ferkovich took the blame for the loss, saying his squad tried to get too cute in the first half offensively. Instead of just lining up and going at Lodi as the L-Cats did in the first meeting, they tried to outscheme the Blue Devils out of different, and less common, formations.
“We got away from what we normally do and that cost us the first half, and ultimately that was the game,” Ferkovich said. “Put 24 minutes on the clock and what happens? And that’s what we wasted, 24 minutes.”
Puls wants to see Lodi clean up the self-inflicted mistakes. The Blue Devils had three second-half penalties that either killed a drive or extended one for Lake Mills.
The game’s first two plays produced turnovers, as Lodi intercepted Moen but gave the ball right back on a fumble from inside the Lake Mills 5-yard line.
The Blue Devils will face second-seeded Edgerton in the second round.
“We have to stop beating ourselves,” Puls said. “We’ll have to figure out what (Edgerton does) and what we need to do to get ready for them.”
But avenging that regular-season loss, which snapped Lodi’s 21-game winning streak, and ending a mini two-game skid to end the regular season was the needed medicine for the Blue Devils.
“No one thought we were going to win,” Riley Faust said. “The fact that we can beat them on their field after they beat us on our field, it couldn’t be better.”
Lodi 7 3 0 7 — 17
Lake Mills 0 0 7 7 — 14
L — Nicolay 31 run (Soehle kick)
L — FG Soehle 37
LM — Moen 1 run (Mitchell kick)
L — Faust 28 pass from Faust (Soehle kick)
LM — Buechel 17 pass from Moen
First downs — L 13, LM 6. Rushing (Att.-Yds.) — L 51-159, LM 14-14. Passing yards — L 93, LM 169. Passes (Comp.-Att.-Int.) — L 7-13-0, LM 9-33-3. Fumbles-lost — L 1-1, LM 1-0. Penalties-yards — L 4-45, LM 2-16.
Rushing: L, Nicolay 19-116. LM, Moen 13-18.
Passing: L, Faust 3-8-0-53. LM, Moen 9-33-3-170.
Receiving: L, Faust 5-69. LM, Buechel 4-115.