ASHWAUBENON — The Fox River Classic Conference has been in existence six years and there have been six different conference champions.
No team has won two titles, but that might change this season, and one of the contenders to win a second title is Ashwaubenon. The Jaguars have won their first two games of the season for the first time since 2010, when they won the FRCC title.
There’s seven weeks left in the season, but Ashwaubenon has at least the attention of many with its start.
"I think the kids have come back with a real good attitude; they didn't want to lose, they didn't want to lose a home game,” coach Mark Jonas said. “That's one of our goals. Going to the platoon system for us, I think, has helped us a lot.
“We've been able to allow our kids learn that one position and learn it very well. I think that's made a little bit of difference as well between the last two years, really, and this one."
Ashwaubenon has won its two games in different manners. After Green Bay Preble led 7-0 in the season opener, the Jaguars scored the game’s next 40 points and cruised to a 40-7 win.
Then in Week 2, Ashwaubenon rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit after Manitowoc returned an interception for a touchdown. James Morgan threw three TD passes in the game and led the Jaguars to the end zone for the game’s only points in the fourth quarter.
"Last week, Manitowoc, we had come back a little bit, but they're a really good team,” Morgan said. “We had to show our resilience and battle back in that one, so that was something to be said and happy about that and our guys playing together."
Added Jonas: "They did a great job coming back in the fourth quarter. We got together after the third quarter and they really did a super job of responding to what we asked them to do."
It helps Jonas has Morgan on offense to look to. The 6 foot 4 junior is drawing Division I attention and watch him for just a little while and you can see his talent.
Morgan has tossed six TD passes and has accumulated 458 yards, while running back Jake Zills has 204 rushing yards and two TDs, giving Ashwaubenon balance.
But Morgan is the one who will need to make big plays in big games, like this week, for the Jaguars to be an FRCC title contender. Jonas seems comfortable with that.
“He’s a great leader; he has a cannon for an arm,” Jonas said. “The kid can make every throw you ask him to. Hopefully, we can ask him to do more with his feet and that dimension will make teams respect what we do offensively even more than what they do already.”
Jonas has a lot of respect for Southwest, which has won 15 straight games against FRCC schools. He’s looking forward to seeing where his team matches up against the defending conference champs, who happen to be averaging 46.5 points per game.
“Any time you play the champion, you always measure yourself against them,” Jonas said. “It doesn’t matter what level it’s at. We need to play well. Try to keep the score as low as possible, I think, will help us. Hopefully we pull out a win.”
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
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