They fell 31-7 to Merrill at Onalaska High School to open their 2014 season. It's the second consecutive year they've lost to Merrill in the season opener.
It was a tight game for most of the first half. Merrill jumped out to a 12-0 lead but Onalaska scored a touchdown with about four minutes left in the second quarter.
Merrill answered quickly, the legs of Mason Reinhardt providing six points to make it 18-7.
The Hilltoppers had a chance to answer before the half ended, but a turnover on a fumble near midfield negated any real chance. It was a frustrating night overall for Onalaska, as they turned the ball over three times deep in opponent territory, highlighted by a fumble inside the 10 yard line moments after Andrew Thorsen intercepted a Drew Hoff pass and neanearlyturned it for a touchdown.
Instead, Merrill dominated the time of possession game for most of the second half, and gave the ball to Reinhardt again for a touchdown run in the closing seconds.
Onalaska travels to LanLancasteriday night.
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