Athlete of the Week: Fall Creek running back, Ethan Ritger

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FALL CREEK, Wis. (WEAU) -- Breaking a school record for rushing yards in a game with 325 is a big deal. Add to that tying the school record for total touchdowns in a game with 6 and you have yourself a game that won’t be forgotten. Fall Creek senior running back, Ethan Ritger, is our Osseo Automotive Athlete of the Week. Neil Hebert has the story.

Five scores on the ground, one through the air and over 300 yards rushing in a 2-3 week span would be very respectable numbers, but what about all that in one week? Those are video game numbers, and Ethan Ritger was playing his own video game character Friday night.

“Getting him the ball was the game plan from the start,” Fall Creek head coach, Josh Tumm, said about the Crickets’ plan Friday night against Cadott.

At halftime, it was tied at 14. That would change in a hurry.

“He was doing a good job cutting back and finding holes,” Tumm said. “Even if they got hands on him, he seemed to run through it and push for the extra yards.”

Ritger scored 4 rushing touchdowns in the second half alone in a 42-28 win against Cadott. His lone touchdown through the air came near the end of the first half; Ritger rolled right and hit Joseph Weggen in stride for six.

Even the day after, it was hard to believe he broke a school record.

“It’s really exciting,” Ritger said. “The next morning I woke up and I was still in disbelief.”

Ritger says the record isn’t without a huge helping hand from his offensive line and his fullback, Joey Kinderman.

“I give all the credit to the line,” Ritger said. “Not even – everybody was blocking until the whistle. I would get outside and our wide receivers were still blocking until the whistle.”

Kinderman, a junior for Fall Creek, says he’s glad Ethan was the guy to break the rushing record.

“He was running well,” Kinderman said. “They couldn’t tackle him and I was like, ‘I’d rather block and see him.’ The kid’s deserving of everything he’s got. He’s put in so much work. He really deserves it.”

And he hasn’t done it just on the offensive side of the ball this season. He’s a force on the defensive side as well.

“I love playing both ways,” Ritger said. “I wouldn’t want to just play offense. I wouldn’t want to just play defense. I just like being able to hit people and I like being able to run.”

648 yards on the ground on the year put him well on his way to 1,000 yards with 4 games left to play, but his main focus is on winning the games they need to in order to take Fall Creek to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

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