MONONA — It took all of 13 seconds for Jackson Thomsen to make his presence known Friday night.
And the Monona Grove senior running back spent the rest of the evening making life miserable for the Waterford defense.
Thomsen took the game’s opening carry 65 yards for a touchdown en route to a four-score effort as the Silver Eagles cruised to a 40-14 victory over the Wolverines in a WIAA Division 2 second-round matchup.
“I talked to (assistant coach Tim Halverson) and he said he was going to have a little more of a workload on me this game, and I was fine with that,” Thomsen said. “I was prepared.”
Thomsen finished with 229 yards on 24 carries, but none meant more to the Silver Eagles’ effort than his first one — a notice-serving scamper that capitalized on pregame emotion.
Thomsen and quarterback Alec Ogden led Monona Grove (11-0) onto the field Friday night, carrying a school flag and an American flag, respectively.
As they did, one Waterford player stepped off the Wolverines sideline and delivered what Thomsen said was an obscene gesture.
“I think that just fueled our fire a little bit more,” Thomsen said. “We don’t talk that much. We just like to play.”
Less than 6 minutes in, Monona Grove opened a 14-0 lead on Thomsen’s second touchdown of the game. The halftime advantage stood at 21-7, thanks to a 2-yard run from Ogden with just over 2½ minutes to go in the second quarter.
“A lot of teams, they like to key on me,” Ogden said. “But they don’t know that we’ve got one of the better backs in the state back there to help me out. He knows that a lot of teams aren’t counting on him to beat them, so he takes that to heart. He’s got a chip on his shoulder, and he runs like that.”
On a cold, windy night, Ogden put up numbers, too. The senior signal-caller went 17-for-25 for 257 yards and a touchdown through the air, and added 28 yards on five rushing attempts.
While he said he enjoys throwing in cold weather, Ogden was also quick to credit his receivers for coming through on the other end.
“The wide receivers tonight just played phenomenal,” Ogden said. “There might (have been) a few balls where I didn’t throw it on target, but they went up and got it.
“Their effort was amazing.”
Meanwhile, the Silver Eagles' defense stood tall when it mattered, holding the Wolverines (8-3) scoreless on six consecutive drives after allowing a first-quarter touchdown.
Waterford’s longest play was 16 yards.
“We just had the mentality of, ‘Here’s your job. Do your job every play,’ ” Monona Grove coach Brandon Beckwith said. “We knew that we were a little undersized compared to them and we had to win the line of scrimmage.
“Our D-line, they fought like heck, linebackers fit, and we made plays when we had to make plays.”
Waterford 7 0 0 7 — 14
Monona Grove 14 13 6 7 — 40
MG — Thomsen 65 run (Horstmeier kick)
MG — Thomsen 9 run (Horstmeier kick)
W — Schauer 1 run
MG — Ogden 2 run (Horstmeier kick)
MG — Thomsen 3 run (kick failed)
MG — Moran 16 pass from Ogden (Ogden run)
MG — Thomsen 60 run (Horstmeier kick)
W — Michalowski 5 run (Goldhammer kick)
First downs — W 19, MG 22. Rushing (Att.-Yds.) — W 43-211, MG 35-272. Passing yards — W 104, MG 257. Passes (Comp.-Att.-Int.) — W 11-21-0, MG 17-25-1. Fumbles-lost — W 3-0, MG 1-0. Penalties-yards — W 2-10, MG 5-65.
Rushing: W, Michalowski 16-77. MG, Thomsen 24-229.
Passing: W, Schauer 11-20-0-104. MG, Ogden 17-25-0-256.
Receiving: W, Chapman 7-54. MG, Moran 4-95.