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October 19, 2012 | 09:55 PMWILLIAMS BAY -- When the clock hit zeroes Friday night, the celebration began.
Fireworks exploded in the sky above the south end zone. The Williams Bay football players jubilantly ran to the scoreboard and hovered underneath it, almost in disbelief of what it read. Bay fans and students rushed the field in pandemonium, mobbing the players with hugs and congratulations.
The players couldn't help but stare at the score - Williams Bay 34, Kenosha Christian Life 8.
After 45 straight losses spanning back to 2007, the Bulldogs finally put it all together in the season finale for a monumental, historic victory.
"I thought I was going to be so happy, I would cry," said senior lineman Parker Danz. "But I'm so happy, I'm above that. I'm so happy, I can't show anything that could be related to grief. After four years of working day in and day out, lifting in the offseason, getting beaten around in season, to have it finally pay off in my last game it's pretty amazing."
"It's not even real," senior quarterback Jake Sutter said. "This is crazy. We were disciplined all game. We stuck together all night. It all came together tonight."
"To be honest, I am still looking at the scoreboard," senior Deaken Boggs said. "This is the greatest feeling I've ever had. Five years of nothing, and this is the biggest something we've ever got."
Boggs, who has been a part of three winless seasons, said this could be the spark the program needs.
"It wasn't just tonight," he said. "It's been four years in the making, and for some of these coaches, five or six. This has led up to this. After this, John Higgins, Bonamarte, Clark, those guys, I guarantee they will not have a sub-.500 season next year. There's a lot of people out there that don't know what's coming."
For one night, everything seemed to go right for the Bulldogs. No turnovers. Only two penalties. And a nearly unstoppable offensive attack.
The Bay came out of the gate like world-beaters, firing off three touchdowns to take a 19-0 lead with four minutes to play in the first quarter. Jake Sutter found Michael Guss for a 25-yard score on the Bay's first drive, and running back Jacob Clark followed that up with scoring runs of 13 and 6 yards.
Christian Life fought back with a 21-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 19-8 at the half. Also, sophomore John Higgins, the Bay's defensive leader, went out with a knee injury in the second quarter and did not return.
But this was the Bay's night. After the Bulldogs stuffed the Eagles on a fourth down midway through the third quarter, the Bay provided the dagger late in the period.
Two 10-yard runs by Clark set up a 5-yard Sutter touchdown scamper with 3:05 left in the third quarter. Sutter's two-point run to the right corner of the end zone made it 27-8.
By the fourth quarter, the crowd began to stir, anticipating the first Bay win.
And the Bulldogs didn't let up on the field. With 6:32 to play, Sutter lobbed a perfect deep ball to Ryan Bonamarte, who caught the ball in stride in the end zone to increase the lead to 34-8.
Now, it was for sure going to happen. And the Bay players knew it. In the closing seconds, with the Bay running out the clock, the sideline coordinated a Gatorade shower for Coach Derek Diehl.
"We had to find a big guy, because you have to lift a lot of Gatorade," Boggs joked. "Sutter and Danz got coach."
Senior Tony Gonzalez gave it his all Friday night.
"This win means a lot," he said. "In the beginning of the game, I was telling myself I'm not going to let my teammates down. I'm going to play 110 percent. I was playing my heart out. It feels good."
The Bay racked up 299 total yards, including 207 on the ground. Christian Life was held to 220 yards.
Clark had a huge game, running for 133 yards on 19 carries.
In the air, Sutter threw for 92 yards.
Defensively, Bonamarte led the club with 15 tackles, and Jonah VanVleet added 14 tackles.
For Diehl, it was an emotional victory.
"I'm definitely emotional," he said. "It means so much for me to see the boys smile and for once cry tears of joy."
Diehl said the Bay exploited Christian Life's defense.
"They had some spots we thought we could take advantage of, and we did," he said. "It took us all year to execute the wishbone the way it is designed. It was nice to see us finish the game on the ground. It's huge. We've played well the last four games, we just didn't finish. Now, they know how to put a nail in the coffin. This win wipes our slate clean, and now we have something to look forward to in the future."
So how was the Bay able to overcome years of frustration?
"All season, we've been working," Danz said. "In past years, we had this black cloud above us. We got down, and people hung their heads and quit. Now, everybody finishes the game. It's all positive. We're moving forward. I can't wait to come back and see how the Bay does in the next few years."
Check Wednesday's Regional News for more on the Bulldogs and LIKE Regional News Sports Check, http://www.facebook.com/regionalnewssportscheck, on Facebook for photos from the game.
Other area playoff scores
Big Foot 56, St. John's NW Military Academy 0
Waunakee 27, Wilmot 7
Watertown 49, Burlington 14
Waukesha West 14, Waterford 12
Jefferson 63, East Troy 13
Burlington Catholic Central 14, Black Hawk 12