BREAKING: Heartbreak hotel for Bay in last-minute loss
Badger, Big Foot roll; Chiefs 5-0
|Josh Hills breaks down after his team's stunning defeat Friday night. Mike Ramczyk.|
September 16, 2011 | 09:08 PMWilliams Bay - Bulldogs senior running back Josh Hills collapsed on the field Friday night when the clock hit zeroes, overcome by the devastating agony of defeat.
Oh, what could have been.
In a matter of 15 minutes, roars from the Bay crowd turned into silence as Maranatha Baptist's winning touchdown with 22.4 seconds remaining handed the Bay a 12-7 loss, its closest margin of defeat since an Oct. 18, 2007 loss by 14. Ironically, that game started the Bay's current 32-game losing streak.
The Bulldogs dropped to 0-5 overall with the nonconference loss.
However, Friday was unquestionably the team's best effort in front of its home fans in the new football field's three-year existence.
Thanks to a 15-yard touchdown run by Hills late in the second quarter, the Bay took a 7-6 lead into halftime. They would hold onto the slim advantage until late in the fourth quarter, when the Crusaders put together an 86-yard scoring drive in a mere 2:28. After Baptist scored with 22.4 seconds, Bay quarterback Jake Sutter misfired on three passes from around midfield before throwing an interception on the game's final play.
"The whole team broke down after the game," Hills said. "We played well and we just let this one slip away and I couldn't believe it."
Coach Buddy Breen said it was a tough one for his players.
"When you lose by big scores, it's harder on the coaches," Breen said. "When it's a close game, it's the opposite. This was the first time in a long time we have legitimately been in a game. It finally sunk in for the guys that, 'Hey, you can do it.' We have never had that kind of emotion after a game. I love the heart they showed. We saw the passion that's been missing."
Late in the second quarter, the Bay faced a third and 10 from the 40-yard line. Sutter took the shotgun snap, then laced a bullet to a streaking Jerid Bauscher on a deep post. Bauscher, a senior receiver, made the safety miss and dragged the cornerback down to the Maranatha 15 for a 50-yard connection with 48 seconds until halftime.
Two plays later, Hills darted off tackle and dove football-first into the front left corner of the end zone, tying the game at 6-6. A Christian Kolmos extra point gave the Bay a 7-6 lead.
The second half was a grind-em-out battle of the trenches which the Bay controlled until late in the fourth. The Bay defense clamped down, forcing two second-half punts and two turnovers-on-down. With nine minutes to play and Maranatha facing a fourth and 5 at the Williams Bay 35, Michael Roth blew up a screen pass with a solid solo tackle.
However, the Bay went three-and-out on its next drive before a 33-yard Kolmos punt set up Maranatha at its own 22. After one first down, quarterback Josh Davidson made two errant throws on third and fourth down, giving the Bay the ball with four minutes to go.
Chants of "Let's go, Bulldogs" resonated throughout the stands, but the Bay couldn't put it away. Hills was stuffed on second and 6 before Sutter just missed Hills on a third-down screen to stop the clock with 2:30 left.
"We were getting stuffed in the running game," Breen said when asked why he chose to pass instead of run.
The decision to pass came back to bite the Bay. The Crusaders had 86 yards to go on their final drive but the luxury of two timeouts. On a third and 10, a defensive pass interference call on Bay linebacker Bryce Budleski kept the drive alive.
Then, big plays of 22, 24 and 12 yards bumped Maranatha all the way down to the Bay 9, setting up first and goal with 1:12 left.
A holding call pushed Baptist back to the Bay 21, but Davidson connected on a 13-yard pass with 26.5 seconds left. The Crusaders called their last timeout, setting up the decisive score, a Josiah Enrique inside run where he wasn't touched until he crossed the goal line.
Sutter put together a strong performance, throwing for 95 yards. Hills paced the Bulldogs on the ground with 86 yards on 18 carries.
Bauscher caught two passes for 81 yards.
The Bay will look for its first win next Friday in Williams Bay against Rio (3-2, 2-1).
Check Wednesday's Regional News for more including photos from the game.
Badger 56, Delavan-Darien 7
Holy running game.
Badger quarterback Peter Krien didn't complete a pass Friday night at home against the visiting Comets. He only attempted one throw.
None of that matters when your team explodes for 457 rushing yards.
The Badgers ran around, through and over the Comets to the tune of a 35-point first quarter in an absolute blowout. The local boys improved to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the Southern Lakes Conference, good for a first-place tie with Wilmot.
Five players ran for more than 60 yards for the Badgers, highlighted by Krien's three touchdowns and 91 yards. Chris Walker had the most yards, picking up 98 on only four carries with two touchdowns.
Badger took an impressive 49-0 lead into halftime, allowing backups some playing time in the second half.
Sophomore Andrew Allen picked up his first varsity score in the fourth with a 20-yard run.
"We simply came out and played more physical," Krien said. "Our line was lights out, that makes everything easy for the backs to make plays. I can't say enough about our front six tonight."
Rory Klean ran for 69 yards, Ed Ruzga added 65 and Collin Broderick, a sophomore, rushed for 63 yards on eight carries.
The Badger defense held Delavan to a miniscule 154 total yards and only 56 rushing. Also, Badger held the Comets to 98 passing yards, nearly 100 below their season average.
Badger battles the undefeated Wilmot Panthers (5-0) in a first-place showdown next Friday.
Check Wednesday's Regional News for a full story.
Big Foot 61, Clinton 12
The Chiefs played the role of road warriors Friday night, and it was once again the Kenny Walker show.
The senior running back scored four touchdowns, all more than 50 yards, and the Chiefs rolled in a Rock Valley South clash.
Big Foot improved to 5-0 on the season.
The Walworth boys scored early and often, posting 28 in the first quarter and 26 in the second for 52 first-half points, their second straight game with 50 first-half points.
Walker has an area-leading 15 touchdowns.
In the first quarter alone, Walker scored on a 61-yard pass play, a 50-yard sprint and a 74-yard kickoff return. For good measure, he added a 50-yard touchdown run with 7:32 left in the second quarter.
Junior running back Mason Dixon also picked up two rushing scores.
Quarterback Jake Wedig completed six of 10 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns, including a 9-yarder to his brother Christian.
Big Foot out-gained the Cougars, 406-186.
The Chiefs travel to Beloit Turner (1-4) next Friday.
Check Wednesday's Regional News for a full story.
Other area scores
Waterford 46, Elkhorn 0
Wilmot 49, Union Grove 6
Burlington 34, Westosha Central 26
Jefferson 35, East Troy 21
McFarland 31, Whitewater 7
Brodhead 43, Parkview 6
Palmyra-Eagle 38, Beloit Turner 14
Janesville Craig 30, Madison La Follette 14
Madison East 42, Beloit Memorial 14
Janesville Parker 35, Madison West 14
Milton 33, Oregon 14
Chicago CIC S/Longwood 27, Alden-Hebron 21
Richmond-Burton 27, Byron 6
Harvard 35, Rockford Lutheran 14
Crystal Lake Central 42, Woodstock North 6
Marian Central 21, Montini 20
Grayslake North 30, Johnsburg 6
Jacobs 42, McHenry 19
Grayslake Central 35, Woodstock 0