WEST ALLIS — The beat goes on.
Despite losing its top running back and quarterback from last year, the Badger High School football team didn’t change its character.
As it’s always been during the coaching era of Matt Hensler, the Badgers showed off a smash-mouth ground attack — this time with seniors Andrew Allen at fullback and Collin Broderick at QB.
Like the Packers of old, teams know what they’ll be getting from the Badgers, but have a hard time stopping it.
The Badgers churned out 402 total yards, 342 on the ground, in a 28-14 victory over West Allis Hale in a non-conference opener Saturday.
Allen led the way with 241 yards on 24 carries and Broderick chipped in 49 on 11 carries.
Allen had a TD run of 13 yards to open the scoring and ended it with a 47-yard scamper. Austin Borst added 33 yards on the ground and also caught a pass for 22 yards.
Despite its usual emphasis on the ground game, Broderick also threw a 23-yard TD strike to Andrew Cychner in the second quarter. Broderick ended the night 3 for 9 for 60 yards, a TD and an interception.
While Allen’s run opened the game, Hale actually took the lead at the end of the first quarter with a TD on a 10-yard run and an extra point.
After a nine-win season last year an appearance in the state semi finals, Badger wasn’t accustomed to running from behind. But the deficit didn’t last long as the Badgers ran off 15 unanswered points before halftime.
Both teams were shut out in the third frame.
Hale got its second TD in the fourth quarter with less than two minutes to go on a 14-yard pass, but the Badgers answered 39 seconds later with Allen’s 47-run and sealed the deal.
Hale was a mirror opposite of Badger when it came to their run-pass ratio.
The host team put the ball in the air 33 times and finished with 17 completions.
That compares with only 28 running attempts. They gained 162 of their 248 yards in the air.
Despite losing and using most of its snaps in the passing game, Hale had a distinct lead in time of possession.
The only black mark for the Badgers was the fact that they fumbled four times, losing three.
Last year’s leading tackler, Andy Cychner, who also led the state in that category in 2012, didn’t miss a beat starting the new season, with 8 tackles. Evan Gibson added six more.
The Badger’s will face Mukwonago, ranked third in the state, in its home opener.
The Chiefs beat seventh-ranked Racine Horlick 43-33 Friday.
“They are very good,” Hensler said of Mukwonago. “It’s always great for us to play a bigger school from a bigger conference. Good challenge, even more so with them being ranked so high.”
It’s an especially keen rivalry for Hensler as he is a Mukwonago graduate and his father, hall-of-fame coach Keith Hensler, is now an assistant to his son at Badger.
“My dad coached there for 30 years so we know a ton of the coaches, players (and) families,” he said. “It should be a lot of fun!”