WILLIAMS BAY — According to the old saying Murphy’s Law, anything that can go wrong, does.
That is certainly how it felt early on for the Williams Bay football team Sept. 6 when the team fell behind 29-0 in the first quarter of a 57-20 home loss to the Elkhart Lake Resorters.
On the first drive of the game, the Bay had a couple of nice plays to start things off. But a fumble handed the ball to Elkhart Lake, who scored a 32-yard rushing touchdown on their first play to go up 7-0.
On the first play of Williams Bay’s second drive, the ball bounced off the fingertips of a Bulldog receiver and fell right into the arms of a Resorters defender for an interception. A quick touchdown for Elkhart Lake put the team up 14-0.
Another interception off the hands of a receiver, a turnover on downs and a second fumble ended drives in the rest of the quarter for the Bulldogs, and every Resorter drive ended with points, giving the road team a 29-0 advantage when the second quarter began.
While the first quarter could not have gone much worse for the Bulldogs, head coach Jon Tomaszewski had to make sure his team did not toss in the towel with three quarters of the game still to play.
“Sometimes things won’t go your way in football,” Tomaszewski said. “But it’s part of the game, and the challenge is overcoming those obstacles.”
In the opening minutes of the second quarter, that first-quarter slump had not quite worn off yet, and Elkhart Lake blocked a punt before scoring a touchdown to go ahead 36-0.
However, by the halfway point of the second quarter, Williams Bay had shaken off the rust. A 64-yard pass from quarterback Cole Oertel to receiver Jake Oertel put the Bay on the board 36-6 with 6:30 to play until halftime.
On the ensuing kickoff, R.J. Pollak recovered a fumble to regain possession for the Dogs. And a few plays later, running back Raul Rojas punched in a rushing score to make it 36-12.
That score held until late in the third quarter when the Resorters picked up a rushing touchdown to push the score to 43-12.
With 37 seconds remaining in the third, Jake Oertel caught his second touchdown of the game, and Ian Karcher caught a two-point conversion, making it a 43-20 game heading into the final quarter.
The Bulldogs treaded water for a scoreless first seven minutes of the fourth quarter before they put in their backups to finish off the game, which allowed Elkhart Lake to score two more times to extend the score to 57-20.
Despite the lopsided final score, Williams Bay outscored the Resorters 20-14 in the second and third quarters. In fact, over a span of 29 minutes from the early second quarter to the middle of the fourth, the Bulldogs outscored Elkhart Lake 20-7.
However, to win a game, Williams Bay cannot play better than an opponent for only half of the game, which is a crucial fix Tomaszewski knows he needs to make.
“Last week we started fast, but didn’t finish. I think this week, we as a coaching staff and the players, put a focus on making sure we finish,” Tomaszewski said. “I think we then focused on that, and had a slow start because we were thinking about the finish. It’s putting all those pieces together.”
The Bulldogs will get their next chance to play a complete game in a Sept. 13 matchup against Oakfield in Williams Bay.