Needing to win the final three Classic 8 Conference games to get into the
playoffs, Muskego took a running stride in that direction with a 44-21
road win over Waukesha North on Friday.
“I’m proud of our kids,” said MHS coach Ken Krause. “I’m playing 22 new starters and we are playing against great teams. Tonight we moved the ball well – Peter Roy has as much heart as any kid I’ve ever coached.”
The junior running back and part-time quarterback carried 33 times for 244 yards
and four touchdowns to spearhead Muskego’s dominant ground game. Kettle Moraine poses the next problem for Krause’s runners next weekend, with the season ending against Waukesha South.
Roy led Muskego’s opening drive with 4 carries for 63 yards and the game’s
first score. Jacob Arndt was true on the PAT for a 7-0 lead with just 2:23 gone in
the contest. The Northstars could not capitalize on their first offensive series. A late hit penalty on the Warriors turned a 4th and 7 into a first down, but a 1-yard
run, an incomplete pass, and a stuff by Muskego linebacker David Kucharski forced a punt. That attempt was partially blocked by Ryan Evans.
With 2:19 left in the first period, Muskego began its second scoring drive at the 45. Using a three-pronged running attack, Muskego needed 12 plays with Roy, Tyler Thomka, and Xavier Jansen covering the 55 yards. Roy finished with the touchdown.
On the night, Thomka carried 11 times for 57 yards and Jansen 12 times for 103 yards and two touchdowns.
“Xavier has improved so much,” said Krause, “he’s a totally different player from the start of the season. And Tyler, pound for pound, is the toughest kid in the conference.”
Muskego extended its lead to 21-0 on Jansen’s first score, a 15 yard
sweep which was harbinger of much of the Warriors' second-half attack. Arndt
hit the point after with just 2:47 left in the half. North took great advantage of the remaining time by quickly moving 65 yards in 1:41 to get its first points. Erik Reel scampered the final 22 yards, and Joe Anklam kicked the extra point to close to 21 –7 at half.
North kept the momentum alive to open the second half, combining a solid
ground game with timely passes and drive 67 yards for a TD. Kyle Burlingame scored from 10 yards out. The effort ate up 5:37 of the quarter, and Burlingame's 25-yard completion on 4th and 10 came while escaping the grasp of Evans and finding an open Cory Michaelis along the sideline.
A 5-yard touchdown completion to Mario VanSchaick also came on fourth down. All Waukesha North needed at that point was a defensive stop to further turn the tide in its favor.
But Muskego would not be denied. Using 11 plays and 5:28 of precious clock,
the Warriors again got into the end zone. Despite a penalty nullifying Jansen’s explosive 52-yard score, the Warriors methodically chewed up those yards and got Roy the TD from 7 yards out.
North made one final attack to close to 28-21 on Burlingame’s second touchdown. Jake Grosenick sparked much of that drive with back-to-back carries for 50 yards that moved the ball to the 15 yard line. But the defense again could not stop Muskego, and the ensuing possession gave the Warriors a 35 -21 lead with 4:25 to play. Jansen’s 6-yard score wrapped up am 11 play, 59-yard drive. Thomka’s runs of 15, 13, and 20 yards were back-breakers for the North defense.
The game’s final touchdown came from Roy on two 15-yard runs that left
just 1:53 to play in the game. That drive also included a 38-yard TD by Roy getting called back.
“Our line is really working,” noted a very tired Roy after the game. “It’s easy for me to run with the way they are playing. We had the best week of practice – a real good effort by everyone. I have a lot of respect for the line – they just keep
working until they get it right.”
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