Muskego - Needing to win its final three Classic 8 Conference games to get into the WIAA football playoffs, Muskego took a running stride in that direction with a 44-21 road victory over Waukesha North on Friday.
"I'm proud of our kids," said Muskego head coach Ken Krause, whose team improved to 2-3 in the Classic 8 and 3-3 overall. "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."
Roy, a junior running back and part-time quarterback, carried 34 times for 253 yards and four touchdowns to spearhead Muskego's dominant ground game. He also completed two of four passes for 18 yards.
Kettle Moraine (2-3, 2-4) poses the next problem for Krause's squad in a 7 p.m. game at home Oct. 5. The Lasers fell to Mukwonago, 18-3, last week.
Grabbing lead early
Roy led Muskego's opening drive against North with four carries for 63 yards and the game's first score. Jacob Arndt was true on the point after kick for a 7-0 lead with just 2 minutes, 23 seconds gone in the contest.
The Northstars could not capitalize on their first offensive series.
A late-hit penalty on the Warriors turned a fourth-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, which was partially blocked by Ryan Evans.
With 2:19 left in the first quarter, 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 69 yards and Jansen 12 times for 95 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."
Warriors pad margin
Muskego extended its lead to 21-0 on Jansen's first score, a 15-yard sweep that was a 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 help North 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 drove 67 yards for a TD when Kyle Burlingame scored from 10 yards out.
The effort ate up 5:37 of the quarter, and Burlingame's 25-yard completion on fourth-and-10 came when he escaped the grasp of Evans and found 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.
Running out the clock
Muskego, though, 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 seven 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.
The defense again could not stop Muskego, however, and the ensuing possession gave the Warriors a 35-21 lead with 4:25 to play. Jansen's 6-yard score wrapped up an 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 a 15-yard run with just 1:53 to play in the game. That drive also included a 38-yard TD by Roy that was 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."
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Sports Shorts: May 23
- Muskego softball team rolls past Classic 8 foes
- Sports Notes: May 13
- Blount's return sparks Muskego softball team
- Muskego's Jansen earns three firsts in Classic 8 Outdoor Track Meet
- OUR TAKE
- Sports Shorts: May 9
- New Berlin West boys second at Woodland Relays; Eisenhower boys finish in 11th
- Muskego's Kucharski bolts to top level of rugby
- MHS just misses Classic 8 sweep