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Views From The Bridge
Week One
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    While the outcome was not what was desired (or even expected), Westby’s last second 15-14 victory over Darlington was entertaining. The ‘Birds go into week 2 with plenty of things to work on, on both sides of the ball.
    Offensively, we were just inconsistent. We could not sustain anything, the entire night we never seemed to have any sort of rhythm. Mistakes, penalties & turnovers will do that. On the plus side, we demonstrated the ability for some explosive plays in the run game. On the defensive side of the ball, we struggled defending the option all night long. While option football stresses any defense, historically we have struggled with it. One item that contributed to the Norseman’s success was our inability to get off perimeter blocks, especially by their wideouts.  
    At the end of the day, we had a chance to put them away in the 4th quarter, but turned the ball over. Even after that, all we need was to make a stop on the last drive, but tip your hat to Westby. They made the plays they needed to get a W. One game does not make a season.
    This week at Prairie. The Blackhawks are coming off of an impressive 32-14 road win over Aquinas. Tyler Smock rushed for 175 yards & added over 100 yards receiving. Jacob Mallet also rushed for just over 90 yards & a score, while quarterback Galvin Gillitzer threw for 200 yards & 2 TDs (both to Smock).    
    This week is all about building & improving.  

    Big win for the Braves as they came from behind to defeat North Crawford 21-18. Jacob Amenda rushed for two touchdowns & tossed another one to Connor Wiegel. The difference in this one was the Braves converted all of their extra-points. Nice win. The Warriors were all over traditional small-school power Owen-Withee 51-14. That is a pretty good win to start the year. The Miners were knocked off by River Ridge.  

    Interesting cross sectional game as Lake County Lutheran defeated Point 33-21. Surprised that Platteville handled Cuba the way they did, winning 34-7. Southwestern 20-6 over Rio & I-G rolled over Richland Center 38-14.
    The game of the week was Fennimore’s 18-15 victory at Lancaster. Reid Larson threw for 289 yards & two touchdowns in the Golden Eagles victory. Evan Gates had 185 yards for the Arrows. One question asked of me from a member of the Lancaster faithful was this…”when was the last time the ‘Birds and the Arrows both lost at home on the same night?” Anyone? Anyone?  

    The biggest story heading into the season were a number of schools canceling their varsity seasons. While there are a number of factors that contribute to a school canceling a sport, some unique to each district, there are plenty of common themes. We will discuss some of the impacts down the road, but I thought I would throw one out there now that gets overlooked at times– the early start to the season. This is one that a number of high school coaches have mentioned at times. It is hard to generate excitement when a third of your season is completed before the start of school.
    Most interesting game/score of the week was Grantsburg’s 72-52 win over Cumberland. Per, the game produced the second most yards in state history with 1,270. Contributing to that total was Grantsburg’s John Chenel, who had 435 yards rushing & 6 TDs. Also putting up huge numbers was Cumberland QB Cody Berghammer, who went 49-66 for 531 yards & 7 TDs. Reid Olson caught 15 for 251 yards & a pair of scores for Cumberland. Also per, the 49 completions is a new state record.
    Redbird alumnus Jared McGranahan’s Kenosha Tremper squad defeated West Allis Central 27-14 in their opener.   From the This-Should-Never-Happen file…in 8-man, Luck defeated Clayton 106-0.