A pounding in pouring precipitation

Grafton handles Port in homecoming game and is one game from playoffs

GRAFTON’S SIDELINE CELEBRATED a first-half touchdown against Port Washington last Friday as coach Jim Norris (far right) observes the action. The Black Hawks built a 42-7 lead and topped their rival, 42-22, to move to one victory from qualifying for the playoffs. Photo by Mitch Maersch
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

Grafton High School’s homecoming football game hit the pause button last Friday due to lightning, and the Black Hawks stormed out of the break to beat rival Port Washington.

Grafton held a seven-point lead when weather stopped the game with 4 minutes, 58 seconds left in the second quarter.

When play resumed, the Hawks went on a 28-0 run to put the game away. The final was 42-22.

“It feels great. Incredible. I’ll remember this one forever, for sure,” Hawk senior running back Joey Giorgi said.

The weather delay seemed to help the Hawks.

“While we were in there, we were really getting focused and we were getting ready,” linebacker Max Medvedev said of the break. “At the end, we really answered the call. We went out there and punched them in the mouth.”

Since the weather delay was so close to halftime, the teams agreed on a three-minute break before starting the third quarter.

“Coming back out, we just had to have more energy than they did. That was key,” wide receiver Dominic Voiland said.

Giorgi had 213 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries, including a 74-yard scoring run off tackle in which he was untouched. Cannon Pfaff added 55 yards and two scores on 17 attempts.

“It was real tough. The ball was definitely slippery, not to mention the field too. Cutting was pretty difficult,” Giorgi said of the wet conditions.

At least one of the big guys up front enjoyed the sloppy mess.

“It was a fun game, all the mud, all the slipping and sliding,” lineman and University of Wisconsin recruit J.P. Benzscahwel said.

Senior quarterback Zach Weir  went 11-for-16 passing for 62 yards with two touchdowns.

“It was a big one. It was a great game. I had a great time with my guys. The o-line dominated up front the whole game,” he said.

The Pirates got a spark from the return of running back Nate Kasdorf, who injured his arm in a scrimmage the week before the season started. In his first action, he ran for 93 yards and two touchdowns.

“That explosiveness, that ability to cut. It’s a different level,” coach John Bunyan said.

“I’m proud of our kids. We played and competed in the first half. We were right there. It was 14-7 and we had possession of the ball with three minutes left (before halftime).”

The Hawks’ defense tightened and forced a punt after Port lost three yards in three plays. They followed with an 11-play drive that Giorgi finished off with a one-yard touchdown run.

In the second half, Hawk linebacker Jay Garza picked off a pass that led to the Hawks’ final touchdown, a three-yard run by Pfaff.

“It was a roll out. I was flowing with it,  dropping back with my zone. It came right to me,” Garza said.

“It’s always fun beating Port. It’s a huge rivalry every year.”

The Hawks were prepared for the soaked conditions and pause in play.

“We practiced with wet balls all week and with some extended breaks,” coach Jim Norris said.

Pirate quarterback Ethan Baierl went 4-for-10 passing for 33 yards and an interception. Aedan Egan came in and went 3-for-5 for 115 yards and a touchdown against Grafton’s second-string defense, including hitting Mitchell Niemeyer on a 69-yard bomb.

The Hawks, 4-2 in the North Shore Conference, are one game from qualifying for the playoffs for the second straight season. They play at Slinger (4-2) on Friday.Port (1-5) hosts Homestead (5-1) on Friday.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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