Turf war in Port goes to Nicolet

PORT WASHINGTON FOUND another weapon on offense in Patrick Lippe last Friday. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press staff

This wasn’t the way Port Washington High School’s football team wanted to break in its new turf field.

The Pirates last Friday won the turnover battle for the first time this season but couldn’t capitalize, suffering from penalties and a sputtering offense in a 14-10 loss to Nicolet.

With less than six minutes to play and the Knights trying to run out the clock, sophomore defensive back Patrick Lippe picked off a pass that a receiver tipped and returned it to the Pirates’ 35-yard line. The stage was set for a dramatic drive and victory.

But, alas, it was not to be.

A one-yard run and two incomplete passes later, the Pirates were forced to punt and again rely on their defense.

The Knights took over with 4:45 left at their own 23 and this time didn’t give the ball back.

A 72-yard touchdown run was called back due to a penalty, but a double pass on third and 19 from their own 12 gained 33 yards and put the rare victory away for Nicolet.

“Give credit to Nicolet. They’re an athletic team,” coach John Bunyan said.

“They executed a little bit better than we did tonight.”

Tied at 0-0 late in the second quarter, the Pirates nearly took a touchdown lead. Lippe extended the ball over the left pylon on a four-yard run, but a penalty for illegal procedure moved the ball back to the 9-yard line.

From there, an incomplete pass on third and goal led to a 26-yard field goal by Shane McConahan.

“We missed out. On the touchdown, we didn’t line up correctly. That cost us four points,” Bunyan said.

The Pirates had 12 penalties for 91 yards on the night.

The Knights answered with a 65-yard touchdown run by quarterback Carson Trimborn. He faked a handoff and sprinted up the middle untouched.

Down, 7-3, at halftime, the Pirates began the second half at their own 14-yard line and embarked on a 14-play, clock-killing drive to take the lead.

Running back Nolan Makoutz, who had 79 yards on 21 carries on the night, finished it off with a one-yard plunge up the middle.

Makoutz had 10 carries for 60 yards on the drive.

Senior quarterback Ethan Baierl completed all three of his passes on the drive, each a key play. He hit Michael Bunyan for 10 yards on second and 15, found Mitchell Niemeyer across the middle for 12 yards on third and six and hit tight end Brady Fleischmann for nine yards on second and goal from the 10. Fleischmann was just short in reaching the ball toward the pylon as he was falling out of bounds while being tackled.

“We needed that,” Baierl said of the drive.

The Knights again answered, this time with a nine-play, 72-yard drive, capped by a Jashawn Austin five-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. A pass interference call on the Pirates on third and eight helped keep the drive going.

The Pirates, Baierl said, aren’t playing how they should be.

“We’re all in our heads lately, so worried about getting everything right. We’re probably not just playing how we usually play,” he said.

Baierl went 8-for-17 passing for 78 yards.

The Pirates may have found another offensive threat in Lippe, who had 11 carries for 35 yards. He ran six straight times in the second quarter for 26 yards on the drive that ended with a field goal.

“We’re a young football team. We’re working to get better every week. I think we did some good things, made some improvements. We ran the ball a little bit better than we had in the weeks past,” Bunyan said.

Pirate sophomore defensive lineman Keegan Szydel recovered a fumble that gave the Pirates the ball at Nicolet’s 36-yard line in the first quarter. Port drove to the 13 on four running plays before a completed pass on fourth and two was short of the line.

For Nicolet, Trimborn ran for 60 yards on 12 carries and Austin ran for 56 yards on 12 attempts. Trimborn went 7-for-11 passing for 81 yards.

The Knights, which often finish toward the bottom of the North Shore Conference, moved to 1-2 on the season.

“Nicolet is a good, improved team. It wasn’t the same as it was in the past,” Bunyan said.

Port (0-3) plays at West Bend West (0-3) on Friday in another North Shore Conference game.



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Ozaukee Press

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.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
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