Sputtering offense, mistakes upend Ozaukee in battle with Dutchmen for Central Lakeshore top spot
A marquee matchup unfolded last Friday when the Ozaukee football team traveled to Oostburg for a first-place battle in the Central Lakeshore Conference.
It took some late-game excitement, but the host Flying Dutchmen emerged with a 15-6 victory that gave them sole possession of the top spot.
Oostburg clung to a 7-6 lead for more than three quarters before adding an insurance touchdown on a 17-yard run by Alex Stecker with 5 minutes, 16 seconds left to play.
The Warriors blocked the ensuing extra-point kick, but the ball went right into the hands of Stecker, who ran it in for a two-point conversion.
Ozaukee, which managed just 142 yards in total offense, was unable to muster a scoring threat the rest of the way.
“Oostburg is a really solid, well-coached football team,” said Ozaukee coach Jim Lippe said.
“We had chances. Our boys played really, really hard, but they just couldn’t get over the hump.
“We made too many mistakes, and you can’t win when you make mistakes against a good team.”
The Dutchmen, who improved to 3-0 in league play, jumped ahead midway through the first quarter on a 28-yard touchdown run by Mike Keller. Sam Schouten’s extra point made it 7-0.
The Warriors (2-1) were quick to answer, needing only 1:13 to reach the end zone.
Tailback Devon Linzenmeyer broke free for a 44-yard touchdown sprint with 5:06 left in the opening period.
Eric Hartnett missed the conversion, but Ozaukee had pulled within 7-6.
The rest of the game was a defensive battle.
“Our defense played really well, especially (lineman) Jim D’Angelo and (linebacker) Ben Haas,” Lippe said.
“We definitely had opportunities to win that game. If our special teams would have done better and we could have punched in some scores, we could have won.”
Early in the fourth quarter, Ozaukee put together a drive that nearly resulted in a go-ahead score.
After quarterback Alex Janke narrowly missed completing a touchdown pass to tight end Steve Street, the Warriors had to settle for a 36-yard field goal try. Harnett’s kick sailed just wide on
an attempt that would have put them ahead, 9-7.
It was Ozaukee’s second missed field goal of the night.
But would-haves don’t count, and the Dutchmen tacked on their insurance touchdown to seal the outcome.
“Our kids have come a long way,” Lippe said. “The last three times we’ve played Oostburg, there’s been a total of 120 points for Oostburg and zero for Ozaukee. They are a good program with a good coach.
“I was proud of the kids, but I told them there is no such thing as a moral victory. You either win or lose, and we lost.
“We have to get back to work, work hard, hopefully we win out and get into the playoffs.”
Linzenmeyer, a junior, provided most of the Warriors’ offense, collecting 90 rushing yards on 18 carries.
Oostburg finished with 254 offensive yards, led by Dustin Veldboom’s 129 rushing yards on 20 carries. Stecker added 73 yards on 14 carries.
Ozaukee fell to second place in the conference standings with Cedar Grove-Belgium, a team the Warriors defeated Sept. 10.
This Friday, Cedar Grove-Belgium (2-1) will play at Oostburg, while Ozaukee hosts Elkhart (1-2). If the Rockets win, and Ozaukee defeats Elkhart Lake, there will be a three-way tie for the CLC lead.
“That Oostburg-Cedar Grove game Friday should be an epic battle between two really good teams,” Lippe said.
“Obviously, I’m rooting for Cedar Grove.”
Ozaukee will face Elkhart Lake at 7 p.m.
OZAUKEE QUARTERBACK Alex Janke found himself wrapped up by an Oostburg defender during Friday’s battle for sole possession of first place in the Central Lakeshore Conference. Photo by Sam Arendt