Ozaukee unleashes relentless rushing attack to score its first victory over Random Lake in 10 years
Ozaukee High School football fans have been waiting a long time to buy playoff tickets — seven years, in fact, since the Warriors last qualified for the WIAA tournament.
But the drought ended this fall when Ozaukee claimed a postseason berth in impressive fashion. With one regular-season game left, the Warriors have a 5-1 mark in the Central
Lakeshore Conference that keeps them on target to host an opening-round playoff game.
Last Friday’s 49-9 rout of visiting Random Lake kept Ozaukee on a roll with its third straight victory.
“Our goal for this week is to take care of business,” said Ozaukee coach Jim Lippe, whose team improved to 6-1 overall.
“If we win (this Thursday against Howards Grove), hopefully we’ll have a home playoff game.”
Another reward enjoyed by the Warriors last week was the Cream Bucket, a traveling trophy awarded to the winner of the annual game with Random Lake. The Rams held the trophy the last nine years.
“This was actually the most points scored in a Cream Bucket game (by the winning team),” Lippe said.
“Ozaukee’s only had the Cream Bucket once since 1993, so it’s been quite a drought. The last time we had it was in 2000.”
Five Ozaukee players scored in the romp, including Devon Linzenmeyer, who rushed for 208 yards and three touchdowns on just 15 carries. The junior averaged nearly 14 yards per carry.
“It was nice that a lot of guys scored,” Lippe said. “We try to get a lot of guys chances to run. They all work hard.”
As a team, Ozaukee piled up 425 yards rushing on 45 carries.
The first quarter was close, with the Warriors clinging to a 7-3 lead, but they erupted for 28 points in the second period to pull away.
“The guys played a really nice game,” Lippe said. “They were very focused.”
Alex Janke scored Ozaukee’s first touchdown at the 4:03 mark of the first quarter on an 11-yard run.
Three minutes later, the Rams answered with a 25-yard field goal by Dan Pohl.
“We had a few breakdowns on defense to start out, but they picked it up,” said Lippe, who singled out linebacker Ben Haas and end Matt Demler for strong performances.
Ozaukee’s second-quarter flurry started with a 5-yard touchdown run by Andrew Habich, who finished the game with 86 rushing yards on seven attempts.
After Linzenmeyer scored the next two touchdowns on runs of 49 and 16 yards, Matt Demler’s 1-yard scoring burst made it 35-3 with 35 seconds left in the first half.
In the third quarter, Linzenmeyer added a 56-yard touchdown run, and Jason Gensrick scored on a 15-yard scamper.
“Jason Gensrick is really coming along,” said Lippe, noting the senior has bounced back from an early season injury.
The Rams’ only touchdown came on a 15-yard pass from Brady Schmidt to Lance Klatt in the final period.
Ozaukee finished with 468 yards in offense, more than doubling Random Lake’s 221. The Warriors’ rushing attack averaged 9.4 yards per carry.
Andrew Gatz led the Rams with seven carries for 68 yards.
Random Lake (2-4 in conference, 2-6 overall) was hurt by four turnovers, three on fumbles. Linzenmeyer also had an interception.
Ozaukee lost the ball once on a fumble.
This week, the Warriors will wrap up their conference schedule with a 7 p.m. game Thursday at Howards Grove.
A win will give Ozaukee sole possession of second place in the CLC race. The Warriors trail only Oostburg (6-0), which faces Sheboyan Lutheran/Christian/Kohler (3-3) on Thursday.
The playoffs will begin Oct. 26, with pairings to be announced late this week.
ANDREW HABICH and his Ozaukee teammates used a high-powered rushing attack to flatten Random Lake, 49-9, and improve to 5-1 in Central Lakeshore Conference play Friday. Photo by Sam Arendt