Two kickoff returns for touchdowns pave way to homecoming win over Tigers
A couple of weeks ago, Ozaukee High School football coach Jim Lippe was concerned about the inconsistent play of his special teams.OZAUKE’S DEVON LINZENMEYER rushed for 272 yards and scored four touchdowns in his team’s win over Howards Grove last Friday. Photo by Sam Arendt
That concern became a thing of the past last Friday, though, when the Warriors returned a pair of kickoff returns for touchdowns in a 34-20 win over Howards Grove.
The homecoming victory improved Ozaukee’s Central Lakeshore Conference record to 3-1, good for a second-place tie with Oostburg.
“We had a nice game offensively and defensively and got two kickoff returns,” said Lippe, whose team is 5-2 overall.
“It was really nice. We’ve been working hard on our kickoffs, and it was good to see that we had some success with it.”
The Warriors wasted no time making a big special-teams statement when Hunter Hess took the opening kickoff and raced 85 yards for the first of their three touchdowns in the first period.
After Devon Linzenmeyer broke free for a 66-yard touchdown run, Ozaukee owned a 14-0 lead.
Howards Grove responded with a 5-yard scoring run by Cole McGraw with just 52 seconds left in the quarter, but the Warriors quickly got another big play from Linzenmeyer that put them back in control.
On the ensuing kickoff, the senior duplicated Hess’ effort by fielding the ball and sprinting 85 yards to a touchdown. Ethan Brouillette kicked the third of his four extra points in the game, and Ozaukee owned a 21-6 edge.
Before the night ended, Linzenmeyer tacked on two more touchdowns — on a 5-yard run in the second period and a 45-yard run in the fourth quarter.
His final score gave the Warriors a 34-12 lead.
Linzenmeyer finished with another huge offensive night, rushing for a game-high 272 yards on 32 carries. He averaged 8.5 yards per rush and also completed three of eight passes for 65 yards, all caught by Steve Street.
The Tigers made the final margin respectable by scoring a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, including one on a 62-yard pass from quarterback Noah Steines to Ryan Bruesewitz.
The teams finished in a dead heat in offensive yardage, each totaling 335 yards.
Howards Grove (2-2 in the conference, 3-4 overall) had three players with at least 50 yards rushing, led by Zach Chariton with 54 yards on nine carries.
Steines completed 10 of 19 pass for 157 yards. Bruesewitz caught six passes for 111 yards.
Lippe singled out the defensive play of Hess, a junior linebacker, and Jim D’Angelo, a senior lineman.
This Friday, Ozaukee will travel to Random Lake for a 7 p.m. game. The host Rams, who picked up their first win last Friday, will be celebrating their homecoming.
A win will assure the Warriors of a berth in the WIAA playoffs.
“Random Lake throws the ball well, so we will have to work on our pass defense,” Lippe said.
“It’s a big rivalry game, and both teams usually come ready to play, so you throw the records out and have a good football game.”