It takes overtime, but Ozaukee football team edges St. Catherine’s in battle with another imposing foe
At the start of this season, a high-school sports website listed Ozaukee as having the toughest Division 6 football schedule in the state.
“Our first three games were as tough as they come,” Warriors coach Jim Lippe said, noting his team had to face St. Mary’s Springs, Burlington Catholic Central and Racine St. Catherine’s in its first three games.
Last Saturday, it took overtime, but Ozaukee rallied to score a 14-7 win over visiting St. Catherine’s. The victory improved the Warriors’ record to 2-1 in nonconference play.
“To come out of that schedule at 2-1 is really wonderful,” Lippe said. “It was a hard-fought win, and the boys deserve a lot of credit.”
Saturday’s game couldn’t have been much closer.
After the teams battled to a 7-7 deadlock through regulation, the Warriors got the final word when wide receiver Steve Street caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Colton Susen in the extra period.
Ethan Brouillette kicked the extra point.
The Ozaukee defense then kept the Angels out of the end zone on their overtime possession. On St. Catherine’s final play, Street deflected a pass to preserve the victory.
Street had his best game of the season, finishing with six receptions for 83 yards.
“Steve Street had a really nice game, with some really good catches,” Lippe said.
Lippe also praised Brouillette for “a really strong game on both defense and offense.” The senior back led Ozaukee in rushing with 62 yards on 23 carries.
Logan Smith had 50 yards on 13 rushes.
Susen completed seven of 11 passes for 90 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Each team finished with 201 yards in total offense. Ozaukee collected 86 yards rushing and 115 yards passing, while St. Catherine’s had 84 rushing and 117 passing.
The biggest difference came in penalties. St. Catherine’s was flagged 11 times for 75 yards, but the Warriors had just four miscues for 10 yards.
The game was scoreless until late in the first quarter, when Ozaukee put together a drive that reached the Angels’ 1-yard line. Smith took a handoff and found the end zone as Ozaukee grabbed a 7-0 lead with 1:07 left.
The lead held until the closing seconds of the first half. That’s when Angels quarterback Justin Stafford connected with Lucas Connaughton on a 25-yard touchdown pass. Corey Macdonald’s extra point tied the game at 7-7.
Neither team could reach the end zone the rest of regulation. The Warriors got close enough to attempt a fourth-quarter field goal, but it was blocked.
Lippe said he challenged his team at halftime to step up its play.
“I challenged them to play with a lot of heart, and they came through,” he said.
The Angels won the toss in overtime and elected to play defense first. When it was the Warriors’ turn to play defense, they came through even more decisively.
Lippe singled out the defensive efforts of lineman Hunter VandeBoom and linebacker Kevin Beckman.
St. Catherine’s got strong performances from two of its best players.
Stafford completed 11 of 21 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown.
Tarail King rushed for a game-high 104 yards on 27 carries and intercepted two passes.
More familiar opposition will face the Warriors this Friday when they open their Central Lakeshore Conference schedule with a 7 p.m. game at Oostburg. The game will be the first of four for Ozaukee in a limited league schedule this year.
“I’m looking forward to starting CLC play,” Lippe said.
Image Information: LOGAN SMITH rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown in Ozaukee’s 14-7 win over Racine St. Catherine’s last Saturday. Photo by Sam Arendt