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Third quarter dashes Hawks’ upset bid against Blue Dukes PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 19:28

The Grafton football team was a third quarter away from staying with perennial playoff qualifier Whitefish Bay last Friday.
The Black Hawks, behind a huge game from John Kluck on both sides of the ball, were down, 21-7 at halftime, and the deficit could have been smaller.
Tied at 7-7, Grafton drove inside Bay’s 10-yard line. On fourth-and-three, quarterback Brady Ward rolled out and threw a little short to a wide open Kluck.
Owen Wiziarde s2090817097 4C“We all thought he got his arms under it,” coach Shaun Behrend said.
Officials saw an incomplete pass, and the Blue Dukes used the opportunity to score on a long drive.
“We were punch-for-punch with them early,” Behrend said.
After halftime, Bay turned it on with a 22-point third quarter en route to a 46-14 North Shore Conference victory.
Kluck still stood out. After breaking his wrist in the weight room and missing much of his junior season, he is back with a vengeance. On Friday, the wide receiver made six catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns, and made 15 tackles on defense.
“Quietly, I think he’s one of the best players in the conference,” Behrend said.
“He’s been everything we thought he would be. We have to figure out how to get him the ball more.”
Ward went 13-for-24 for 224 yards and two scores.
 “Brady played all right. He wasn’t great. He missed a couple of throws, but he had to play defense too,” Behrend said.
“He had to cover receiver of the year in conference last year.”
Ward broke up one pass and held Alex Anthony to his second-worst outing of the season, holding him to three catches for 79 yards.
Grafton got Caden Knauer back after suffering a high ankle sprain in a season-opening victory over West Bend West, but he only managed 27 yards on 13 carries against Bay, which led the Hawks.
“They’re physical up front. That defensive line was way better than it was last year,” Behrend said.
The other big weapon, sophomore running back Joey Giorgi, suffered a high ankle sprain last week.
Bay split its rushing duties. Drew Garcia had five carries for 107 yards and a score, Patrick Nau had 14 carries for 101 yards and quarterback Cade Garcia ran seven times for 80 yards and a score. Garcia went 16-for-23 passing for 221 yards and four touchdowns.
Defensively for Grafton, Joe Birch made seven tackles and Mason Hunt-Olkowski and Matthew Starr made six each.
The Hawks, 1-3 in the conference hope to get back an injured cornerback and defensive lineman, and could get Giorgi back this week at 0-4 Nicolet.
“We may be going into this one full strength,” Behrend said.
“We’re excited. 1-3 isn’t where we wanted to be. It’s all in front of us. We just have to be better.”

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