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One big play away from a win PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 18:34

Determined comeback not enough for Port in frustrating football loss at West Bend East

The Port Washington football team bounced back from double-digit deficits twice on the road last Friday, but West Bend East made enough plays when it counted to pull away, 35-22.
That leaves both teams at 3-4 in the North Shore Conference and needing two victories in their final two games to qualify for the postseason.
Battling back to take a 22-21 lead, Port had a fourth-and-five from East’s 35 with less than 10 minutes to play. One first down and Port could have taken more time off the clock and perhaps drove down and scored to seal a victory.
Quarterback Adam Baierl rolled right but couldn’t find anyone. East’s bump-and-run coverage with help from other defenders blanketed star receiver Jacob Lippe.
BAIERL CR IMG 2836 4CBaierl scrambled back left and tried to create something, but slipped. East took over at its own 44 with 9 minutes, 31 seconds left.
“That would have been real good. We couldn’t get that,” Port coach John Bunyan said.

Seven plays and less than three minutes later, senior running back Joey Michels blasted up the middle for a 10-yard score. Kyle Yochem ran in the two-point conversion, and Port was down, 29-22, with 6:54 to play.
After the kick, Port then started to mount a drive from its own 31. Baierl converted on third and four with a six-yard run to the left, then cutting to the middle.
On third-and-eight from its own 45, Baierl hit a wide-open sophomore Mitchell Niemeyer in stride down the sideline on a wheel route for a 55-yard score.
But Port was called for offsides. Bunyan said an official confirmed a Pirate was on the line of scrimmage three times before the play, and then the flag was thrown, anyway.
After Baierl hit Devon Edwards for six yards, Port faced a fourth and seven from their 46 and called timeout.
Lippe ran an out route and came back to the ball as he leaned toward the Port sideline. Baierl hit his favorite target in the hands as a defender pushed Lippe down.
An official hesitated, then waved his arms for an incomplete pass, claiming he was out of bounds and igniting Port’s coaches and players.
“It’s frustrating. It’s clear he was in,” Bunyan said.
East took over with 2:41 to play. Yochem later scored from eight yards out, sealing the victory.
“We were right there and we were hungry. We were confident we were going to win the ball game. Even up to the end there, it’s just frustrating,” Bunyan said.
“Credit them. They’ve played the best game I think I’ve seen them play all year.”
Baierl went 10-for-16 for 112 yards, one touchdown and an interception in desperation on the second-last play of the game. He ran 22 times for 84 yards and two touchdowns.
Lippe was held to four catches for 38 yards and a score. Edwards caught six balls for 74 yards.
“Their whole defense is predicated to take Lippe away. They were double covering everything. So we just kept running away and we had a lot of success,” Bunyan said.
Junior running back Deron Spicer ran 16 times for 99 yards, nearly breaking a few huge runs before East’s defense closed the hole.
“I thought Deron played really hard. I think Baierl played a good game at quarterback, too,” Bunyan said.
After falling behind 14-0 and 21-8, the Pirates battled back to 21-14 at halftime and took the third-quarter kick and drove 74 yards to score.
Baierl rolled out right and found Lippe for a seven-yard touchdown.
With Port’s kicker injured, the Pirates regularly go for the two-point conversion. This time, East got flagged for being offsides, and Spicer ran in from barely outside the one-yard line.
Port had its first lead of the game, 22-21, and swung the momentum pendulum to its side with seven minutes and six seconds to play in the third quarter.
Port returns to West Bend to take on another new North Shore Conference opponent, West (1-6) on Friday, before hosting Grafton (3-4) for homecoming on Oct. 13.
“We’ve got two left to get in. We’ve got to execute,” Bunyan said.

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