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Hawks fall short in bid for playoffs PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Thursday, 12 October 2017 16:33

Loss to Slinger dashes improved Grafton team’s hope for postseason spot

The postseason clock for Grafton’s football team hit midnight against Slinger last Friday.
The Black Hawks needed victories in their final two games to make the WIAA playoffs, one year after they won only one game. But visiting Slinger ended that chance with a 26-7 victory.
“It’s not how we wanted it to go. We just couldn’t get anything going and couldn’t get off the field on third down,” coach Sean Behrend said.
Grafton fell to 3-5 in the North Shore Conference and can only play spoiler and ruin 4-4 Port Washington’s playoff chances and its homecoming on Friday.
Quarterback Brady Ward played with a black and blue shoulder and arm and was held to 2-of-12 passing for 15 yards and an interception.
CR GHS FOOTBALL s3100617312“He’s a tough son of a gun,” Behrend said. “He took a good shot in third quarter.”
Caden Knauer ran 22 times for 78 yards and a touchdown, and Ward added 41 yards on 12 carries.
The 6-2 Owls built a 20-0 lead before Knauer scored on a four-yard run with 36 seconds left in the first half.
Slinger quarterback Tyler Evans completed nine of 14 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown.
Behrend credited defensive linemen sophomore Isaiah Mielke, sophomore Max Medvedev,  junior Alec Davis and seniors Connor Ramsey and John Kluck for their play on defense. Kluck led the Hawks in tackles with 12.
The Hawks were able to hold the Owls’ running game in check, but the passing game then picked up.
“When we get one thing figured out, something else goes,” Behrend said.
If Grafton would have won, Port Washington’s homecoming game would have meant the winner goes on to the playoffs and the loser goes home.
“How awesome would that have been?” Behrend said.
The second-year coach is disappointed for his seniors: “I really wanted to get there for those seniors. We talked about it, though, it  was nice to be playing meaningful games this late in the season.
“It’s a step forward but it’s not where we wanted to be. It’s not our expectation.”
Playoffs on the line or not, motivation this week won’t be an issue, Behrend said.
“We’re aware where they’re at. I want to send these seniors out on a positive note,” he said.

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