Oostburg puts up a fight but can‘t stop CG-Belgium’s pursuit of conference title
Rivalry games tend to bring out the best in each team, no matter the records.
That was the case last Friday for two football squads headed to the WIAA playoffs, with host Cedar Grove-Belgium making enough big plays to offset a steady Oostburg offense and secure a 33-13 win in a Big East Conference scrap.
“Oostburg is a heck of a football team,” said Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Dan Schreurs. “They execute really well and they’ll do some damage in the playoffs.”
Cedar Grove-Belgium, which finished Big East play 7-1, got off to a fast start with Reid Hilbelink’s 82-yard kickoff return for a score, the first of three long touchdown plays by the Rockets.
The teams traded scoreless possessions before Cedar Grove-Belgium committed the first of its three turnovers when Taylor Heiden muffed an Oostburg punt.
After recovering the ball at the Rockets’ 24, Oostburg (5-3) cashed in with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Gross to Parker Gabrielse on fourth down.
It was the first time the Rockets trailed in a game since they faced an 8-7 deficit against Ozaukee on Aug. 28.
Cedar Grove-Belgium responded in the second quarter by driving to the Oostburg 5-yard line, but Heiden fumbled for the second time. Oostburg then reeled off a pair of long runs into Rockets territory before stalling and missing a short field-goal attempt.
“The defense had that bend-but-don’t-break philosophy,” Schreurs said. “Oostburg runs a complicated offense with all the trapping and misdirection in the backfield.
“They’re tough to defend.”
On the Rockets’ ensuing possession, they took a lead they never relinquished. Heiden’s 10-yard touchdown run capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive and made it 12-7.
After stopping the Dutchmen’s next drive, Cedar Grove-Belgium hit its second big play of the night. Matt Dirkse hauled in a perfect pass from quarterback Josh Weiss and raced 69 yards for a touchdown with nine seconds left in the half.