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Gritty Hawks crack victory column PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 20:31

Early surge, late field goal carry Grafton football team, head coach to their first wins

Good teams find ways to win even when things don’t go according to plan.

By that measure, the Grafton Black Hawks passed a major litmus test in a North Shore Conference thriller on the road last Friday.

Avoiding a second-half collapse, the Hawks hung on to edge Nicolet, 25-22, for their first win of the season in four tries.

Jack Orlowski’s 27-yard field goal with less than two minutes left provided the final margin, but Grafton also had to survive one last Nicolet scoring threat.

On their final possession, the Knights drove to the Grafton 10-yard line with 50 seconds to play. But quarterback Jack Hansen, who threw for 315 yards, was unable to connect on any of his final four passes, allowing the Hawks to escape.

“It was a battle. We completely shut down Nicolet’s running game, but we had problems defending the pass,” said Grafton first-year head coach Shaun Behrend, who celebrated his inaugural win with the team.

“Things got a little tight there at the end, but it’s definitely nice to get that first one.”

Turnabout is fair play in Port win PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 20:27

Clutch offense, defense in 4th quarter lift Pirates past Lutheran in football thriller

Call it a flip-flop, turnaround or reversal of fortune.sports1

The Port Washington Pirates are simply calling it a football victory, one of those heart-stopping varieties that takes players, coaches and spectators on enough roller-coaster twists to last a season.

In the end, host Port escaped with a 28-27 win over Milwaukee Lutheran in a North Shore Conference game that wasn’t decided until the final minutes.

Overcoming a nightmarish second quarter in which they surrendered 27 points, the Pirates prevailed in their league opener with a combination of clutch offensive and defensive plays, including the winning drive in the final three minutes.

Lutheran had a 27-20 lead and the ball at its 9-yard line after recovering a Port fumble with just over four minutes left. But three plays later, the Red Knights returned the favor when running back Tyrese Luckett fumbled, and Port’s Justin Wicke fell on the ball at the Lutheran 29 with 3:18 to go.

The Pirates wasted little time cashing in. On second-and-11, quarterback Tanner Orten fired a pass to Jacob Lippe, who outleaped a defender for a catch that gave Port a first-and-goal at the 3.

After averting disaster by recovering a fumbled exchange, the Pirates reached the end zone on Orten’s 3-yard keeper and pulled within 27-26 with 1:38 left.

A timeout ensued, during which Port coach John Bunyan opted for a do-or-die, two-point try. Fullback Matt Ruppel came through, slicing his way into the right side of the end zone for the winning conversion.

“We had problems all week with our kicking game and knew we would go for two,” Bunyan said. “It was just a matter of what play to call.”

Port girls race to 2nd in Blackshirt PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 20:26

Sullivan’s victory helps Pirates maintain sharp start; Stimac helps Port to 6th in boys’ portion of invitational 

It’s never too early to make a good, fast impression.

The Port Washington girls’ cross-country team took the message to heart last Saturday when they raced to runner-up honors in the Blackshirt Invitational at Minooka Park in Waukesha.

Led by senior Abeba Sullivan’s first-place finish, the Pirates scored 57 points, second only to champion Kettle Moraine’s 45 in the 16-team standings.

Sullivan posted a winning time of 19 minutes, 51 seconds on a tough 5,000-meter course, making her the only entrant in a 121-runner field to break 20 minutes. She was 15 seconds faster than runner-up Mara Bajic of Kettle Moraine.

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