School record falls as Port football drops KML

Josh Arnold’s 105-yard fumble return turns what was to be a close game into blowout over KML
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

Port Washington High School’s football team was about to have its 15-point halftime lead cut to one score last Friday at home.

On the first possession of the second half,  Kettle Moraine Lutheran drove to Port’s 6-yard line. Then the Chargers fumbled the snap.

The ball bounced directly into the end zone, where Port defensive back Josh Arnold scooped it up and took off.

He didn’t stop until 105 yards later, running untouched all the way across the field on the side of the Pirates’ bench, which was going crazy.

The two-point conversion extended the Pirates’ lead to 30-7, and they went on to beat KML, 43-7.

“Here we are thinking they’re going to score and it’s going to be a closer contest, and boom, boom,” coach John Bunyan said.

The 105-yard return broke the school record of Tom Rose’s 98-yard return in 2012, according to statistician Lester Mayer.

Backup quarterback Ben Fritsch led Port’s offense with 15 runs for 101 yards, three touchdowns and two fumbles lost, and he went 12-for-12 passing for 170 yards and two scores.

“Ben’s a great athlete. We’ve got to use his legs and athletic ability,” Bunyan said.

Three-year starter Nate Uselding hurt his knee in a noncontact injury while throwing a pass in Kewaskum a week earlier, and he is out for the rest of the season.

“It was really devastating for us as a whole. He’s by far one of the best quarterbacks that I’ve had,” Bunyan said. “He worked real hard and has been a great leader for us.”

Fritsch scored on a 72-yard run on the second play from scrimmage, a 21-yard run later in the first quarter and on a one-yarder in the third quarter.

He hit receiver Matt Esselmann with an 18-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and a 15-yard score in the fourth.

Esselmann caught five balls for 98 yards and two scores, and ran once for 45 yards.

“We’re going to move him around a little bit and make sure we get him the football. He had some great runs, and catches and runs after the catch,” Bunyan said.

Esselmann and Sam Pasten each had an interception.

For KML, Landon Hagenow went 6-for-13 passing for 139 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Benjamin Schaewe ran 18 times for 71 yards.

Port moved to 2-1 in the East Central Conference and 4-1 overall. KML went to 1-2 in the EC and 2-3 overall.

Port hosts Ripon (0-3 EC) on Friday.

East Central Standings: Berlin, 3-0; Kewaskum, 3-0; Plymouth, 2-1; Port Washington, 2-1; KML, 1-2; Sheboygan Falls, 1-2; Ripon, 0-3; Waupun, 0-3.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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