Pirates One Step Closer to History
BY RICH PALZEWIC
SUAMICO – One more game.
That’s all that stands in the way of the Bay Port football team from making Fox River Classic Conference history.
The Pirates moved closer to history after they won their 17th straight FRCC game with a 42-6 throttling of De Pere on October 6 at Bay Port High School.
The Homecoming victory kept No. 4 ranked Bay Port (8-0) undefeated and one win shy of setting the all-time FRCC mark set by Ashwaubenon’s from 2012-14.
“It’ll be fun to look back at later on,” said Bay Port head coach Gary Westerman about the streak. “The kids like to hear that stuff, but our goal is one game at a time and that’s (Green Bay) Preble next week. Right now I feel it’s just a waste of our energy to talk about it as a team.”
The last time the Pirates lost a conference game was to De Pere on October 16 of 2015. With the easy win over the Redbirds this night, they became the first team in school history and in the FRCC to win back-to-back titles, something they will do at the very least regardless of what happens next week against Preble (6-2).
“We have a lot at stake next week,” added Westerman. “A win would give us back-to-back undefeated seasons in the conference and a No. 1 seed (in the WIAA playoffs). Preble is an extremely talented team.”
As it did last year, a No. 1 seed would most likely get the Pirates three home games. Bay Port lost a Level 3 matchup in heartbreaking fashion (37-34) to SPASH a year ago in the state quarterfinals.
Against De Pere, the Pirates had two 90-plus yard touchdown drives in the first quarter to give themselves a quick 14-0 lead. Quarterback Isaac Krause connected with Cordell Tinch from 58 yards out and then Isaiah Gash scampered his way in from 43 yards after that.
A Ryan Smith 2-yard plunge made it 21-0 early in the second quarter, before Jacob Calawerts made it a four-touchdown lead when he also scored from the two later in the half.
After Smith scored his second TD of the night early in the third, the running clock took effect just as the heavy rains came. Calawerts added another touchdown later in the quarter to close the Bay Port scoring. The Redbirds avoided the shutout when Nate Baranek broke free for a 65-yard jaunt late in the game against the Pirates’ second unit.
Converted running back Mars McGriff led the defense with an interception and a fumble recovery, while Alec Nagel also picked one off.
“It was just a matter of me being in the right place at the right time,” said the junior McGriff, who just started playing defense a few weeks ago. “We were so deep at running back, that the coaches felt I could make more of an impact on defense. At first the transition was a little tough, but it’s gotten easier.”
Despite giving up the long run later, the Pirates’ D held De Pere to 174 total yards on offense, while having 446 of their own.
Krause was 11-of-17 through the air for 195 yards and added 34 yards on the ground with his 5 carries. Gash had 100 yards rushing on eight attempts, while Calawerts chipped in with 49 yards.
Tinch hauled in six receptions for 119 yards.
Notes: Preble was a 17-14 winner over Pulaski in week eight… Preble running back Henry Geil and Bay Port tight end Jack Plumb are both Iowa recruits for next season.
De Pere – 0, 0, 0, 6 – 6
Bay Port – 14, 14, 14, 0 – 42