Pirates Hope to Avoid Hornets’ Sting
BY RICH PALZEWIC
SUAMICO – The Bay Port football team is just one win shy from Fox River Classic Conference history, but in order to get there, they’ll have to go through a Green Bay Preble Hornets team that is loaded with talent and getting healthy as the regular season comes to an end.
The No. 3 ranked Pirates (8-0) have a chance to break Ashwaubenon’s record of 17-straight FRCC wins from 2012-14 with a win against the Hornets (6-2) on Friday, Oct. 13, when they travel to Gauthier Family Stadium for a 7:00 game.
“They are an extremely talented team,” said Bay Port head coach Gary Westerman about Preble. “They are talented on the outside and they’ve got (running back Henry) Geil. Their offensive line is really big, they’ve got two good inside guys on defense and pose a big challenge to us. We are excited for the opportunity…there’s a lot to play for.”
Bay Port is most likely playing for a No. 1 seed in the upcoming WIAA D1 playoffs, with the possibility to host three home games as it did last season.
In last week’s 42-6 win over De Pere, the Pirates guaranteed themselves of at least a share of the conference title. Since its inception in 2007, no team before the Pirates had won back-to-back FRCC titles. Since 2012, Bay Port has gone 52-4 in the conference.
If Bay Port can finish off the season undefeated, it’ll mark the third time in the last four years they’ve done so. Their last FRCC loss came on Oct. 16 of 2015 to De Pere.
“As I said last week, the streak is more for the media and the kids,” added Westerman. “It’ll be nice to look back at someday, but right now it’s just a waste of energy to talk about.”
The only team that can share the title with the Pirates is Green Bay Southwest (7-1), who will be a virtual lock to win Friday when they host winless Sheboygan North. Bay Port nipped the Trojans 21-14 in week seven.
Preble is coming off a 17-14 win over Pulaski in week eight, in which the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Geil rushed for 142 yards. The Iowa recruit has 1,270 yards with 14 touchdowns on the ground and is averaging 6.7 yards per carry. Geil has averaged almost 160 yards rushing per game.
“Henry and I are pretty close,” said Bay Port’s Jack Plumb, the other Iowa recruit playing Friday. “We talk every week and always text each other to say good luck. Then we always talk after to see how each of us did. We’ve been talking about this game since I committed to Iowa. I’m pretty sure a couple Iowa coaches are coming to watch since it’s their bye week. It’ll be a neat experience for us.
“They’re ‘ginormous’ up front and getting healthy again. They had a few injuries, but Henry is a beast. It’ll be a good challenge for our defense. When we are inside the white lines, it’s everybody for themselves, but after the game we will talk.”
The Hornets are averaging 32.5 points per game and giving up 19.
Preble’s two losses were by a combined score of 69-38 to Southwest and Green Bay Notre Dame, two teams that the Pirates beat by a 56-35 margin.
Quarterback Casey Roeser is completing just 48% of his passes (41-of-85) for 630 yards with five touchdowns.
Speedster Gavin Buergi has been Roeser’s favorite target with 13 receptions for 313 yards, which equals a robust 24.1 yards per catch. Buergi has also added 413 yards rushing and eight TDs.
Bay Port is averaging 46.8 points per game and giving up just 13.6, both of which lead the 10-team FRCC.
Quarterback Isaac Krause has 692 yards rushing and is 75-of-107 passing (70%) for 1,104 yards and 12 TDs. Krause also has 10 rushing touchdowns.
Jacob Calawerts and Isaiah Gash have combined for 954 yards on the ground and 15 TDs, while receiver Cordell Tinch comes in with 40 receptions, 586 yards and seven touchdown receptions.
Defensively, Call Verlanic has 73 tackles, while Tanner Hendricks has added 59.
Notes: to read the full game story, see pics and video against De Pere, CLICK HERE… In one of the most exciting games of the 2016 season, Bay Port came from behind to beat Preble, 42-38. The Hornets took a 38-27 lead early in the fourth quarter, only to see the Pirates score the last 14 points of the game. Quarterback Quinn Pierner hit Jordan Nolle from 41 yards out with 1:44 remaining to seal the game. Pierner threw for 332 yards on 18-of-21 passing with 5 touchdowns, 4 of which went to Nolle.