Pirates go Back to Back, Host Eau Claire Memorial on Friday
BY RICH PALZEWIC
GREEN BAY – The Bay Port football team just went back-to-back.
The number three ranked Pirates made Fox River Classic Conference history in a 49-21 victory over Green Bay Preble on Oct. 13 at a muddy Gauthier Family Field.
Bay Port finished a perfect 9-0 in the FRCC for the second year in a row – and third time in four seasons – and won a record 18th straight conference game in the process.
“Now that it’s over, it is nice for the kids and fans,” said Bay Port head coach Gary Westerman about breaking the record. “But to be honest, I still haven’t thought too much about it. I’m more concerned about us going forward. Someday I’ll look back on it and see how great it was.”
Bay Port broke Ashwaubenon’s previous record of 17 straight conference wins set from 2012-14. It’s also the first time in school history and in the FRCC that a team has repeated as champion. Even more unbelievable, the Pirates have won 34 of their last 36 conference games. Their last lost in the FRCC was on Oct. 16 of 2015 to De Pere. Ironically, the streak began with a win over Preble (6-3) in the opening game last season.
The victory also secured a number one seed for Bay Port in the upcoming WIAA Division 1 playoffs. The number one seeded Pirates will host number eight seed Eau Claire Memorial (6-3) this Friday, Oct. 30, at 7:00.
As for its easier-than-expected victory over the Hornets, Bay Port amassed 484 yards of offense and held the ball for 29 minutes and 48 seconds. The Pirates’ defense gave up 262 yards of offense to Preble, but at least 150 of that came at the end of the game when Bay Port’s second unit was finishing up.
After an Isaac Krause score and two touchdowns from Isaiah Gash gave the Pirates a 21-0 lead, perhaps the biggest moment of the game occurred. The Hornets marched down inside the Pirates’ five yard line halfway through the second quarter, only to be stopped on fourth and goal inside the one. Bay Port proceeded to march 99 yards for a score on the ensuing possession to basically end the game.
“That was the key moment in the game,” Westerman said. “If they score there, it’s a 21-7 game and they get the ball to start the second half. Our defense played a great game.”
The Pirates’ D held Iowa recruit Henry Geil to minus one yard rushing in the first half on five carries, while the offense totalled over 300 yards of its own in the opening 24 minutes.
After Bay Port went up 35-0 a few minutes into the third quarter on a Krause 47-yard TD pass to Cordell Tinch, Preble got on the scoreboard with a touchdown off of a reverse on the ensuing kickoff.
Isaiah Gash added his third touchdown of the night and Jacob Calawerts his second to close the scoring later in the third.
Geil had two late TD runs from 54 and 76 yards – and ended with 141 yards rushing on 14 carries – but that came when the game was already in hand against the Pirates’ reserves.
Krause was 14-of-21 passing for 204 yards and added another 107 yards on the ground. Tinch hauled in nine receptions for 165 yards, while Gash and Calawerts had 66 and 63 yards rushing respectively.
Defensively, Matt Barnard had two fumble recoveries and Seth Wood picked off a pass.
Notes: the other teams in the Pirates’ bracket besides Memorial are Appleton North (6-2), Green Bay Preble (6-3), Hudson (7-2), Neenah (6-3), Stevens Point (5-4) and Wisconsin Rapids (6-3). North (9) and Hudson (10) are the other teams besides the Pirates to be state ranked.
You can log on to the WIAA website to view the brackets for all divisions.
Bay Port – 14, 14, 21, 0 – 49
Preble – 0, 0, 7, 14 – 21