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Bay Port one game away from perfect season


DE PERE – The Bay Port football team is one game away from another perfect regular season.

Behind 235 yards rushing from Isaiah Gash and five touchdowns from quarterback Jake Plummer, the No. 6-ranked Pirates turned back De Pere 49-0 in a Fox River Classic Conference game Oct. 5 at De Pere High School.

Gash carried 19 times and scored two touchdowns, while Plummer threw three touchdown passes to receiver Cody Lindquist and rushed for two more in Bay Port’s 26th straight conference win dating back to the 2015 season.

“He’s just so hard to tackle in open space,” said Bay Port head coach Gary Westerman about Gash. “If there is a hole there, even I could run through that, but the great backs make plays when the holes are not there, and that’s what he does.”

Gash, the son of former NFL running back Sam Gash, had 189 yards rushing by halftime, and has run for 1,266 yards and scored 24 touchdowns this season.

Meanwhile, Plummer’s five touchdowns all came before intermission, as he hit Lindquist on throws of 19, 21 and 49 yards for touchdowns, and also ran for scores from 5 and 10 yards out.

Junior Max Meeuwsen recovered a fumble and had three sacks, bringing his season total to 13.5.

The Bay Port defense allowed just 62 yards of total offense. The Redbirds had -12 yards in the first half.

“Once again, our defense played lights-out football,” Westerman said. “A lot of times people look at the score and see how many points we are putting up, but a lot of those opportunities come from our defense.”

The Pirates needed just 73 seconds and four plays to go 73 yards for the opening score of the game.

After Meeuwsen recovered a fumbled De Pere snap on a punt, Bay Port was in the end zone three plays later to make it 14-0, not even four minutes into the game.

The Pirates led 28-0 after the first quarter and 42-0 at the break, which meant the running clock was used after intermission.

Bay Port will be going for its third consecutive perfect regular season next Friday when they host Green Bay Preble (6-2) in the school’s annual Homecoming game.

“It is pretty special to think about that,” Westerman added. “To be able to go undefeated again would be something that we will all look back on someday and reflect on. We play in a conference with good teams at the top.”

Plummer ended 8-10 with 124 yards, while his counterpart, De Pere’s Christian Bocik, was 12-33 for 82 yards.

Bay Port’s Jayden Montgomery and De Pere’s Payton Meseberg each had interceptions.

Sam Hafner led the Redbirds with 6 tackles, while the Pirates’ Dylan Grosskreutz had 5½.

Despite the loss, De Pere is looking ahead to next week when it plays Green Bay Notre Dame (7-1), with a chance to guarantee itself a WIAA playoff berth. Even if they can’t get by the Tritons, head coach Chad Michaelwicz is still confident his squad will qualify for the postseason.

“I’d say there’s a 90 percent chance that we’d still get into the playoffs even if we lost next week to Notre Dame,” said Michaelwicz. “Having said that, we really want to get that fifth win and guarantee a spot.”

The Redbirds will look back at games against Ashwaubenon, where it lost in the last few seconds, and against Preble when it fumbled on its own 1-yard line, which allowed the Hornets to score on the next play.

“No disrespect to our opponents, but in week three and four, we genuinely felt we were the better team,” Michaelwicz added. “If we win those games, we are for sure in the playoffs. I’m happy with the progress we have made this season. Unfortunately, we are not quite there yet with our wins, but qualifying for the playoffs would be a huge step for us.”

Editor’s note: In order for a team to guarantee a WIAA postseason berth, they must finish above .500 in conference play. If there are not enough teams that meet that criteria across the state to fill the playoff brackets, the WIAA will start filling it with teams that finished at or below .500 in the conference.

Box score

Bay Port: 28, 14, 7, 0 – 49
De Pere: 0, 0, 0, 0 – 0

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