BY RICH PALZEWIC
SUAMICO – The Bay Port football team played its WIAA Level 1 playoff game against De Pere without three key starters, but was still able to post a 49-0 victory over the Redbirds Oct. 19 at Bay Port High School.
Starting quarterback Jake Plummer (shoulder), running back Isaiah Gash (ankle) and linebacker Call Verlanic (stinger) all missed the game due to injuries.
The No. 1 seeded Pirates beat No. 8 De Pere by an identical score Oct. 5 during the regular season.
“Realistically, I think Plummer is done for the year,” said Bay Port head coach Gary Westerman. “We are hoping to get Gash and Verlanic back for Level 2, but the guys we had in there did great jobs. Obviously, at this point of the year, everybody is banged up. As coaches, we just have to do a good job of getting the kids ready.”
The Pirates led 35-0 at the half, so a running clock was initiated after intermission.
A week after rushing for 183 yards and five touchdowns, Bay Port running back Carter Zawlocki followed that up with 207 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a 46-yarder early in the game to start the scoring for the 10-0 Pirates, who will host Appleton North next Friday night in a Level 2 game.
North, who throttled Hudson 55-19 to advance, beat the Pirates 49-41 last season in a Level 3 contest to set up this year’s rematch.
Quarterback Andrew Thomas accounted for four touchdowns, including a 52-yard pass to Cody Lindquist and an 18-yarder to Tristan Pagel. Thomas also rushed for a pair of short touchdowns.
“I got a lot of reps either in games or practices throughout the season,” said Thomas. “Obviously, it was a big hit when Plummer went down. We worked a lot this past week and I feel comfortable – I’m ready to keep going.”
Defensively, Owen Miller picked off a pass and rumbled 26 yards for a score in the third quarter. Monty Wendricks and Dalton Szymanski also had interceptions.
The Pirates held the Redbirds to 137 yards of total offense.
Even though the season ended in disappointment for De Pere (4-6), it accomplished one of its big goals in making the playoffs.
“The finality of a season is always tough,” said De Pere head coach Chad Michaelwicz. “I know the score of this game was the same as what it was the first time playing them, but we had a little more success offensively, at least early on. It stinks we didn’t score, but we are comfortable with what these kids did.”
The Redbirds had a chance to score in the first quarter, but their drive stalled at about the 20-yard line, having a few cracks at the end zone on third and fourth down.
De Pere: 0, 0, 0, 0 – 0
Bay Port: 7, 28, 14, 0 – 49