BY MURRAY GLEFFE
DE PERE – West De Pere and Notre Dame are two of the eight football teams remaining in the WIAA Division 3 playoff field.
The two will square off in a Level 3 game Nov. 2 at West De Pere High School, with the winner playing either Rice Lake or Sparta Nov. 9 in the state semifinals.
Both are ranked inside the top 10 in the recent wissports.net poll.
The Tritons have defeated the Phantoms two of the last three years, with the most recent being a 28-7 victory in Level 3 in the 2017 playoffs.
Tale of the Tape:
The Phantoms are 11-0 with no team coming within 19 points (Luxemburg-Casco) of them all season.
West De Pere averages 44.4 points and gives up only 7.0 points per game defensively, with four shutouts on the season.
Leading the way on offense is do-it-all quarterback Josh Blount. Blount has thrown for 802 yards, but more importantly, leads the team in rushing with 1,283 yards and has accounted for 28 touchdowns.
The Phantoms will miss starting tailback David Vanderlogt, who was closing in on 800 yards on the year, before suffering a collarbone injury in Level 1 of the playoffs.
When you rush for over 3,600 yards on the season, you are multi-faceted, and West De Pere has many other weapons to choose from in the backfield, including Cody Cavil (498), Evan Frisque (454), Sam Mommaerts (432) and Kaden Kosobucki who returned to action just last week.
“Just really glad to have Kaden back in the mix at tailback,” said West De Pere head coach Jack Batten. “We’ve had some injuries at that position this year but fortunately have four guys we can lean on right now.”
When Blount throws, his favorite targets are Aaron Wagner, Billy Wyatt and Tyler Mudd, who have close to 500 receiving yards.
Defensively, opponents have been hard pressed to find the end zone on the Phantoms.
In fact, many of the 11 touchdowns that were scored by the opposition were against the second and third-team defense when the game was out of hand.
Alex Spitzer leads the brigade with 65 total tackles.
Both Frisque and Jake Karchinski (Iowa signee) have 13 tackles for losses and multiple sacks in 2018.
Perhaps the one single thing that could play a role in having the game come out favorably for the Phantoms is the play of the secondary (Garrett Kempen, John Edinger, Tyler Rukamp, Justin Mannisto, Ben Pawlak and Nathan Kellam) against the versatile arm of Notre Dame quarterback Wes Glime.
“Our defense has to be ready from the first play of the game versus Notre Dame,” added Batten. “The kid (Glime) can sling it all over the field. We did a great job on Friday versus Freedom knocking balls down and crowding their receivers a majority of the time.”
The Tritons arrive at 9-2 on the season, including a route of the Seymour Thunder in Level 2, 56-28. Ironically, Seymour is the only common opponent the two schools have. The Phantoms defeated the Thunder in week six, 45-0.
Notre Dame averages 29.1 points per game while giving up 17.5 points defensively.
The senior Glime has thrown for 2,224 yards and 27 touchdowns.
His favorite target is Tommy Martzhal, who has hauled in 29 receptions for 664 yards.
Other options include Josh Cribben and Will Sullivan, who have caught 48 balls for a combined 799 yards.
The X-factor could be running back Brandon Limoni, who often gets overlooked by Glime due to his gaudy numbers and pocket-passing ability.
Limoni has put up over 1,400 yards and scored 14 touchdowns.
Defensively, Notre Dame is led by Mitch Chosa, who has accounted for 54 total tackles.
Jack Kress and Grady Brick are forces on the defensive front that could play a big role in stopping the Phantoms’ run game.