BY MURRAY GLEFFE
DE PERE-Finally, the West De Pere football team can say they knocked off Notre Dame. (Nov. 2)
Two of the last three years have left the Phantoms with a sour taste in their mouth in the postseason.
This year West De Pere relied on their defense to grind out a 17-3 victory over Notre Dame in which points were hard to come by for both teams.
Sam Mommaerts led the Phantoms rushing attack with 102 yards, and Josh Blount added 66 yards on 20 hard earned carries.
“Blount was running behind his pads and finishing things,” said Jack Batten, West De Pere football coach. “We were short handed on the offensive line tonight, so every yard was earned. A lot of credit goes to those coaches for having kids step up.”
Garrett Kempen hauled in three catches for 56 yards.
The Phantoms defense limited the Tritons to 177 yards of total offense.
Quarterback Wes Glime was 11 of 24 for just 106 yards, and tailback Brandon Limoni netted 54 yards.
Isiah Burdette and Ben Pawlak led the way with six tackles apiece on defense.
After a three and out for West De Pere, Notre Dame took the ball over at their own 32 and put together what would be their best drive of the game. Limoni did much of his damage on the ground, but the Tritons drive stalled inside the red-zone and they had to settle for a 19- yard field goal by Limoni to take an early 3-0 lead.
The score would remain that way till the beginning of the second quarter when the Phantoms partially blocked a punt and took over at midfield.
Pass interference by a Tritons defensive back put West De Pere in position to put their first points on the board.
On fourth and one, inside the Tritons 25, running back Cody Cavil kept the drive alive by pushing the pile forward, and a few plays later Blount cashed in from a yard out to give West De Pere a 7-3 lead with 5:59 left till halftime.
After a quick three and out by Notre Dame in which they netted only four yards, the Phantoms drove 57 yards in eight plays capped off by a Mommaerts 7-yard scamper and suddenly just like that West De Pere went up 14-3 with 2:35 left in the second quarter.
Notre Dame had an opportunity to put points on the board just before intermission, but Glime inexplicably dropped the ball and linebacker Evan Frisque made the recovery.
Neither team had any rhythm offensively in the third quarter as both defenses clamped down.
The Phantoms then put the game away with a patented 7:44, 14 play, 74-yard drive, that resulted in a 22-yard field goal by Sawyer Grovogel and gave West De Pere a 17-3 lead with just 4:59 left in the contest.
“That long drive we had where we put three points on the board was huge,” said Batten. “We took more than half of a quarter off the clock and didn’t give them much time left in the fourth.”
Both of the Tritons final two possessions resulted in turnovers on downs to end their season.
West De Pere remains unbeaten at 12-0 on the season and advances to the WIAA State Semifinals where they will take on Rice Lake next Friday at a neutral field site for a chance to go to Madison and play for a State Championship.
West De Pere 0, 14, 0, 3 17
Notre Dame 3, 0, 0, 0 3