Grzybowski’s four touchdowns lift Pirates over Hornets
By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY—Despite a pick six and secondary breakdowns, the No. 4 ranked Bay Port Pirates’ football team defeated Green Bay Preble 55-21 at Gauthier Family Stadium Aug. 29.
Pirates running back Matthew Grzybowski rushed for more than 250 yards and four touchdowns, including having 25 carries in the second half.
“I thought our o-line opened up some holes, and they started to do some blitzing,” said Bay Port head coach Gary Westerman. “We fed Matt a lot there in the second half.”
Hornets backup quarterback Ryan Buergi threw for more than 150 yards and two touchdowns, and receiver Nick Renier hauled in eight catches for 118 yards.
The Pirates took their opening drive of the game 87 yards in 10 plays, capped off by a 2-yard plunge by Jayden Montgomery to put Bay Port up 7-0 with 4:30 left in the opening quarter.
Two more successful touchdown drives in the second quarter gave Bay Port a 21-0 lead, and it appeared the Pirates were well on their way to a comfortable win.
Then, a twist of fate happened.
Hornets starting quarterback Evan Holm went down with an injury and Buergi came in and started playing pitch-and-catch with his receivers.
With under 2 minutes left in the first half, Buergi drove Preble down the field and the end result was a 16-yard touchdown reception by Nathan Vanseth to cut the margin to 21-7 at halftime.
“Offensively, they were giving us a lot of space,” said Dustin Gresen, Green Bay Preble head coach. “I feel like we have two of the best receivers in the conference, and we just let them make plays.”
The Pirates came out in the second half and scored back-to-back touchdowns in less than four minutes to go up 34-7 with 8:13 left in the third quarter.
The latter was the result of a shanked punt by the Hornets that set Bay Port up with outstanding field position.
However, the Hornets remained pesky.
With the Pirates driving to put the game out of reach, Hornets safety Ian Henjum picked off Andrew Thomas and galloped 87 yards to pay dirt.
After Preble got a stop on defense, Buergi and Vanseth again connected on a long touchdown, and suddenly, Bay Port’s lead was trimmed to 34-21 with 56 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
“We had some execution errors that we have to shore up,” added Westerman. “A lot of coaching moments from this game.”
The Pirates didn’t let the Hornets hang around for long, as three of their four drives in the fourth quarter resulted in 21 points and a 34-point victory on the road.
The final score came from Elijah Frank from 32 yards out.
“We pounded away in the final two quarters,” said Grzybowski. “Our o-line hung tough and stayed the course. Big win.”
Bay Port improved to 2-0 on the season and Preble fell to 1-1.
It was the Pirates 29th consecutive Fox River Classic Conference victory.
Bay Port: 7, 14, 13, 21—55
Green Bay Preble: 0, 7, 14, 0—21