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Vanderlogt’s big game lifts Phantoms over Black Hawks

By Murray Gleffe

DE PERE — West De Pere running back David Vanderlogt didn’t steal any of the headlines coming into his team’s Nov. 1, WIAA Level 2 showdown with Grafton.

That’s because Grafton’s Joey Giorgi was the state’s leading rusher with over 2,200 yards with 29 touchdowns.

By the end of the night, it was Vanderlogt who proved to be the superior running back in rushing for 348 yards with five touchdowns to lift the No. 1-seeded Phantoms to a 56-17 victory over No. 5 Grafton at West De Pere High School.

“Grafton has a very skilled offense,” said Jack Batten, West De Pere head coach. “They have three tremendous athletes, including their running back, but we have a pretty special backfield ourselves, and they proved it tonight.”

West De Pere quarterback Josh Blount added 108 yards on the ground with one touchdown and added another through the air.

Matthew Seabrook and Braydon Skenandore each had 10 tackles on defense for the Phantoms.

For the Black Hawks, Zach Weir completed 21-32 passes for 295 yards with 2 touchdowns, while Giorgi was held to 72 yards on 24 carries.

West De Pere defensive back Kaden Kosobucki (25) makes a hard tackle in the third quarter of the Phantoms’ victory. Murray Gleffe Photo

The Phantoms gained 562 yards to Grafton’s 377.

West De Pere took the opening drive and marched 63 yards in six plays.

On fourth and one at the 1-yard line, the Black Hawks’ defense came up big in stuffing the Phantoms.

Starting from their goal-line, Grafton used a combination of screens and quick hitters to go 94 yards before settling for a 22-yard field goal by Silvio Lanza for a 3-0 lead.

Then the Vanderlogt onslaught began.

His next two carries from scrimmage were 57- and 56-yard runs to the end zone in consecutive possessions to give West De Pere a 14-10 lead late in the first quarter.

Grafton had scored a touchdown on their second drive.

“He’s a physical, downfield runner,” added Batten about Vanderlogt. “A West De Pere kid through-and-through. He ran with a vengeance this evening. Everybody has been talking about No. 5 [Giorgi], and I brought Vanderlogt in and told him No. 28 isn’t too bad, either.”

After a turnover on downs by the Black Hawks, the Phantoms went on a 15 play, 80-yard drive in the second quarter that consumed 8:08 off the clock.

Blount was the recipient of a 1-yard plunge to give West De Pere a 21-10 lead with 4:20 remaining until intermission.

Both teams weren’t done with the offensive explosion, as each added an additional touchdown.

The Phantoms led 28-17 at halftime.

Early in the third quarter, with an 11-point lead and a 4th and 4 from the Black Hawks’ 43 yard line, Jack Batten called a fake punt.

Vanderlogt took the short snap, went around the right side of the line and all the way to the end zone to break any momentum Grafton may have had.

“I broke my collarbone last year,” said Vanderlogt. “I owe everything to my offensive line for giving me this opportunity tonight.”

Down the stretch, the Black Hawks had no answers for the Phantoms’ run game.

West De Pere tacked on three, fourth-quarter touchdowns to initiate a running clock in the final few minutes of the contest.

The Phantoms will host No. 2 Menasha in the quarterfinals next Friday, Nov. 8.

West De Pere defeated Menasha 56-42 earlier in the season.

Box score

Grafton: 10, 7, 0, 0 — 17

West De Pere: 14, 14, 7, 21 — 56

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