Home » Sports » Gash, Bay Port beat Preble again

Gash, Bay Port beat Preble again

By Greg Bates

SUAMICO – Bay Port head coach Gary Westerman knew the formula to how his team was going to advance to Level 3 of the WIAA playoffs: be physical and pound the football.

“That’s how you win football games this time of year – not throwing it all over the place,” said Westerman.

His plan worked to perfection against Fox River Classic Conference foe Green Bay Preble.

The Pirates racked up nearly 400 yards on the ground, led by Isaiah Gash’s 316 yards, and seven rushing touchdowns in routing Preble 49-14 in a Level 2, Division 1 game Nov. 1.

“We knew we would have an advantage up front against them,” Westerman said. “We had a couple of turnovers early, which were the only thing offensive that happened. We weren’t going to get stopped unless we made a mistake, and those two times we did. I think we scored on every other drive other than when we got our second unit in.”

Preble, which lost to Bay Port 55-21 in week two of the regular season, couldn’t get much going offensively, tallying only 83 yards.

“We had turnovers – can’t do that,” said Preble head coach Dustin Gresen. “Penalties don’t help anything. We put ourselves in bad positions with that. Hats off to Bay Port – a very quality football team. I hope they can represent the FRCC moving forward. A bunch more games to state and bring the conference back a gold ball.”

Gash, the son of former NFL fullback Sam Gash, came in averaging 119 yards per game.

He eclipsed that figure in the first quarter alone.

By halftime, Gash had put up 271 yards rushing with three touchdowns.

“Our offensive line is phenomenal,” Gash said. “We have two Division I players and probably all five of them could play at a high level of football. It makes it easier for me.”

Gash finished the night with a career-high 35 carries for 316 yards with four touchdowns.

In Bay Port’s Level 1 playoff victory, Gash had only three attempts for 40 yards and a pair of scores.

“More carries than I would have liked,” Westerman said. “But with the two turnovers early, we wanted to be simple and go get scores.”

The first offensive play of the game for No. 5-seeded Preble was a fumble, setting up top-seeded Bay Port (11-0) with great field position.

Six plays later, Gash rumbled in from 4 yards out.

A three-and-out by Preble’s offense and Bay Port was at it again.

Gash scored on an 11-yard run, and it was quickly 14-0 only 5:09 into the game.

Later in the first quarter, Gash ripped off a 13-yard run but fumbled, and the Hornets’ Connor Shefchik caught it in midair and ran it back 55 yards for a touchdown.

That play looked as though it could be a changing point for Preble, but Bay Port made sure that didn’t happen.

On the ensuing Pirates’ possession, Gash tacked on this third touchdown of the half on a 22-yard run.

Not long after, Ben Storby picked off a pass by Preble quarterback Evan Holm, and Bay Port was in business again.

Two runs by Matthew Grzybowski, the second for 20 yards, resulted in a Bay Port touchdown to go up 28-7.

Preble’s third turnover of the game, this time an interception by Logan Geissler, gave Bay Port the ball back nearing halftime.

The Pirates got it down to the 2-yard line with 5.6 seconds left and took their final timeout.

After 12 straight runs by Gash, Westerman dialed up a quarterback keeper, as Andrew Thomas ran the ball into the end zone.

Bay Port didn’t waste any time on its first possession of the second half.

Gash got the bulk of the carries, including a 5-yard touchdown to make it 42-7.

The Pirates’ final touchdown of the night came on a 1-yard Grzybowski run.

Preble scored with a couple of minutes remaining when Ryan Buergi hit Nick Renier for a 10-yard touchdown.

“I thought our defense played lights out,” Westerman said. “We did give up a touchdown at the end, but that was against our second-stringers. Otherwise, the only time they got first downs was maybe when we got penalized. I don’t remember many first downs there against our first D.”

Preble finishes its season with a 6-5 record and plenty to build off of come next season.

“This group of seniors wanted to start a new legacy,” Gresen said. “Their goal was to win a playoff game, and we did that. I’m very proud of these seniors.”

No. 3-ranked Bay Port keep chugging along and will face its toughest test to date in Level 3 when No. 10-ranked Marquette (8-3) comes to town Nov. 8.

The No. 2-seeded Hilltoppers are coming off a 65-0 victory over Milwaukee Marshall.

“It’s big-boy football,” Westerman said. “Our senior class is ready. It’s 1-0 football now.”

Level 3 of playoffs has been Bay Port’s Achilles’ Heel recently, falling in that round the past three seasons.

Gash believes his team is ready to get past that hiccup.

“Obviously, our mentality is to make it to state this year – it’s not to make it to Level 3,” he said. “We have to come at every game as hard as we can, and we feel like we could make it out.”

According to Westerman, his players don’t dwell on past games.

“They’re going to be focused on playing this team,” Westerman said. “We don’t ever think about years past. Certainly, you want to get the job done and execute when it matters and be healthy. We’re going to get healthy this week in a couple of positions, and that’s going to help us get a couple of guys back. We’re excited to get that opportunity.”

Facebook Comments
Scroll to Top