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Division 1 state championship preview: Bay Port vs. Muskego

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

SUAMICO – For the first time in program history, the Bay Port football team is heading to the WIAA Division 1 state championship game.

The Pirates (13-0) will square off against defending state champ Muskego (13-0) at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison Nov. 22 at 4 p.m.

Members of the Classic Eight Conference, the Warriors come into the contest ranked No. 1 in the state and winners of 27 consecutive games.

“Since 2014 when we had Alec [Ingold], we’ve had a few teams that could have gotten here but couldn’t put it together,” said Bay Port head coach Gary Westerman. “We had an experienced group coming back this year, so we went about the season differently – we limited reps early on and avoided injuries.”

Muskego steamrolled Madison Memorial in the state semifinals, 49-13, while Bay Port dethroned state-power Kimberly, 42-28.

“When you’re playing Kimberly, you’re playing against something totally different,” Westerman said. “Beating them was nice, but we have another game. Our kids are excited to play for the state championship.”

The state-title participants have a common opponent in Marquette University.

In the first week of the regular season, the Warriors narrowly squeaked by the Hilltoppers, 14-10.

In Level 3, the Pirates doubled up Marquette in a 56-28 drubbing.

“Muskego’s team speed is good,” said Westerman. “They execute how I like to as a coach – they run the ball but can throw, too. Their offensive line is good and well-coached. No. 18 [Alex Current] is explosive and fast and No. 8 [Josh Bulski] is good.

Running backs Current and Bulski have rushed for 1,485 and 1,233 yards, respectively.

The two have combined for 30 rushing touchdowns.

Defensively, the Warriors also have junior safety Hunter Wohler.

He was recently named the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) Defensive Player of the Year in the large-school division.

Wohler has 111 total tackles and is considered one of the top prospects in the country from the 2021 class.

“Hunter is a great human being,” said Muskego head coach Ken Krause. “He’s a 4.0 student, confident and humble. He’s great to everybody – it doesn’t matter who you are.”

Krause said he is impressed with Bay Port.

“If you look at their scores, they’ve been dominating everybody,” he said. “They scored 56 points against Marquette, which had one of the best defenses in the state. They have a ton of returning players with great lineage. Kimberly is a great team – the first time they won’t be going to state in seven years. They have one of the best backs in the state [Isaiah Gash], and it makes sense they are in the title game. We felt before the season they were a team from the north that could get this far.”

Gash has rushed for 1,731 yards in 11 games with 30 touchdowns, including 779 yards rushing in the last three playoff games.

He was recently named the WFCA Offensive Player of the Year in the large-school division and has more than 4,200 yards rushing in his high school career.

Quarterback Andrew Thomas has thrown for 1,209 yards on 72-of-97 passing, with 21 touchdowns.

Thomas has also rushed for 661 yards and 14 scores.

Receiver Sam Plumb has caught 22 balls for 592 yards with 11 touchdowns.

Defensively, Logan Geissler has intercepted eight passes, with two of those being returned for scores.

Plumb and Geissler made the all-state honorable-mention list.

First-team all-state linebacker Call Verlanic leads the club with 92 tackles, including 19 for a loss.

Defensive lineman Max Meeuwsen, a Navy recruit and first-team all-state selection, has 12.5 sacks.

Offensive lineman Braden Doyle, a Central Michigan University recruit, was also named first-team all-state.

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