Notre Dame rushes past Racine Park in nonconference action
By Josh Staloch
GREEN BAY – The Notre Dame Academy football team rushed past Racine Park April 17 with a dominating, 48-0 nonconference thumping on its home turf.
The Tritons (4-0) remained unbeaten during their shortened season, beating up on the Panthers by scoring early and often.
“Everything about this season has been a bit weird,” said Notre Dame head coach Mike Rader. “For example, we had a shorter pregame today because of the junior varsity game, so everything was different. Sometimes the kids play harder when things like that happen. We had a good week of practice – you have to in order to be ready to play.”
As a team, the Tritons ran for 210 yards on 38 rushes, led by Will Zellner’s 101 yards on 18 attempts.
Notre Dame started its first possession at their 35-yard line and was moving the ball upfield with the help of its running game and some Racine Park penalties.
On a first-down play from Racine Park’s 41, Tritons quarterback Sam Lagowski got the defense to bite on a play-action move that left receiver Braedon Curtain streaking up the middle of the field uncovered.
Lagowski, recognizing his open receiver, fired off a perfect pass and hit Curtain in stride.
The junior tight end took it the rest of the way to the end zone, untouched by the defense.
Lagowski was a perfect 6-for-6 passing with 106 yards and two touchdowns on the day.
The Notre Dame defense did its job on the ensuing Panthers’ possession, forcing the visitors to make a decision on fourth-and-one deep in their territory.
Racine Park gambled and went with the quarterback keeper, but the Tritons were prepared, stuffing the play behind the line of scrimmage.
The stop gave the ball back to Notre Dame at the Panthers’ 29-yard line.
The Tritons didn’t let a third-and-12 scenario slow them down on their next drive, as they went with a Zellner run.
The senior cashed in with a 31-yard score and his team’s second touchdown of the day.
Notre Dame went into halftime up 27-0.
The Tritons didn’t let up to begin the third quarter, as the running game took over and began to pound the Panthers into submission.
Zellner got things going, and Lagowski got in on the action with another nice pass to Curtain for a first down.
Junior running back Jay Strain lit the scoreboard up at the end of the drive with a run through the defense that ended up in the end zone after 26 yards and a 34-0 advantage.
With the game out of reach in the fourth quarter and the starters on the bench, sophomore quarterback Joe Otradovec led Notre Dame downfield.
He capped the day with a pass to Max Augustine that went for a 23-yard score.
In all, seven different Tritons scored, and everyone got on the field for some playing time.
“That doesn’t happen often enough,” Rader said. “You’d like everyone who works hard all week in practice to get in the game. To be 4-0 is a great feeling. As I said, this has been a weird season. Winning games is great, but the fact we’re out here playing is a blessing.”