Pulaski beats Bay Port in resounding fashion
By Rich Palzewic
PULASKI – For the first time since the 2011 season, the Pulaski football team came out on top vs. Bay Port.
In resounding fashion, the Red Raiders led from start to finish in a 42-20 Fox Valley Classic Conference crossover game April 30 at Pulaski High School.
“It’s an emotional win,” said Pulaski head coach Jerad Marsh. “The program worked 11 long years to get this win. One of the steps to get better as a program is to beat one of the best teams in the conference in Bay Port. They’ve been consistently excellent. In a weird year like this, we didn’t know if we’d get a chance to play them, so it was extra special on senior night.”
After starting the season 2-0, the Pirates (2-4) have dropped four straight.
Pulaski (3-2) used converted offensive lineman Max Steinbrecher as a blocking back against Bay Port, and he rushed for 63 yards on three carries with a pair of touchdowns.
The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Steinbrecher also caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Nash Lemerond early in the game.
“I’ve been playing guard (on the offensive line) since my freshman year,” said Steinbrecher. “Our blocking back this season broke his wrist a few games ago, and I’ve stepped up. It’s been an easy adjustment because being a lineman, I know what’s happening with every play and who everyone is supposed to block.”
With the Red Raiders up 7-0, Ben Redlin scored on a 1-yard plunge late in the first quarter to make it 14-0 after the extra point.
Bay Port’s Matt Grzybowski, who rushed for 133 yards on 22 attempts, scored almost halfway through the second quarter to cut the deficit to 14-7 after the extra point.
Pulaski then scored back-to-back touchdowns on a Redlin 4-yard touchdown run and a Lemerond 34-yard pass to JoJo O’Leary to go up 28-7 at the break.
“The guys play for each other,” Marsh said. “They talk about it all the time. When they come out to practice, no one is alone. They have a passion for each other.”
Even though Bay Port has about 800 more students than Pulaski, Marsh said that doesn’t give his team any extra motivation.
“There’s nothing we can do about the enrollment,” he said. “That’s part of the challenge, but many of the guys on both teams will probably hang out together in the next week. It’s a neat rivalry. Each one of programs gears up for it.”
Late in the third quarter, Steinbrecher added his first rushing touchdown of the night from 41 yards out.
Steinbrecher appeared to be stopped at the line of the scrimmage, but he kept his feet moving and squirted away moments later.
He added a 2-yard score with less than a minute remaining in the game.
“Max didn’t do so bad for a guard,” laughed Marsh. “He’s been with us for a long time, and his growth has been tremendous. He’s put himself at a high level. He’s the first one to pat someone else on the back for making a good play.”
Bay Port’s Eli Frank, who rushed for 121 yards on 16 carries, scored halfway through the third quarter on a 19-yard, fourth-down scamper to account for the other score.
Redlin led the Red Raiders with 105 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Riley Lom and Ben Suchalla each had interceptions for Pulaski.