Pirates push through adverse conditions for second win
By Josh Staloch
GREEN BAY – The Bay Port Pirates football team had lots on its plate Saturday morning, Aug. 28.
For starters, the Pirates were looking at another cross-town trip to Notre Dame Academy to finish Friday night’s contest, which was postponed with about eight minutes left in the third quarter, due to the inclement weather.
More importantly, Bay Port, which was up 21-7 when Friday’s action was called, was also facing a Tritons team that had turned the game’s momentum in its favor with an impressive interception in the end zone on the last play of the game before lightning showed up in the area.
The Pirates endured the restart on enemy turf, as well as the surging Notre Dame offense, to claim a 28-14 non-conference win and move to 2-0 on the season.
“We were hoping to finish the game (Friday night),” Bay Port head coach Gary Westerman said. “We had two defensive starters who were out of town for a wedding, so we were trying to piece things together. Our guys stepped up. They did give up the big play to start (Saturday), but then they bounced back.”
The Pirates’ last drive Friday night was a methodical one, with the team looking like it was on its way to a commanding 28-7 lead.
A 32-yard carry by Tommy Hall put Bay Port well into Tritons’ territory, and on third-and-nine, quarterback Cole Benson took a shot downfield looking for Nate Fortysek, who had hauled in a pass over the middle earlier in the game to set up the team’s second score of the evening.
The pass from Benson was perfect, and Fortysek looked like he had a handle on it, but Notre Dame defender Jay Strain wrestled the ball away from the 6-foot-6 tight end in midair for the interception.
The Tritons, clearly fired up to begin play Saturday, didn’t waste any time turning Strain’s big play into points.
In what could only be described as a perfectly executed pass play, Notre Dame running back Daniel Hornacek, who had a big impact in the ground game Friday night as he picked up lots of tough yards, gave a nice block on the left side of the play before turning upfield along the sideline.
Tritons quarterback Samuel Lagowski, patiently waiting in the pocket as the defense closed in, let one fly at the last moment and hit Hornacek in stride.
The 73-yard play made it to the one-yard line before Hornacek was tripped up, but he punched it in on the next play from scrimmage.
After the extra point, Bay Port led 21-14.
The Pirates responded to Notre Dame’s big drive with a sustained march down the field, one that took more than 10 minutes off the clock.
Benson’s ability to run was a factor all game long, particularly on this series, and the junior quarterback also made some nice short-range completions to Sam Barry.
Running back Tevyn Montgomery picked up some tough yards on the drive, including a big run from five yards out that saw him hurdle over a defender on his way across the goal line for the game’s final score.
“That long drive was critical for us,” Westerman said. “We were able to keep our defense off the field, so I’m proud of the way our guys executed there.”
On Friday night, Benson hit Cooper O’Connell on a 50-yard touchdown reception before Hornacek scored from 41 yards out to even the score 7-7 halfway through the second quarter.
Hall and Benson also scored second-quarter touchdowns for Bay Port.
The Pirates outgained the Tritons in total yardage, 392-265.
Benson was 13-of-14 for 210 yards with a touchdown.
He also led the Pirates in rushing with 84 yards on 26 carries.
Barry hauled in eight passes for 102 yards.
Hornacek had a game-high 159 yards rushing on 19 carries to go along with his 76 yards receiving.
Sports editor’s note: Sports Editor Rich Palzewic also contributed to this story.