Sunday, August 29, 2010

Season Opening Victory

from yesterday's Waukesha Freeman --

NONCONFERENCE FOOTBALL

CMH 41
W.A. Central 7

Crusaders get revenge
By Chris Patterson Freeman Correspondent


WEST ALLIS – Sure, the Catholic Memorial High School football team may have had a little revenge in mind Friday when they took on West Allis Central.

However, opening the season with a solid victory was still clearly the Crusaders’ primary objective.

Thanks to an offense that scored on six of its first seven possessions and a defense that allowed just one first down and 32 total yards in the first half, Memorial accomplished both missions with a decisive 41-7 nonconference victory over the Bulldogs.

One year ago, Central stunned the Crusaders 17-14 at home in their 2009 season opener.

“There was a lot of talk about how they kind of snuck up on us last year and we just didn’t come out and play like we should have,” Memorial senior halfback Broc Kocour said. “So, to start this season with a win was real big.”

Memorial racked up 16 first downs and 198 total yards in the first half, but struggled in the second half – picking up just two first downs in six possessions.

“I was really pleased with how our offense played in the first half,” Memorial coach Bill Young said. “In the second half, kids are going to be kids and we just hit kind of a lull there.

“So, our job now is to focus and finish because we’ve still got a long way to go. We’re still a young squad.”

A botched punt attempt by the Bulldogs on the game’s opening series led to a threeplay, 26-yard CMH scoring drive that ended in a 5-yard touchdown run by Memorial senior quarterback Dominic Zanoni.

Following a quick threeand-out series by Central, Memorial drove 46 yards in eight plays and got a 27-yard field goal from senior kicker Chris Colombe to take a 10-0 lead.

Another three-and-out series by the Bulldogs gave the Crusaders the ball back on the Central 45 with just 36 seconds to play in the first quarter.

However, on an option run to his left, Zanoni’s attempted pitch to the trailing Kocour was grabbed in midair by Central junior defensive back Brian Hoppe and returned 50 yards for a touchdown.

The momentum shift did not last long for the Bulldogs, though, as Kocour busted off a 55-yard touchdown run on the third play of Memorial’s next series to put the Crusaders ahead 17-7 just 33 seconds into second quarter.

On the play, the 5-foot-7, 146-pound Kocour took a handoff into the left side of the line, disappeared for a second, busted the play out to the left and then sprinted down the left sideline.

“I just broke one arm tackle, made a cut to the outside and was gone,” Kocour said. “You have to give a lot of props though to our offensive line because they’re real experienced and played really good.

“They’re the core of our offense.”

The between-the-tackles running play was a rarity for Kocour, who usually does most of his damage on the perimeter.

An interception and 25-yard return down to the Central 8-yard line by Memorial freshman defensive back Alex Kocour on the Bulldogs’ fourth offensive series set up big brother Broc for another score – a 3-yard touchdown reception from Zanoni.

Leading 24-7 early into the second quarter, Memorial added a 3-yard touchdown run by Zanoni and a 42-yard field goal by Colombe later in the first half.

Defensively, the only first down surrendered by Memorial in the first half came on a draw by Central senior running back Thomas Dayton that gained 11 yards on a third-and-10 play on the Bulldogs’ third play from scrimmage.

After that, Central’s final 21 plays of the first half resulted in a combined total of 16 yards as six of those plays went for negative yardage.

The Crusaders forced five fumbles in the second half and recovered two of them –including one at the Memorial 16 on Central’s opening drive of the second half.

Memorial senior fullback Pete Karczewski led all players with 108 yards rushing on just 12 carries. Kocour finished with 84 yards rushing on just six carries.

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