from yesterday's Waukesha Freeman --
CLASSIC 8 FOOTBALL
Crusaders keep moving
CMH offense bounces back from slow start
By Chris Patterson Freeman Correspondent
WAUWATOSA – When the Catholic Memorial High School football team opened Thursday’s game against Pius with a three-and-out series that netted just two yards, it turned out to be the exception and not the rule for the evening.
That’s because of the Crusaders remaining 26 first-half plays from scrimmage, 11 resulted in either a first down or a touchdown.
All told, Memorial scored on five consecutive possessions after that opening series and the result was a 39-21 Classic 8 Conference victory over the Popes.
The Crusaders, now 5-1 in conference and 7-1 overall, will host Arrowhead on Wednesday at Carroll University in a game that will allow the winner to claim at least a share of the conference championship. Arrowhead and Waukesha West are also both 4-1 in conference, but both have to play tonight and the Wolverines could finish at 6-1 in conference and tie for the title if they win out.
“Well, this is right where we wanted to be,” Memorial coach Bill Young said. “We’re 7-1 and going to play for the conference championship against Arrowhead.
“I thought our offense executed real well tonight. Now it’s just a matter of working hard and continuing to improve.”
Memorial junior Charlie Walsh started at quarterback for third time in the four games and turned in his best performance thus far – rushing 19 times for 114 yards and scoring four touchdowns.
“Charlie is really coming on, developing all the time and that just gives the other teams something to think about from the quarterback spot,” Young said. “Everyone has to step up when we need them.
“It’s not always the team with the best talent, but it’s the team that plays the best and puts all the pieces of the puzzle together.”
Walsh, who started the season at linebacker, was thrust into his new role three games ago against Waukesha North after senior quarterback Dominic Zanoni was sidelined with an ankle injury.
Zanoni returned for the Waukesha West game two weeks ago, but has been out since due to an infection that required an extended hospital stay. Zanoni was released from the hospital earlier this week and was on the sidelines Friday, but his loss of strength and weight from the illness makes his return unknown.
“When we first found out he was hurt, I really thought it was just going to be a one-game thing for me,” Walsh said. “Where ever they want me to go, I’ll play.
“I was so much more confident tonight. I just feel that I know now what I’m doing in terms of the reads and everything.”
Memorial got rolling on its second series, marching 79 yards in 10 plays and taking a 7-0 lead on 23-yard touchdown run by senior fullback Pete Karczewski.
Pius, which had its opening series stall at the Memorial 21, had their second possession snuffed out at the Memorial 38 when Crusader sophomore linebacker Sam Bohrer forced a fumble and senior defensive back Joe Fleming recovered.
Six plays and 62 yards later, Walsh scampered in from 13 yards out on a keeper as Memorial went ahead 14-0.
However, Pius responded with an 18-play, 80-yard drive that lasted 6:07 and culminated in a 4-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Connor Senger.
Memorial got a 28-yard field goal from senior Chris Colombe just before the half to take a 17-7 lead into the locker room.
Pius opened the second half with an impressive 11-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in an 8-yard touchdown run by junior fullback Roberto Zarate, cutting Memorial’s advantage to only 17-14.
However, the Crusaders would effectively put the game out of reach by rattling off 15 unanswered points in a matter of only 3:53 late in the third quarter.
After a 9-yard touchdown run by Walsh finished off an eight-play, 62-yard drive with 5:51 to play in the third, Pius’ next series resulted in a safety when junior punter Matt Grams stepped out of the end zone accidentally while trying to punt from his own 4.
Getting the ball back after the safety, Memorial took over at the Pius 49 and needed seven plays to push its lead to 32-14 on a 3-yard touchdown run by Walsh with 1:58 remaining in the third.
“We knew it would be a tough battle because we knew they were a pretty good team, but we were pretty confident that we were going to come in here and win,” Walsh said.
Karczewski led the Crusaders with 139 yards rushing on 23 attempts. Karczewski, who has rushed for 100-plus yards in seven of eight games this season, has now rushed for 977 yards on 156 carries with 12 touchdowns.