Sunday, November 14, 2010

Opening the Lunch Bucket

from today's JSOnline.Com --

WIAA Division 3 Football

CMH 30
Delavan-Darien 20

Ground game powers Crusaders
By Andy Call, Special to the Journal Sentinel

Nov. 13, 2010

Wales — High school football players love to eat. That much we know.

Catholic Memorial players, however, maintain a special affection for their lunch bucket.

"We call Pete Karczewski 'lunch bucket' because that's just the kind of back he is," Catholic Memorial offensive lineman Matt Baldwin said Saturday after Karczewski rushed 48 times for 294 yards during a 30-20 Division 3 state semifinal win over Delavan-Darien. "Pete just shows up with his lunch bucket and goes to work."

Karczewski worked over the Comets all afternoon at Kettle Moraine, helping Catholic Memorial (11-2) earn its way to the state title game in Madison for the first time since a runner-up finish in 2001.

"I'm so tired and so happy," Karczewski said. "I'm going to go support Waukesha West (in the Division 1 semifinals) tonight. I have a lot of friends on that team. But, right now, I think I'll just find someplace to sit down. . . and cry or something."

Karczewski noted that he would be remiss not to "give it up" for his offensive line - Baldwin, Nick Olson, Caleb Krause, Eric Alfuth, Zach Degner and Justin Bauer among them. Catholic Memorial coach Bill Young said he expected a dominant performance from that group.

"Delavan has great team speed, but we felt we had a big size advantage up front," Young said.

Delavan-Darien (11-2) was able to strike quickly when it had the ball, but that was rarely. The Comets ran 42 plays from scrimmage to the Crusaders' 68, and Catholic Memorial piled up 361 yards rushing.

"We knew they were bigger, and we expected them to come at us with a between-the-tackles running game," Comets coach Steve Tenhagen said.

Karczewski passed 100 yards rushing when the game was barely 6 minutes old, including a 39-yard touchdown run when he burst through the middle, cut down the left sideline and dived into the end zone. Two other drives ended in field goals when Delavan-Darien's defense stiffened in the red zone as the Crusaders took an early 13-0 lead.

"We were close a couple times in the first half and didn't score," Karczewski lamented. "I was pretty furious about that for a while."

The Comets were within 16-14 early in the fourth quarter when Catholic Memorial embarked on a clinching 61-yard drive that included Karczewski diving over the pile for a 2-yard gain on fourth and 1 from midfield and Charlie Walsh's 3-yard touchdown run. Later, Walsh's interception set up a score that made it 30-14 with 3 minutes 46 seconds remaining.

Delavan-Darien quarterbacks Justin Fowlkes and Austin Fritzinger combined for 132 yards rushing and 159 passing.

"I think Pete is an all-state running back, and our game plan was to ride him, and our offensive line, all the way to Madison," Young said. "Our kids showed a lot of heart and desire, and that's exactly the way things worked out."

Click here to read the game coverage fro mthe Janesville Gazette.

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