Monday, September 2, 2013

Crusader Football keeps on rolling

from Saturday's Waukesha Freeman -

CMH 41
West Allis Central 0
Crusaders keep on rolling
Three-TD outburst key
By James R. Hoffman - Freeman Correspondent

WEST ALLIS – It was a nearly clinical domination.

Catholic Memorial High School arrived in West Allis ready to play as it steamrolled West Allis Central 410 in a nonconference football game Friday.

Memorial scored three touchdowns in 12 plays in the first half. Memorial’s first touchdown came in its second possession, when senior quarterback Cam Krausert marched his team 84 yards in 13 plays. Senior running back/defensive back Alec Kocour punched
in from a yard out.

From there, Memorial scored at will and defended with a purpose. Central managed only 25 net yards in the second and third quarters combined, while Memorial put up 371 yards and 34 points.

Memorial head coach Bill Young knew his team could outmatch Central, but he was still proud of how his entire team and coaching staff executed to make sure that they did.

“Our kids just came out and really played well,” Young said. “It’s kind of a slow start, and then when you have good kids making big plays for you, it gets you going – it jump-starts what you’re trying to do.”

Memorial’s offensive line was its sharpest unit, paving the way for a 404yard rushing performance. Senior linemen Mikey Connell, Noah Krause and Jake Drwila, and juniors Tony Balistreri and Austin Ziolecki were strong up front and precise in their movements, allowing their running backs plenty of space to bust huge runs.

Junior running back Tommy Garza ran for 128 yards on 13 carries, including a 40-yard touchdown. And Kocour rushed for 108 yards and three touchdowns on seven carries. Kocour averaged more than 15 yards a carry and added an interception that led to a touchdown.

Kocour’s biggest run came in the third quarter, when he ran off the left tackle, following his lead blocker John Clark toward open space. But the play really broke when he found a cutback lane up the middle with the help of a huge block by Ziolecki, the pulling right tackle. Kocour hit the gap in Central’s secondary and didn’t look back.

“Ziolecki’s a very good player,” Kocour said. “I saw the cutback, found an opening, hit it and then ran for it.”

“They’re a great group of guys,” he said of his entire offensive line. “They’re just a load.”

Central was determined to stop the run, stacking the box with eight players and rarely letting anyone drift any farther than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage. But this left Central bare in the secondary, and allowed for huge gains when Memorial busted through the first line of defense. The Crusaders rushed 13 times for 10 or more yards and broke six runs for more than 20 yards.

Memorial’s defense also sparkled, holding Central to just 107 total yards and seven first downs. Memorial’s defensive line started to
pressure Central junior quarterback Will Konecny from the second quarter, forcing him into bad passes, which were exacerbated by several drops by his wide receivers. And after Central showed some power in its run game in the first quarter, Memorial shut that down as well. Sophomore Zack Taylor and junior Sam Gromacki were especially effective on the defensive line, supplying pressure, batting down passes and stuffing runs at the line of scrimmage.

“Our defensive line has a bunch of big players up there, linebackers are making plays and our (defensive backs) aren’t getting beat deep,” Kocour said. “We don’t have a weak link on defense.”

After Kocour punched in his touchdown in the first quarter, Memorial scored on five of its next six possessions.

Kocour had a 24-yard touchdown run minutes before his interception set up Clark’s 16-yard score on fourth and inches.

Memorial appeared to be losing its focus after a turnover on downs and a miscommunication on a snap that sailed over Krausert’s head. But Kocour’s 68-yard touchdown put things back in order for the visitors.

Garza added a 41-yard touchdown that showcased Memorial’s offensive line again. Krausert faked a pitch right and handed the ball to Garza, who ran a counter left. Ziolecki and right guard Balistreri pulled to the left and opened up a gaping hole on the left side for Garza to race through to the end zone.

Clark finished the scoring with a 1-yard run.

“Four of that five played last year, so they should be good,” Young said of his offensive line. “We’re not jumping for joy, but they played well.”

Memorial improved to 20, while Central fell to 0-2.

“We had a good week of practice and showed up ready to play,” Kocour said.

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