Saturday, October 26, 2013

Crusader begin playoffs on a big roll

from today's Waukesha Freeman -
Division Three Playoffs - Level 1
CMH 41
N. B. West 0

Running backs share glory
‘Everyone’s a threat’
 By Daniel Mike Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA – Nobody’s numbers are going to stand out.

The Catholic Memorial High School football team has been posting some impressive rushing numbers this season, but no one player has eye-popping numbers.

That’s just fine with the Crusaders, who had 282 yards on the ground in a 410 victory over New Berlin West in a WIAA Division 3 first-round playoff game at Carroll University’s Schneider Stadium on Friday.

CMH will play Pewaukee in a second-round game next week. The Pirates beat Elkhorn 20-6 Friday.

“We’re a running-based team,” said junior running back Tommy Garza, who led CMH with 89 yards on 11 carries. “We can throw it, too, but it was really important that we got off to a good start and pounded the ball.”

Senior fullback John Clark added 61 yards on 11 carries, senior running back Alec Kocour had 57 on eight carries, senior quarterback Cam Krausert had 52 on four carries and senior back Jake Piette had 32 on seven carries.

“We know we have a solid five or six people who can run the ball,” Kocour said.
“We have a great offensive line, too. We knew we had to be able to run the ball in the playoffs like we did in the regular season. That’s our strength.

“Even with two running backs, you don’t know who is getting the ball. Having five, everyone’s a threat out there. You can’t just go out and try to stop just one person.”

Kocour scored on runs of 4, 17 and 4 yards, and Garza scored on runs of 6 and 32 yards. Garza’s long score included a downfield block from Kocour that broke the play open. Piette also scored on a 4-yard run.

“We were sloppy today, and we didn’t play our best game. But with wind conditions like this, we did a great job running the clock,” CMH coach Bill Young said of the blustery conditions that made passing a challenge. “We’re starting to get our kids back and healthy. We’re going to be kind of like the Badgers with three guys toting the rock – really
four with Jake Piette, Kocour, Tommy Garza and Johnny Clark.”

Kocour was dealing with a partially torn hamstring when practice began this summer, and he feels he’s nearly back to full strength as the Crusaders make a push to repeat as Division 3 state champion.

“I’m probably about 90 or 95 percent,” he said. “It feels good to be able to run. I can’t really feel it when I run.

“The past two months, I didn’t know what it felt like to have a good hamstring. Now it feels good.”

Memorial’s ground game helped the team compile 21 first downs, and the Crusaders’ defense held West to only six first downs – three coming on the final drive of the game.

“They’re a good football team,” West coach Al Moroder said. “They’re big and strong, and they know what they’re doing.”


Photo credits - Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

Top: Catholic Memorial junior running back Tommy Garza is brought down by New Berlin West senior linebacker Ben Meleski during a playoff game at Carroll University on Friday. Backing up the play are New Berlin West’s Nate Latus and Alex McLeod, No. 14. 

Bottom: Catholic Memorial senior running back Alec Kocour reacts after Tyler Tevich. No. 75, comes up with a fumble recovery during a playoff game against New Berlin West at Carroll University on Friday. 

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