Catholic Memorial sophomore Josh Karfonta returns a punt as Waukesha South senior Adam Young dives for a tackle in the first quarter Friday. Pat Neumuth/Freeman Staff
WAUKESHA SOUTH 20
Memorial holds off South rally
Crusaders 2-1 in Classic 8
WAUKESHA — One play muted the home cheering section.
With 2 minutes, 8 seconds left in the game, the Waukesha South High School football team was an extra point away from tying Catholic Memorial. But the kick sailed wide left, and the Crusaders survived with a 28-20 Classic 8 Conference victory at South on Friday.
“You’ve got to let it go,” South coach Dave Rusch said about his kicker. “We considered going for two, but we decided (to kick) because this dude is automatic. He’s a teenage football player like everybody else, and I still have faith in him. He’s just got to let it go.”
South (1-3 overall, 0-3 Classic 8) made a spirited comeback to make it a game. The Blackshirts were down 14-0 at halftime and the CMH defense wasn’t budging. Touchdown runs by senior Tommy Garza and sophomore Josh Karfonta put the Crusaders (4-1, 2-1) ahead in the first half.
South started working the middle of the field in the passing game, while mixing in some bubble screens and draw plays to junior running back Anthony Johnson to open up the offense.
Johnson put the Blackshirts on the board with a 25-yard touchdown on a toss sweep to the right, and he cut back across the entire field for the touchdown. Johnson scored on the final play of the third quarter from 18 yards out to tie the game at 14. He finished the game with 22 carries for 84 yards and the two scores.
“It was our defense, first of all,” Johnson said about the comeback. “As an offense, we just had to come back and respond. My offensive line and receivers made some good blocks for me. They set it up perfectly for me, and I cut off them.”
The teams traded interceptions, with senior defensive back Matt Hocum giving the Crusaders the ball with a short field. CMH started a drive on its own 44-yard line. Five plays later, Karfonta was in the end zone again after a 5yard run with 6:47 left.
“It was great that our offense never gave up,” Karfonta said. “We made a drive to come back. It was just great just to get that lead back again and get the momentum back on our side.”
South put together a 12 play, 72-yard scoring drive to give them a chance to tie or take the lead. Senior running back Jordan Yatchek caught a 12-yard pass from senior Cannon Cooley on a fourth-andshort play to keep the drive alive, and two plays later Cooley hooked up with Ryan Larke for a 17-yard touchdown pass.
“We thought that if we do go for two and miss, they have two minutes to burn the clock. We weren’t expecting to miss the extra point,” Rusch said. “I guess we ended up in the same situation. If you go for two and fail, you look like a goof. If you go for two and score, you are the smartest coaching staff in Wisconsin.”All CMH needed after the missed kick was a first down. On third-and-inches, Karfonta ran 61 yards up the middle to score with 47 seconds left. He finished with five carries for 85 yards and three touchdowns.The touchdown, however, gave South hope to possibly tie the game.
South moved the ball to midfield, but its trick play was stopped and CMH celebrated.
“It was a great high school football game,” CMH coach Bill Young said. “Dave’s kids showed great dedication, and they were all fired up and played hard. A win is a win. Our offense did a good job and our defense played well in the first half.”
Catholic Memorial junior quarterback Alex Bray hands the ball to senior running back Tommy Garza against Waukesha South on Friday. Pat Neumuth/Freeman Staff