Catholic Memorial senior Chris Rupel upends
Muskego senior Ryan Borton during Friday’s game at Muskego.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
Karfonta, CMH grind out victory
Crusaders create three-way tie atop Classic 8
MUSKEGO — Josh Karfonta’s battered helmet, tattered jersey and muddy cleats helped to tell the story of his busy evening.
Karfonta, a 5-foot-7, 155pound sophomore running back rushed 15 times for 72 yards and three touchdowns to help lead the Catholic Memorial High School football team to a 35-28 victory over Muskego in a cold, blustery Classic 8 Conference game Friday.
It was the third consecutive victory for Memorial, which continued its crusade for a conference championship by improving to 4-1 in league and 6-1 overall.
Memorial moved into a three-way tie for first place with Muskego and Waukesha West in the highly contested league standings.
The Crusaders, who became playoff eligible, have scored 35 or more points in four of their victories this season.
Karfonta scored on a 3-yard run to cap what proved to be a decisive 13-play, 67-yard drive with 3:21 remaining.
On the game-winner, Karfonta came in motion from the left side, took a handoff from junior quarterback Alex Bray and immediately made a sharp cut upfield through the middle of the line into the end zone.
“It was a huge victory,” said Karfonta, who also scored on a 1-yard run in the opening quarter and a 3yard run in the third quarter. “With it being one of the best conference’s in the state, to be able to come on the road and bump off the top team was a great feeling.
“I took the handoff, immediately saw the cut-back lane and just followed the blocks straight through the middle to the end zone. It was nerve wracking watching the final few seconds tick off the clock. We had faith that our defense would get the job done.”
Senior Tommy Garza followed with 22 carries for 88 yards for the Crusaders.
Bray completed 9 of 17 passes for 107 yards, highlighted by a 14-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Robbie Gogin with five seconds left in the first half.
“It was just a great night from start to finish,” Bray said. “Week in and week out, we try not to take anyone lightly and bring our best effort to the field. Tonight, everyone played with a lot of confidence, stepped up to the challenge and executed at a high level. We didn’t let the pressure become a distraction and made the most of each possession.”
Senior Jett Siegenthaler came up with an interception with seven seconds left to preserve a victory for CMH, which held Muskego to its lowest point total of the year.
Memorial coach Bill Young was excited about his team’s ability to walk away with arguably its biggest victory of the season.
“It was a great victory for our program,” Young said. “Muskego has a high-powered offense with a great group of running backs and we really tried to prevent them from attacking the middle of the field in the second half. Our scout team did a fantastic job of helping us prepare throughout the week.”
Senior James Schwabe rushed 10 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns for Muskego, which dropped to 41 in conference and 6-1 overall. Senior Ryan Borton followed with 10 carries for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
Schwabe scored on a 30yard run with 2:26 remaining to trim the deficit to seven points with 2:26 remaining.
“I was very proud of the kids and their resilient effort throughout the night,” Muskego coach Ken Krause said. “Unfortunately, we made a few uncharacteristic mistakes and it hurt us down the stretch. If we would have had another 30 seconds to a minute, who knows what might have happened.
“We played our hearts out from beginning to end but just came up a little short. It was a great high school football game and really shows how difficult each week is in this conference.”
Muskego senior Brandon Valenza deflects a pass intended for
Catholic Memorial junior Fletcher Metz on Friday.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff